Explore the Old West from Tucson to Tombstone on an incredible road bike tour
When you feel like winter’s icy grip will never let go, reward yourself with a cycling trip to Southern Arizona where the sun-warmed roads wind past towering cacti and jagged mountains. You will be amazed at the sight of the mighty saguaro cactus, lush green vineyards, sparkling lakes, and snow-frosted peaks soaring to 10,000 ft, known in these parts as the Sky Islands.
This is the famous wild west country of Tombstone, but today the climate is both bike friendly and hospitable. Our cycling trip begins in Tucson, a hotspot for cyclists from around the world. The first rides of the trip will explore the amazing beauty of Saguaro National Park before we head south to bike through Sonoita wine country, approaching the far reaches of Arizona’s southern border and finishing in the most famous town of the Old West – Tombstone!
Southern Arizona may be known for it’s wild west history, but its lesser-known claim to fame is in its richly natural landscape, boasting some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in all of North America. The wide open country roads and warm sunshine call out to cyclists – come explore!
Length: 4 days, 3 nights
You May Also Like: Bryce, Zion and Escalante Cycling, Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hike, Haute Route Rockies Challenge
Tucson and the Old West Tour details
Price & Inclusions
Price – $1,595
per person, shared occupancy in all accommodations
*Find out more about solo accommodations under the upgrades tab below.
START: 10:00 am on Day 1. Meet your guide in the lobby of the Arizona Inn in Tucson, AZ (CLICK HERE for map).
END: 4:00pm on Day 4. Drop-off at the Tucson airport or the Arizona Inn.
*Optional complimentary pick-up and drop-off in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, inquire for details.
GUESTS: 4 min to 12 max
- 3 nights quality lodging
- Round-trip ground transportation from the Tucson host hotel
- All park entry fees and permits
- Meals starting lunch Day 1 through lunch Day 4 except dinner Day 2
- Water and snacks
- Wine tasting in Sonoita
- Rider support/aid stations during rides
- Rider cue sheets, GPX files in advance (upon request)
- Professional Wilderness First Responder certified guide/mechanic
NOT INCLUDED IN COST:
- Personal insurance and expenses
- Air transportation to and from Tucson
- Pre- and post-trip lodging
- Breakfast Day 1, dinner Days 2 and 4
- Alcohol and related gratuities
- Bike and helmet (available to rent from AOA)
- Bike shipping/building/packing/tuning*
- Personal cycling kit
- Optional gratuities to AOA guides
*Please see the “Upgrades & Additions” tab below for a list of available bike and gear rentals and purchase options.*
Reservations, Payments and Cancellation
AOA’s cycling tours are very popular and advanced planning is often necessary. We recommend making your reservations at least 3 to 5 months in advance. We can accommodate last-minute bookings provided space is available, so please call our office to check. Each trip requires a minimum number of participants for departure. Arizona Outback Adventures (AOA) reserves the right to cancel scheduled trips that do not meet minimum sign-up requirements (usually 4 guests).
We strongly recommend that you purchase “travel insurance.” This is a valuable tool that will protect your trip investment.
For more details please see our comprehensive Trip Policies and Payments page.
Upgrades & Additions
SOLO ACCOMMODATIONS UPGRADE
$325 per person
- 30 to 40 liter day pack ($35 per pack)
- Bike rental is available through AOA. See the bike rentals tab below.
*A bike and helmet are not included with the cost of this trip.*
- Purchase: 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder ($35 per)
- Ship your bike to AOA through BikeFlights.com – cost varies
- Bike building/packing/tuning ($125) when you ship to AOA – Find out more
- Bikes should be properly working and recently tuned before packing. If extra work is needed beyond standard assembly and fine tuning, you will be notified of any costs and parts needed. – Find out more
Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%)
- January 16-19
- February 20-23
- March 6-9
- March 20-23
To see all multi-day guided tours, visit our Adventure Tour Calendar.
Bike Rental Options
This trip does not include a rental bike. AOA offers rental road bikes in various performance levels. Each road bike rental includes a helmet and flat repair kit, and can be set up to your basic fit requirements. You are welcome to bring your own pedals and saddle to use with our rental bikes.
Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%).
