Mountain Biking Arizona: Tucson's Starr Pass Mountain Bike Trails

  • Miles: 14.1
  • High: 891 m
  • Singletrack: 100%
  • Low: 823 m
  • Ascent: 218 m
  • Ave/Grade (4°): 3%
  • Descent: -213 m
  • Max Grade (13°): 8%

“Some rocky riding through part of the Tucson Mountains.”

— Hillary Mathis on Jan 26, 2014


Starr Pass Trails – Tucson, Arizona Photos

TUCSON, Arizona – Mountain Biking – Starr Pass has been considered as one of the most exciting and popular places in all of Tucson. You can find Starr Pass on the Eastern part of the Tucson Mountain Park Trails and is an incredible load of fun. The ride is popular for its technical challenge, excellent scenery that will test a rider’s decision making skills and challenge even intermediate mountain bike riders. There a few major, craggy drops that can hand you your tail.

What The Bike Bandit Says About Starr Pass Mountain Bike Trails

“This is one of the most popular intermediate to advanced trails in all of Tucson. The scenery is spectacular. This trail is only miles away from Old Tucson where some of the great fil legends walked. Rocky, craggy….this trail has a lot of challenges and is a Tucson, Arizona mountain biking favorite.”

Jason, The Bike Bandit 

You can explore many single track and different trails. Mountain bikers will find lots of riding levels to enjoy. Know that the general terrain can be rocky with the occasional wash to navigate through. You can also find a number of small sustained climbs including several technical climbs. Majority of the area is intermediate which novice rider can also handle so long as they have a bit of experience. You can find Starr Pass just right out by the Desert Museum and quite near to Old Tucson. Bike Starr Pass Trailhead. When you ride this area, you’ll be following the rides of Hollywood’s great actors like Lorne Greene, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and more.

If you place your vehicle at the Richard Gesner Trailhead side of Starr Pass, you have the option to end your ride and eat lunch or dinner at the restaurant that overlooks their incredible golf course. If you enjoy Starr Pass, you will really enjoy the Sweetater Preserve.

Directions to Starr Pass Mountain Bike Trails – Tucson, Arizona

The area is not recommended for beginners as they will need to walk a lot which could reduce the fun factor of the region. Starr Pass to the rest ofTucson Mountain Park is great for people looking for beginner trails. There’s no way you’ll get lost in Starr Pass. There’s also a high chance you will have a great time exploring. Take plenty of water because none is available.

Rock Wren, Yetman and Starr Pass Trails: These trails are major and run through the Starr Pass area. Most riders park at the main Richard Genser and take Rock Wren to the 4-way sign (see photo), before they hang a left on Yetman, hit Starr Pass, and then loop it back around.

Stone House Trail: The trail bare its name thanks to an old, roofless stone house built in the early 1900’s. Many riders consider the Stone House are among the most technical trails thanks to the initial, rocky climb from the Yetman intersection up over the pass. A lot of riders take Stone House out to Yetman (you will be slogging through a long wash!) and then over to the Bowen (Resort Trail) trail, which dumps you out next to the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort. Then just rip up the road back to the trailhead!

Resort Trail (officially Bowen) and Hidden Canyon: Be careful about these trails because they quite technical and rocky, with Hidden Canyon especially so.  Be on the lookout for hikers coming from the resort when you’re riding these trails.

Explorer Trail: This is the latest edition to the Starr Pass trail system so most maps won’t have it yet, Explorer is an excellent, technical, and lung-busting climb over Cat Mountain. You have the option to hang a left and swing back around to 36th Street Trail, or if it didn’t completely destroy your lungs and legs, continue on until you pass under Ajo Way and enjoy the Robles Trail System. Right at the Robles culvert, Explorer continues off East to the trailhead near La Cholla Boulevard.

36th Street Trail: This comes from the slightly sketchy 36th Street Trailhead (fine to park at day not at night) 36th is an exciting, rolling Intermediate level trail that leads you deeper into the Starr Pass system.

Acupuncture Trail: You won’t find this on most maps, it is so named because of the narrow singletrack lined by many cactus. In technical terms, it is beginner-friendly and fun, just with a little bit of continual gradual gain in elevation. It breaks off just south of an open area near the Starr Pass/Yetman intersection. Te Tucson Mountain Park trails over Golden Gate Trail is accessible from here. It is best to go with someone familiar with the area because it can get confusing with the range of social trails in this area.

Krein Trail: A technical, and lung-busting out-and-back with a great vista. This place is not marked although you’ll find it easy to see from a wide open area after your descent from the Starr Pass/Yetman intersection climb. As suggested, go with a local to avoid getting confused. You should find several unnamed and unmarked trails with different levels of difficulty. Have fun and explore!

Directions to the Richard Genser Main Lot: Start with I-10 head west on Saint Mary’s. After Silverbell, you’ll see the road name changing to Anklam. Proceed west until you reach Players Club Dr. Turn left and head to four-way stop with Starr Pass Blvd, then turn left. Turn to the first right onto Clearwell Rd. (dirt road) take till it ends at the Richard Genser Starr Pass parking lot.

Directions to TMP 36st Trailhead: Start with I-10 head west on 22nd St. to Mission Rd. turn left. Go south on Mission to 36th St. then turn right. Go west on 36st St. then wait until you see that it dead ends at the 36th Street parking lot trailhead. Be careful as this parking lot can get a bit “sketchy” after dark. If you’ll be on a night ride, best to use a different trailhead.

Directions to the Camino de Oeste Trailhead: Take Speedway Boulevard west of I-10 past Silverbell and Greasewood. You’ll drive another minute or so, then turn left (south) on Camino de Oeste. The road will turn to dirt, and soon after you’ll see the parking area trailhead on your right (west). Park, and ride through the wash, where the trail picks up on the west side of the wash.

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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