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  1. #1
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    need help planning a ride on Mt Lemmon!

    Hello everyone,
    I am going to be in Tucson on Aug 9-14. I am trying to plan out some shuttle rides from the top of Mt. lemon to the bottom. I am having trouble finding info on any trails and or maps of these trails. I was wondering if anyone can direct me to maps/guides of Mt. Lemmon and maybe some shuttle services. Looking for more gravity based DH/AM type riding. i don't mind climbing a little but not looking for loops with lots of elevation gain. Any info would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    No Clue Crew
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    Don't do this...

    Nightmare on Lemmon...

    From what I've heard pretty much all the trails on the way down Lemmon have fairly good shares of climbing and descending. Nothing that's all down although when you start that high you certainly are going mostly down. All I know is from the Fat Tire book you can find at any bike store.

    There may be some Tucsonians chiming in here but they'll likely point you to tucsonmtb.com.

    I've heard reports that the mountain is closed due to fire restrictions. Don't know if that was true and still in effect or false...

  3. #3
    EDR
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    Greenie down. Starting from the San Pedro lot at +7k feet. The ride is one of the best in the state but for my taste it will be waaay too hot at the bottom for an August ride.

    http://singletrack.us/gallery/displa...album=59&pos=1

    Take a look at Dale's maps, and btw, this can be an all day adventure so water refill at Millie would be suggested...you'll have to stash some on the way up for refill on the way down. It's gonna be HOT. If you're looking for little climbing you'll wish you went somewhere else, haha. It's a long way down, but with a heavy dose of legging it. I was spent the two times I've done it, and that was in spring when temps at the top were in the 50's.....

    One saving grace...if you get down to La Millagrosa and you're feeling the heat and pretty much done, do not continue on Millie. You can bail on the highway at 35mph all the way back down to your car at that point

    Locals will have more/better advice. That's just my .02 cents being a Phoenician.

  4. #4
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    So are you planning a Lemon Party ?

  5. #5
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    Planning on doing a Lemmon Drop in Aug. is not recommended, unless you start at midnight. It's a great ride, but better done in the late fall through spring. If I remember right, it's something like 34mi, with 12K of down, but 4K of up. There is more than just a little HAB and climbing. By the time you hit the HAB for Bugs Spring it's gonna be blazin' hot. The last half of Bugs Spring all the way to the bottom of Miligrosa are exposed with no shade. I'd stick to the top of the mountain. There is Aspen Draw which is popular to shuttle, but gets really crowded on the weekends. Secret and 1918 are fun and flowy. Sunset is chunky w/ a few rocky exposure lines. Check out SDMB.org and TucsonMTB.com for TH's and descriptions.

  6. #6
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    big0mike...THAT-IS-AWESOME!!!!! hahahaha love that line "before im excommunicated as a friend" .. haha, had a similar event happen up in Cave Creek. I hated myself....
    ...Dying is the easy part, its living that's the challenge...

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  7. #7
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    Surely it's not impossible to do the full Lemon Drop in August. But you would likely have to start late in the day so as to hit the Bugs climb after the sun drops below the ridge. And then use lights to finish Millie this would mean the chance of seeing snakes goes up considerably.

    The down side to all of the trails on Mt. Lemon is that they are all pretty short. The Lemon Drop being a connection of a bunch of trails. The argument has been made that the mountain needs a better trail system. The problems with that are many fold, the first one being that the area above 7000 feet isn't that big, and then you have all of the enviro issues.

    Option for summer shuttles, Aspen Draw (by itself the ST is only 1.3 miles 2 miles and your done), Butterfly to Crystal Springs is a little longer (shuttle is on dirt control road), Green Bugs less then 8 miles but well worth the shuttle (it will be hot at the bottom).
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the info guys. The maps are great! I had trouble finding anything. I have been to Tuscon in the summer before and know how ridiculously hot it gets. I guess I was hopping a Mt Lemmon ride would get me out of the heat. I knew it was going to be hot at the bottom but hoping it was mostly downhill at the bottom and i could just cruise the bottom. Looks like there is a nice climb after Molino Basin. So what elevation should I not go under? Would the Green Mountain and Bug spring be alright or is it going to be over 100 on Bug Spring? Is it even worth bringing my bike down this time of year? I am surprised there is not an all downhill trail following the ravines. Thanks for all the info guys.

    Cheers,

  9. #9
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    I would say it's worth bringing the bike just don't think you are going to do a full day DH ride top to bottom.

    But people do Green, Bugs and Prison Camp down to Molino all summer. It will be a bit hot on the start of Bugs HAB but after that it's mostly all down. PC to Molino has a little bit of climbing and some riders skip it but it's fun and worth doing.

    There's a lot of fun stuff up there but like I said earlier you have to piece it together. I have some more ideas after riding up there yesterday. I'll try and work on some maps and post up latter.

    Tim

    Quote Originally Posted by casrec View Post
    I am surprised there is not an all downhill trail following the ravines.

