Mountain Biking Arizona: Tucson's Golder Ranch Mountain Bike Trails

  • Miles: 11.1
  • High: 3,555’
  • Singletrack: 85%
  • Low: 3,121’
  • Ascent: 1,123’
  • Ave/Grade (4°): 4%
  • Descent: -1,122’
  • Max Grade (13°): 19%

“This is a popular combination of trails departing from the Golder Ranch Trailhead.”

— Kirby Rodriquez on Jan 5, 2014


Golder Ranch Trails – Tucson, Arizona Photos

What The Bike Bandit Says About Golder Ranch Mountain Bike Trails

“The 50-Year, Golder Ranch, the Chutes, Upper 50, and Middlegate are a part of the 50 year trail and are a must do Tucson mountain bike ride. The trail is beautiful and well kept by volunteers. This is a great trail for mountain bikers of all levels. The Chutes are a roller coaster experience. There is some technical riding here. A perfect day is to wake up and do Honeybee Canyon and the head to Golder Ranch. ”

Jason, The Bike Bandit

What The Locals Say About Golder Ranch Mountain Bike Trails

“I think I rode this, but I had no idea where I was. There are no signs. I just headed toward the NE corner of the area. The Chutes are, eh, as I stated in my other review. The Upper 50 was pretty sweet. Seems like the only area worth coming to this network for. There is quite a variety of technical drops, rollers, and other features. Some of them are extreme. You will find yourself scooting down some rollers on your butt if you aren’t confident enough to ride them, a humbling experience. Kinda a bummer that you have to ride several miles of the dreaded “flow” trail maze t – Albuquerque, New Mexico.”

50-Year, Golder Ranch, the Chutes, Upper 50, Middlegate

TUCSON, Arizona – Mountain Biking Golder Ranch – The trail is already 50 years old and can be found north of Tucson in Oro Valley, Arizona by the end of Golder Ranch Road. The trail is considered to be one of the nicest places to ride. It is also the venue of the ever-popular Bike and Brats yearly party! There should be a good number of single track, some technical areas along plus a whole bunch of beginner to intermediate rides. Everyone can find something to do in the area. You can tweak your ride to any distance you want. These include a 2-mile, introductory fun ride, up to 30-miles of killer climbs with some technical challenges. All of this and it is BEAUTIFUL. If you choose to keep your vehicle at the main trailhead then get a State Land Permit. As much as possible don’t leave valuables in the car as there have been reported vehicle break-ins. This trailhead is best suited  for beginners. Know that the area is a multi-use so there should be considerable equestrian traffic. Be careful about riding and stop appropriately to let the equestrian riders go by. They’re all nice folks and we’re all out to enjoy these fantastic trails together.

Click on this cool Golder Ranch video done by Jason “The Bike Bandit”.
Golder Ranch is a challenging Oro Valley mountain bike trail.

Directions to Golder Ranch Mountain Bike Trails – Tucson, Arizona

50-Year Trail: To begin the popular loop, look for the singletrack that starts on the left, past the cattleguard. The region is predominantly flat, fast, and curvy. At some point, you will come to a wide open area near another cattleguard. Keep straight to begin the intermediate level riding, or take the Jeep road to the left to take the easy route to The Chutes.

Catalina State Park: If you want something more challenging, park at the Chase Bank at Oro Valley Marketplace which is directly across from Catalina State Park. Ride your bike in. When you reach the park, find the sign to the Stables on your left, and the trail starts just to the right of the stables. This should provide you an immediate workout with a long, challenging climb. It is unlikely to get lost so long as you follow the singletrack and signage, and always close the gates behind you. The trail is mostly all single track, mostly intermediate riding, around 20 miles counting the pavement into the Park with a 1,600 ft. change in elevation, and should be 2-3 hours of riding. There is water at the Equestrian Center but only there. If you place your vehicle in Catalina State Park, be prepared to pay a $5/vehicle fee, and you may even need to pay while riding your bike in.

Middlegate: Middlegate trail breaks off toward the Catalina Mountains following the 50-year-old trail meets another old, flat Jeep road. It should be on your right, and remember to close the gate behind you. It will curve back south and lead eventually to the 50-Year trail again. It is Intermediate level riding with some really fun rock features to play on.

Deer Camp: This is an old equestrian trail that breaks off from Middlegate and has a fall line route up to Deer Camp. There should be a picnic table and spring beds at the midway up Samaniego Ridge. Many locals go for the “Deer Camp Loop” consisting of Middlegate from the gate south to where it joins up with 50-Year trail again.

The Chutes: This is like a rollercoaster for bikes. An old motorcycle playground dating back to the ’60s & ’70s, the Chutes offers a rocking, rolling, fast and absolutely fun end to the 50-Year trail. This is also great for beginners so long as they take it easy. The trail concludes in a wash, and then you need to head back left (South) to join back up with the 50-Year toward the trailhead.

Upper-50 Trail: The Upper-50 Trail begins from the Northeast corner of the top of The Chutes. You have to drop in to the first “whoopeee!” of The Chutes. However, turn to the right then follow the fence instead of turning left to follow The Chutes. You should start doing some intense, lung-busting climbing. This trail is somewhat technical with challenging climbs and some rocky portions. It will drop you back down onto Middlegate trail.

Slickrock Lollipop: Another more technical, fun and incredible trail that branches from Middlegate/Deer Camp.


Mountain Bike Incredible Tucson!

Book Guided or Self-Guided, Road and Mountain Bike Tours

Mountain bike Arizona’s best mountain biking destination by booking a guided or a self guided tour! Tucson Bike Rental and Tours will meet you at the trailhead, drop off bikes and pick them up when you are done.  We provide bikes, helmets and pedals. Or, take a guided or an instructional mountain bike tour with one of our top professionals. Tucson Bike Rentals and Tours also offers guided and self guided road biking tours. Just looking for some “things to do in Tucson” or a great Tucson sightseeing opportunity? Tucson and Oro Valley, Arizona is the world’s greatest biking destination. Book today!

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