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Thread: Tucson DH?

  1. #1
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    Tucson DH?

    I have a post on tucsonmtb.com, but more people seem to check this website. I am in Tucson for a couple weeks and was looking for a nice DH trail to hit. Anyone know of any good shutte runs I can test out my new bike on?

    Also, I am going to Pinetop this weekend and I'm trying to find some good trails up in that area as well. Anyone familiar with the area?

  2. #2
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    Tucson has no DH runs. However, we have plenty of AM. You have to "pay to play";
    and by "pay", I mean pedal up climbs. Climbs that I would not want to pedal on any bike
    that was more than about 34 lbs, max. Climbs that are most likely a PITA to push a
    heavy bike up.
    Last edited by Evil Patrick; 09-16-2009 at 08:47 AM.
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    That is kind of unfortunate. My bike is around 42lbs.. so I don't think I want to ride up with that

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    I don't think there is any climbing on Aspen Draw, but its a pretty short run. Other then that there will be pedaling involved in anything you ride in Tucson, but hay thats part of biking right they do have pedals on them for a reason and there not for just standing on.

    There is 6shooter in Globe which is 100miles away which is a really fun trail. I am sure if you do a search you will find the map or maybe someone who has it will be kind enough to post it.

  5. #5
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    Pinetop is just 30 minutes or so from Sunrise ski resort ("resort" is a real stretch). Anyhow. if they are still open they run the lifts for bikers/hikers on the weekends.

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    Sunrise closed on the 6th, so that's out. I may end up having to head down to Globe for 6shooter.

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    Milagrosa. Park at Molino Basin, and ride or walk up and over the ridge, down down down into that valley by redington ranch, then down down down into the neighborhood by avenida de suzenzu, in the far northeast part of town. A car at this point would be good, to avoid about a 13 mile road ride back to your car.
    Pretty technical.

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    I've heard that there is a pretty cool DH type trail coming down Mt Lemmon. It starts somewhere around a place called Prison Camp and follows a ridgeline down for the most part. Lots of drops passable going only one way... down! I heard about this ride a few years back, but haven't been there to check it out myself yet. Not sure if it's a "legal" trail or not. Ask around the local bike shops in Tuc son for more specifics. Good luck. Post up how ur rides go.
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    Prison camp is a black diamond downhill for sure. Very technical.

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    Prison camp, huh? Where would one have to drive up to in order to get to this trail? Sounds fun.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerodark
    Sunrise closed on the 6th, so that's out. I may end up having to head down to Globe for 6shooter.
    Globe would be good but it's a bit of a drive from Pinetop....2hrs,... maybe less???

    Anyway if you can swing it so you can make two runs down the Pinal's it would make the drive worth it that much more. 6shooter then Ice House Canyon. The ride back up takes a long time, maybe 14 miles and 30-40 minutes or something like that. It's about 90 minutes down on bike, less if you don't stop and mess around any. There is peddaling involved but nothing like the Mt. Lemmon trails that I've ridden.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerodark
    Prison camp, huh? Where would one have to drive up to in order to get to this trail? Sounds fun.
    Prison Camp is just a couple miles past the Forest Service pay station on Catalina Highway. You'll pass the pay station, pass Molino Basin and then you'll see a sign for Gordon Hirabayshi on the left. That's the formerly named Prison Camp. Assuming you guys talking about coming down the molino basin trail back towards Catalina Highway (this is also the Arizona Trail.. and bike friendly.)
    mike

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    Prison camp is such a better name than Gordon Hirabayshi!

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    According to google maps, from Tucson, take E Tanque Verde Rd to E Catalina HWY. Turn left on E Catalina HWY and go 11.8 mi to the trailhead. I would still check with the locals though. Trails are always more flowey when you ride em with someone who knows the trail ur first time down.
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  15. #15
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    I thought there was some sick runs down Greenie, but I'm from tempe, what do I know. I do know that sixshooter is sick! There is a bit of a HAB in the middle but the 15 minutes of pain is worth the 75 minutes of pleasure. Post up on the main thread to see if anyone wants to meet you up there and show you around. I'm sure there's lots of friendly phoenicians that would be willing to give you a guided tour if you had a shuttle truck running up that hill. Icehouse is sick and so is the AZ freighttrain Clockwork would be the man to talk to about that one. As for Pinetop, search the AZ forum for the mysterious candy mountain. Los burros has some shuttalable trails too. Google search white mountain trails and you should find your way to the trail site. Good luck finding some shred! If you are ever in Phoenix town, feel free to drop me a line for a tour!

  16. #16
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    "Prison Camp" is actually Molino Basin. Evidently, Prison Camp wasn't PC.