    Cheers,
    If there is such a trail on the South side of the mountain dropping into Town then it's in the Wilderness, unfortunately.

    There is the CDO, Canada Del Oro Trail it does follow the drainage for a good fair bit and is mostly all DH. But it's off of the WNW side and ends on the C-gap road. Then you still have to climb back up to the Gap then its all down. But then you will find yourself in the town of Catalina on the far NW side of town. There's really only one guy who does this shuttle it's more then a 2 hour drive one way.
    Last edited by AZTtripper; 07-16-2011 at 01:38 PM.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZTtripper View Post
    I would say it's worth bringing the bike just don't think you are going to do a full day DH ride top to bottom.

    But people do Green, Bugs and Prison Camp down to Molino all summer. It will be a bit hot on the start of Bugs HAB but after that it's mostly all down. PC to Molino has a little bit of climbing and some riders skip it but it's fun and worth doing.

    There's a lot of fun stuff up there but like I said earlier you have to piece it together. I have some more ideas after riding up there yesterday. I'll try and work on some maps and post up latter.

    Tim



    If there is such a trail on the South side of the mountain dropping into Town then it's in the Wilderness, unfortunately.

    There is the CDO, Canada Del Oro Trail it does follow the drainage for a good fair bit and is mostly all DH. But it's off of the WNW side and ends on the C-gap road. Then you still have to climb back up to the Gap then its all down. But then you will find yourself in the town of Catalina on the far NW side of town. There's really only one guy who does this shuttle it's more then a 2 hour drive one way.
    Thanks for the info Tim! Maps would be awesome if you could find the time. I think I will bring the bike and I have people to shuttle me around. I am going there for my sister in law's wedding and I think even some short rides to escape that chaos would be nice. Thanks again!
    Last edited by casrec; 07-16-2011 at 02:03 PM.

  11. #11
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    Here's a simple map

    First off I would say that at some point you should do Aspen Draw http://www.sdmb.org/trails/aspen-draw/ it's short but it's the only full DH run and is a favorite. Lots of hiker traffic tho best done on a weekday.

    And Green, Bugs, Prison Camp for sure.

    If you still have time want more then the other option include. Sunset is very short but has some good riding. There is one spot that has a big slab below it's been ridden but the price for failure is quite high. The shuttle starts on the highway near the Lower B-Fly TH and ends at Marshall Gulch below Summerhaven. MG is a very popular picnic spot driver may have a hard time finding parking but will have a nice place to wait.

    Lower B-Fly to Crystal Springs Trail. This section of B-Fly is all DH the FS reworked it last year and created A-lines around all of the bedrock. From what I have heard it is now a much easier ride then it used to be. But the original lines are still there if you want to hit them.

    The other end of B-Fly starts/ends on the Bigelow trail. You can ride/HAB up from Palisades or the way I did the map drive to the top of Bigelow for an all DH start. Upper B-Fly is mostly DH but has a bit of climbing and a .5 mile HAB. However you do it the only way to finish B-Fly is to do Crystal Spring. CS is more of a traverse then a DH but there is some good tech and not all of the up is HAB. Your driver will need to go down the control road 3 miles there are parking spaces on the left there is a small metal sign where the trail pops out.

    Post up at http://www.tucsonmtb.com/ when you get to town there are rides going on all of the time.

    Tim
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  12. #12
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    I'd say all can be ridden except for Millie in the summer. For Bugs, it's best to start as early as possible as the first HAB has no cover and takes about 15min., Green Mtn. has cover but there's some good climbing/HAB in the middle. So the earlier you start on those two the better. Green-Bugs is a fantastic ride. The rest of the trails higher on the mtn. are short, but can be linked together to make a great ride. Like Tim said check out TucsonMTB.com and post up or just join one of the weekend rides, we're a pretty friendly bunch.

  13. #13
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    Hey thanks for all the great info guys. I am definitely going to do GM, BS and PC. I would love to do La Milagrosa for a full 20 mile ride and it looks like a fun long decent, but I think will be a bit to hot. Unfortunately I am not going to have a ton of time for riding with the wedding and all, so I was looking for something I could drive up and ride down in about 3-4 hours and It looks like Green, Bug and Prison can be done in a couple. One last question I promise, If I hit the trail around 5:00pm do you guys think La Milagrosa would be too hot while the sun is going down and what time does all the light fade? it stays light til about 930 up here. Or should I hit the trail around 700am? Thanks again!

  14. #14
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    Sunrise/set chart http://www.timeanddate.com/worldcloc...&afl=-11&day=1

    Looking at times from when we did the Lemmon Drop last year. Moving time on G/B 2.5 and 2 more for Millie.

    So sunset at 7 dark at 730 that puts your start time at say 3.

    I don't get up there enough to know if the Bugs HAB would be cooling off at 430 or still baking in the sun. Maybe Duncan/Deep6 will know I think he goes up after work sometimes.

    Sunrise at 6 starting at say 630 finish by 1030 you'll be cooking at the end but it mostly DH by then should be doable.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

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