Mt Lemmon – Molino Basin to Italian Trap – Tucson, Arizona Photos
TUCSON, Arizona – Mountain Biking – This part of the Arizona Trail runs from Italian Trap (on it’s southern end) in the Redington Pass area, to Molino Basin then to the lower foothills of the Catalina Mountains. This trail is one of your best choices if you are trying to find the best of everything that Tucson has to offer. The area comes with smooth, fast and rolling singletrack couple with lung-taxing climbing plus short, fun technical areas (where you can walk if necessary). Not to mention, there is an incredible scenery. However, remember that south of Italian Trap, the AZTrail routes into Wilderness therefore bikes are now allowed, so many folks just park at Redington and head North, skipping the short (but fun) out-and-back to Italian Trap.
If you’re looking for the real technical area then it is the climb and descent from Molino Basin which falls to the water tank, near the entrance of La Milagrosa trail. When you reach Catalina Highway, pick up the RIGHT fork, cross the creek before you begin a brutal climb up and over the pass. If you really want the technical challenge then you start at the Northern trailhead at Molino Basin. After that, you can continue on to Italian Trap OR from there, then what other riders do, break off on La Milagrosa trail. This begins just south of the water tank.
You would find the everything about the northern Molino Pass could be well moderate, Intermediate-level singletrack. Thus, if you do not prefer to ride the super-techie stuff, then the best choice is to park near the South trailhead in Redington Pass. You can turn it into a fun out-and-back ride. Starting with Arizona Trail sign at Italian Trap the trail climbs steadily, it then goes to the west and then drops down to Redington Road. After that, the trail goes northeast, then goes west and reaches Bellota Ranch Road. Just beyond the road crossing is the Lake Trailhead, which follows the Bellota Trail. It crosses Caliente Creek, goes through a number of gates and then climbs up to the pass above Molino Basin.
Directions to Molino Basin to Italian Trap
Mountain Bike Trails – Tucson, Arizona
Directions to Molino Basin: Go to Mt. Lemmon Highway to the Molino Basin campground where you will find the trailhead is right across Catalina Highway. Once you go a few years, go to the RIGHT fork, across the creek. Just like other trailheads along Catalina Highway, you have to get a day pass in order to park. You can purchase this inexpensively at the Ranger Station below Molino Basin.
Directions to Italian Trap: When you’re at the east Tucson, take Tanque Verde Road then go until you reach the dirt. When it turns to dirt, there should another 10-miles or so to the point where the AZ Trail crosses the road. Redington road is smooth, paved road that is passable in any passenger vehicle if you take it easy.