    It's not a DH run. There are no "sick drops". It's rideable both directions, though I
    wouldn't enjoy climbing it on anything bigger than an AM bike.

    Milagrosa is not a DH run. There are several climbs, beginning with the pretty demanding
    up-n-over the saddle of the AZ Trail, starting at Molino Campground. Then, there are two
    more (yet easier) climbs on the AZ Trail before you get to the Miligrosa split. Then, on
    Miligrosa, there are at least 3 climbs during the descent.


    Fair warning:

    OP is AM.
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  17. #17
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    In my opinion, anything with over 75% of DH could still be considered a DH trail. But thats me and I don't mind a little HAB with the big bike to get more DH. Plus pedaling a big bike makes your legs stronger and ballz bigger. It's like swinging a weighted baseball bat, when you hop on the little bike it feels like a feather Evil, sounds like you're trying to deter the OP from riding any trails in Tuscon. Heck send him out there and he'll figure it out like the rest of us. Maybe he'll come back with a few more chest hairs and some trail tattoos and a big smile

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPIDERS
    According to google maps, from Tucson, take E Tanque Verde Rd to E Catalina HWY. Turn left on E Catalina HWY and go 11.8 mi to the trailhead. I would still check with the locals though. Trails are always more flowey when you ride em with someone who knows the trail ur first time down.
    I am a Tucsonan and can show you around on Lemmon. When do you want to ride? I was thinking about going up there this weekend.

    Just a warning though, there is as much climbing riding up the mountain as there going down on Green-Bugs-Prison Camp-Molino-Milagrosa. I would say those trails lean more towards AM, as previously said.

    I have the GPX file of any ride on Lemmon too if you need it. If I had a 42 pound bike, I would do Aspen Draw or Molino-Milagrosa.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    "Prison Camp" is actually Molino Basin. Evidently, Prison Camp wasn't PC.
    Well, kind of. The Molino basin stop off Mount Lemmon Hwy is the stop before the Prison camp stop (Now the Gordon Hirabayshi or whatever). The Prison camp stop was named that because there was a prison camp there, and the ruins are still there, so I don't know if Prison camp is not PC, or if the PC issue is the fad of honoring people with funny names by naming things after them when those things already had perfectly good names....like Squaw Peak.
    But yeah, Prison camp is at the top of Molino basin, and the Molino basin campground is at the bottom. The ride from Prison camp down to Molino Basin campground is short but fun, and from there you can do the AZ trail to Milagrosa etc.
    Or you can go the other way from Prison camp (HIKE ONLY, BIKES NOT ALLOWED) mostly all downhill after the beginning part, and end up on Mt Lemmon highway about a mile in from where the highway starts going up hill from Tucson.
    Last edited by smilinsteve; 09-16-2009 at 02:45 PM.

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    If you want pure downhill and don't mind a dirt road you can do the Mt Lemmon fire road down from summer haven past the fire station and all the way down to Peppersauce campground, or farther down into Oracle where someone could pick you up.
    It's kind of rough and rutted, not like a smooth road. And you could decend several thousand feet of vertical.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Or you can go the other way from Prison camp mostly all downhill after the beginning part, and end up on Mt Lemmon highway about a mile in from where the highway starts going up hill from Tucson.
    Never heard of that trail! Is this what you were calling the black diamond DH a few posts above? Sounds very intriguing, but are you sure it's bike-legal and not on Wilderness land?

  22. #22
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    If he's talking about Soldier Trail, that would be fun DH.. but I believe it's in wilderness. Pops out about where it was mentioned.
    mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    Never heard of that trail! Is this what you were calling the black diamond DH a few posts above? Sounds very intriguing, but are you sure it's bike-legal and not on Wilderness land?
    It is Soldier and it is in the wilderness. I'd recommend a post deletion.

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    Globe is still your best bet for DH miles/climbing miles ratio. Bugs/Prison/Millie doesn't get any better in Tucson so def ride them just expect to do some hike a bike and plan for a long day. I don't think EP is trying to deter anyone from riding just being more realistic in comparing the trails to what the OP was looking for. Also Prison Camp is no where near a black diamond run and is actually a pretty mellow trail that can easily be ridden in either direction.
    Zero were you the dude at JJ's yesterday buying the full face?

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    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    In my opinion, anything with over 75% of DH could still be considered a DH trail. But thats me and I don't mind a little HAB with the big bike to get more DH. Plus pedaling a big bike makes your legs stronger and ballz bigger. It's like swinging a weighted baseball bat, when you hop on the little bike it feels like a feather Evil, sounds like you're trying to deter the OP from riding any trails in Tuscon. Heck send him out there and he'll figure it out like the rest of us. Maybe he'll come back with a few more chest hairs and some trail tattoos and a big smile
    Take the big bike out and pedal it. I take my DHer on most of my rides regardless if the is any uphill.........unless thats all it is then whats the point except bragging rights. If a trail is mostly downhill the big bike goes.

