Biking Tucson and Arizona’s Sonoran Desert

The perfect antidote to the cold and snow of a northern winter is a week long circular bike tour through Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Your destination is Tucson, a university city of about a million people, nestled in a surprising area of desert and mountains. It would be easy to spend an entire week exploring the Tucson area where there are an abundance of local hikes and bike rides to keep you busy during the day and fine dining and a vibrant music scene to keep you busy at night.

Once you are well acquainted with Tucson head to Saguaro National Park. Enjoy a day of hiking or biking through the park which is split into east and west sections bordering the city. Admire the enormous saguaros, a universal symbol of the American West. These giant cacti can live up to 150 years, weigh over a ton and provide nest holes for a variety of birds including Gila woodpeckers. Visit the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum and meet a Gila monster, one of two venomous lizards.

Leave Tucson and head south through the Altar Valley to Sasabe where you can enjoy one of the west’s iconic resorts – Rancho de la Osa. Trade your bike for a horse and head off to enjoy the big skies and wildlife of the area, and you’ll also have the chance to see the fence separating the US from Mexico. 

Continue towards Tubac on quiet, scenic backroads that are littered with the belongings of humans on the run; this is a major corridor of illegal immigration. Tubac, an art colony with over 80 galleries is worthy of a few nights if you enjoy a day of gallery hopping. You can also visit the Tumacacori Mission established in 1691. Return to Tucson and consider renting a car to visit the numerous sights less accessible by bike.

Trip highlights include the following:

  • Stunning desert landscapes
  • Giant saguaro cactus in Saguaro National Park
  • Horseback riding along the Mexican border
  • The art galleries of Tubac & the Tumacacori Mission
  • Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum
  • Excellent birding
  • Superb dining
  • Dependable sunshine
Inside this guide you’ll find all the information you need to book and execute your own trip. Look for accommodation and restaurant choices, route notes for cycling, and a detailed list of noncyling activities in the area.Download: Full Guide
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