Join in the celebration and ride the Arizona Trail (AZT) on January 12, 2013. The Arizona Trail Jamboree offers multiple options for rides that all end at Pistol Hill Road trailhead in the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson.
There are two shuttles for mountain bikers who want to ride south to north on the Arizona Trail. The 8 a.m. shuttle takes riders to the start of the 38-mile ride at Box Canyon Road. The 10 a.m. shuttle brings riders to Lakes Road for a 25-mile ride back to Pistol Hill Road. Sign up early to reserve a spot in the shuttle and download maps and gpx files: http://topofusion.com/jamboree.php .
Mountain bikers will enjoy the rolling scenic trail in the eastern foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains. The 38-mile ride begins at over 5,000 feet elevation and gradually descends to Pistol Hill Road at about 3,500 feet. The 25-mile ride starts at about 4,000 feet in elevation.
Other self-sufficient mountain bikers park at Pistol Hill Road and ride out and back, either north or south along the AZT. The AZT near Pistol Hill Road is suitable for beginners with a few rocky sections. People new to mountain biking can try just a few miles, then hang out and wait for the party to begin. Ultra endurance enthusiasts may want to start early and create their own epic out-and-back ride on the trail.
Chad Brown has hosted this fund-raiser for the Arizona Trail Association for the past four years, raising thousands of dollars each year. He also coordinates the Arizona Endurance Series that starts off on Feb. 1-2, 2013 with The Gila 100. This event takes advantage of new sections of the AZT in an epic 100-mile ride on from the Picket Post Trailhead to Oracle.
The Jamboree requires a donation of $35 to the Arizona Trail Association, giving riders a one-year membership to ATA. The funds are used for trail maintenance and building “up and over” metal ramps that allow mountain bikers to ride over barbed-wire fences, instead of stopping to open and close a gate.
Jamboree riders will take advantage of a few new “up and overs” on the AZT between Pistol Hill Road and Sahuarita Road.
The Arizona Trail was designated a National Scenic Trail in 2009. Construction has been coordinated by volunteers collaborating with land management agencies like the United States Forest Service, Arizona State Parks, Arizona State Land Department, and the United States Bureau of Land Management. In addition, private property owners and other conservation groups have been involved.
The Arizona Trail Association has information about trail segments near Tucson:
Santa Catalina Mountains
January is a great time to mountain bike on desert trails near Tucson, so check out the Arizona Trail during the Jamboree on January 12.