  26. #26
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    There are a few more spots for some dh/fr stuff that's kind of "secret". One of which is too hot as it is in the reddington area. the other is on Lemmon. Not getting into it on this forum though. Give me a shout. Might be able to squeeze away from work on Thursday to show ya. PM me. That said most of what everyone has said here is acutrate. Lots of climbing but fun.

  27. #27
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    [QUOTE=sikwoodbiker]I don't think there is any climbing on Aspen Draw, but its a pretty short run. Other then that there will be pedaling involved in anything you ride in Tucson, but hay thats part of biking right they do have pedals on them for a reason and there not for just standing on.

    Well said Vern.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    I don't think there is any climbing on Aspen Draw, but its a pretty short run.
    Every time I've ridden Aspen Draw, I had either a ~3 mile climb up Ski Run Rd or a direct
    climb up Aspen Draw. But I've seen others shuttle it. It really is short.

    But I wouldn't recommend Aspen Draw as a DH run just because there are usually lot's of
    hikers. Stopping/yielding to hikers can really put a damper on an otherwise satisfying DH
    run. And you really have to try to not scare the crap out of them, 'cause most of the hikers
    I've seen time and again on Aspen Draw are well past retirement age. Do you know CPR?


    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    Other then that there will be pedaling involved in anything you ride in Tucson, but hay thats part of biking right they do have pedals on them for a reason and there not for just standing on.
    Not to add fuel to a fire, but...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    Globe is still your best bet for DH miles/climbing miles ratio. Bugs/Prison/Millie doesn't get any better in Tucson so def ride them just expect to do some hike a bike and plan for a long day. I don't think EP is trying to deter anyone from riding just being more realistic in comparing the trails to what the OP was looking for. Also Prison Camp is no where near a black diamond run and is actually a pretty mellow trail that can easily be ridden in either direction.
    Zero were you the dude at JJ's yesterday buying the full face?
    Yep, that was me. I'm going to end up getting myself killed looking for what I'm looking for, but it's all for fun and a good adrenaline rush. I don't have a problem with trails that have some hike a bike sections... hell, I would probably try to ride them. Stronger legs and more endurance for when I go back to Korea and get back on my XC bike. I just want to have some fun while I'm visiting

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    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    Also Prison Camp is no where near a black diamond run and is actually a pretty mellow trail that can easily be ridden in either direction.
    You are a superstud, or we are talking about different trails. The trail from the bottom of Catalina highway up to prison camp, is so steep and rocky at the start it is a difficult hike up, let alone bike, (AND BIKES AREN'T ALLOWED on this part anyway).
    Prison camp to Molino Basin is a nice but short trail, ridable in both directions.
    Last edited by smilinsteve; 09-16-2009 at 04:09 PM.

  31. #31
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    As others have pointed out, the trail you speak of crosses through Wilderness and is off limits to bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    The trail from the bottom of Catalina highway up to prison camp, is so steep and rocky at the start it is a difficult hike up, let alone bike.
    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    You are a superstud, or we are talking about different trails. The trail from the [deleted], is so steep and rocky at the start it is a difficult hike up, let alone bike.
    Prison camp to Molino Basin is a nice but short trail, ridable in both directions.
    The trail you mentioned up to prison camp is
    not a legal MTB trail,
    in the wilderness area,
    off-limits to bikes,

    and for those reasons,
    not something that should be recommended
    on an open, public forum.


    As suggested in an earlier, wise response. You should edit your posts and delete this
    information.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    You are a superstud, or we are talking about different trails. The trail from the bottom of Catalina highway up to prison camp, is so steep and rocky at the start it is a difficult hike up, let alone bike.
    Prison camp to Molino Basin is a nice but short trail, ridable in both directions.
    I am talking about the section on the left side of the highway if your headed up then can continue on to bugs. I was always under the impression that this is prison camp and the section on the right headed up the steep stuff was molino that you took to get to millie.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    I am talking about the section on the left side of the highway if your headed up then can continue on to bugs. I was always under the impression that this is prison camp and the section on the right headed up the steep stuff was molino that you took to get to millie.
    Vern,

    When you're heading up Catalina Hwy and you get to the Molino Basin Camp Ground (MBCG),
    the trail on the right (nasty climb to the saddle) is actually part of the AZ Trail. I always
    (erroneously) thought that was Molino too. Nope.

    And when you pull in to the MBCG, the trail up the left (West side) of Catalina Hwy that
    connects with Gordon Hirobayshai is actually Molino Basin. That used to be called
    Prison Camp.