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN TUCSON – SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK WEST AND SONORAN DESERT MUSEUM
10:00 AM – Meet your guides and fellow cyclists at the Arizona Inn and transfer by van to Saguaro National Park. Upon reaching the park, we will get all bikes dialed in and begin today’s ride. This route will warm up your legs and lungs to the dry Arizona air while coursing through the western half of Saguaro National Park, passing notable icons like the Old Tucson Studios and the world famous Sonoran Desert Museum. A steep climb will reward you with a relaxing descent into the outskirts of Tucson, then we wind our way to the Santa Cruz River and link up with “The Loop,” one of the longest non-motorized urban cycling paths in the country. According to the League of American Bicyclists, “The Loop is a must ride for visitors and residents alike.” In a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community like Tucson, that recommendation carries quite a bit of weight. After reaching our hotel, we will conclude the day with a classic Southwest-style meal.
- Cycling: 38 Miles, +1500 ft elevation
- Meals: Breakfast on own, lunch and dinner included
- Lodging: Comfort Suites at Sabino Canyon
DAY 2: VISIT SABINO CANYON AND TRAVEL TO SONOITA WINE COUNTRY
Rise early and bike right from the hotel toward the Santa Catalina Mountain range into Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. The desert foothills and rocky gorges of the Santa Catalina Mountains are marvelously intricate yet accessible. The soaring mountains, deep canyons, and unique flora and fauna found here draw over a million visitors to Sabino Canyon each year. After loosening up, our ride will head through the eastern side of Saguaro National Park, past Colossal Cave, and through iconic Sonoran Desert scenery. Winter rains bring life to the desert and an incredible spring bloom where wildflowers fill the landscape with colors from across the spectrum. This stunning bike ride winds along the foothills of the Rincon Mountains before climbing steadily into the rolling grassland hills of Arizona’s wine region. Ride the entire distance to tonight’s hotel, or hop in the van and enjoy the scenery while resting your legs. Tonight’s accommodations will be a nice but simple inn, as this is truly a ‘one-horse’ town. Dinner is on your own tonight in the charming town of Patagonia!
- Cycling: 48-85 miles, +3,200-5,900 ft elevation
- Meals: Breakfast at hotel, picnic lunch on the ride, dinner on own.
- Lodging: Sonoita Inn
DAY 3: EXPLORE WINE COUNTRY AND PARKER LAKE
Today we ride from Sonoita to Parker Lake with optional stops at some of the wineries in the area. Though not as well-known as other winemaking regions, Arizona is home to a blossoming wine industry that boasts many world-class wines. The route to Parker Lake is full of quiet roads, lush vineyards, big miles, and imposing mountains, all of which make this an epic day of riding. We should have the roads mostly to ourselves on this ride, allowing you to fully soak in the peace and beauty of the surrounding landscape as you pass through largely undisturbed foothills of the sky island peaks. Only a short distance from the US border with Mexico, you won’t believe the rich diversity of this landscape! Returning to Sonoita tonight you have some free time before a fun dinner at a western-themed chophouse right next door.
- Cycling: 29-62 miles, +2,400-4,200 ft elevation
- Meals: All meals included
- Lodging: Sonoita Inn
DAY 4: TOMBSTONE AND THE OK CORRAL
Today starts early so we can enjoy a nice 50 mile ride to the most famous of wild west towns, Tombstone! Our route will take us south toward Fort Huachuca, skirting Sierra Vista, and then taking a long, lightly traveled road into Tombstone. The big finish in Tombstone will include a lunch and cerveza at Big-nosed Kate’s near the historic OK Corral. This afternoon we say our farewells to each other and to this culturally-rich area. Your guide will drop you off at the Arizona Inn or the Tucson International Airport (TUS) by 4:00pm this afternoon.
- Cycling: 54 miles, +2,800 ft elevation
- Meals: Breakfast at hotel, picnic lunch on the ride, dinner on own.
- Lodging: On your own tonight
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When’s the best time to go on this trip?
A: This trip is available from November 1- April 15. While Arizona’s sun shines year round, the best time to go on this trip is in March for the spring bloom and longer days. January will be the coldest month with shorter days.
Q: What are the rides like and how do I train for the trip?
A: This tour is 100% road riding, challenging and meant for stronger road cyclists looking to have long days in the saddle and spend time in exploring beautiful Arizona countryside with mild winter temperatures and warm spring weather. All rides are optional, but to fully enjoy this trip you should build up to riding 40-50 miles each day for 4 days with significant elevation change. We provide more specific instruction for preparation in your trip planner after you book your cycling trip with AOA.
Q: What sort of accommodations are included on this trip?
A: This is a hotel-based trip with accommodations included at the Comfort Suites at Sabino Canyon and the Sonoita Inn. All accommodations are double-occupancy unless you purchase an upgrade to solo accommodations. Our hotels are mid-range and comfortable. We recommend the Arizona Inn in Tucson to stay at before or after your trip with us.
Check out this trip’s route
See the route on Ride with GPS here.