    And if you stay on the road and head on up to Gordon Hirobayshai, the actual Prison
    Camp was on the right (East) side of Catalina Hwy -- not in the GH Horse Corral
    area. And there are no ruins/remnants left.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    Vern,

    When you're heading up Catalina Hwy and you get to the Molino Basin Camp Ground (MBCG),
    the trail on the right (nasty climb to the saddle) is actually part of the AZ Trail. I always
    (erroneously) thought that was Molino too. Nope.

    And when you pull in to the MBCG, the trail up the left (West side) of Catalina Hwy that
    connects with Gordon Hirobayshai is actually Molino Basin. That used to be called
    Prison Camp.

    And if you stay on the road and head on up to Gordon Hirobayshai, the actual Prison
    Camp was on the right (East) side of Catalina Hwy -- not in the GH Horse Corral
    area. And there are no ruins/remnants left.
    OOH thanks EP.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    And there are no ruins/remnants left.
    There were about 3 years ago (last time I walked my dogs up there). Did they clean that out? I can't imagine why they would.

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvlako
    There are a few more spots for some dh/fr stuff that's kind of "secret". One of which is too hot as it is in the reddington area. the other is on Lemmon. Not getting into it on this forum though. Give me a shout. Might be able to squeeze away from work on Thursday to show ya. PM me. That said most of what everyone has said here is acutrate. Lots of climbing but fun.
    I heard the FS closed the secret DH trail on Lemmon a few weeks ago because it was gettin to much love on the interwebernets.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    And there are no ruins/remnants left.
    Here is a picture of some of the ruins that aren't there, evil genius.


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    The trail you mentioned up to prison camp is
    not a legal MTB trail,
    in the wilderness area,
    off-limits to bikes,

    and for those reasons,
    not something that should be recommended
    on an open, public forum.


    As suggested in an earlier, wise response. You should edit your posts and delete this
    information.
    You don't need to scream evil boy. I think the problem is more of a misunderstanding of which trail is being referred to as Prison camp (vs. Molino Basin/ AZ trail). I'm not the one who brought up prison camp originally, but I did add a note by my post. Thanks.

  40. #40
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    Let me chime in here on some trail names.

    The AZT overlaps existing trail names, so a trail could be called the AZT and Molino. The huge climb up is still called Molino, the trail that we ride down from GH is called Prison Camp still, both are in fact part of the AZT and still retain their names.

    here is a good resource for trails on Lemmon.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sikwoodbiker
    I heard the FS closed the secret DH trail on Lemmon a few weeks ago because it was gettin to much love on the interwebernets.
    I heard it was torn down too.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by azepicriderandrunner
    Let me chime in here on some trail names.

    The AZT overlaps existing trail names, so a trail could be called the AZT and Molino. The huge climb up is still called Molino, the trail that we ride down from GH is called Prison Camp still, both are in fact part of the AZT and still retain their names.

    here is a good resource for trails on Lemmon.
    yea, through that section the AZT hits Bellota Trail #15 (that goes from Reddington to the Molino campground, past the Bellota Ranch), Molino Basin #11 and then the Sycamore Reservoir trail #39, which goes down to the res created to hold water for the prison camp. The dam is still there too, but the water there is just plain ol' nasty. Those three sections are bike friendly, well the reservoir trail is up to Shreave Saddle, which is the start of the designated wilderness. It can be confusing, which is why I'd asked if it was Soldier that was being referred to (Soldier takes a left off of Sycamore after the Prison Camp campgrounds and goes down to Catalina Highway before Babad Do'ag)
    mike

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    You don't need to scream evil boy.
    Truth of the matter is that you weren't paying attention until I went to a larger font. So, I
    guess i did have to "scream".



    Thanks for toning it down.



    BTW - it's "evil sir" to you. I'll bet dollars to donuts I'm older than your father.
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  44. #44
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    BTW - it's "evil sir" to you. I'll bet dollars to donuts I'm older than your father.
    My dad is 76. If you are older than him and still doing rides like the AZ trail and milagrosa, I'm impressed!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    My dad is 76. If you are older than him and still doing rides like the AZ trail and milagrosa, I'm impressed!
    Well, looks like you got dollars and I got donuts.



    Unless your dad was a stud after his AARP membership kicked in, then you and I are
    probably closer in age than either of us would find comfortable.

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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epicrider
    As others have pointed out, the trail you speak of crosses through Wilderness and is off limits to bikes.

    Are you 100% sure that all the trails you post on your maps are 100% legal and open to bikes?

  47. #47
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    The Soldier trail isn't on those maps and it appears that there was simply some confusion over which trail was which. The wilderness area is west of Shreave Saddle and south of Sycamore Res trail.
    mike

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