Tucson and the Old West Road Cycling Tour

Explore the Old West from Tucson to Tombstone on an incredible road bike tour

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When you feel like winter’s icy grip will never let go, reward yourself with a 4 day 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.

Why travel with AOA? – Find out more

 

2018 Trip Price: $1645 pp

2019 Trip Price: $1695 pp

+ $14 PP (Permits & Land Use Fees)*

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure.

4 days, 3 nights

Difficulty: Moderate/Advanced

Activity: Cycling, Lodging


This trip confirms with 2 guests!

 

Tucson and the Old West Cycling Tour

Price & Inclusions

2018 Trip Price- $1645 pp

2019 Trip Price- $1695 pp

+ $14 PP (Permits & Land Use Fees)*

  • Price is per person
  • Shared occupancy in all accommodations**
  • Do you have five minutes to save $25? Use the promo code 25for5 at checkout and get $25 per person off your trip price when you take 5 minutes to complete your guest profile and sign your waiver! Profiles and waivers are due no later than 1 week after booking to cash in on this promotion!
  • See our Promos & Discounts page for a list of multi-day trip promotions that may apply!

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

**Find out more about solo accommodations under the “Rentals & Add Ons” tab below.

 

Trip Price Includes

  • 3 nights quality lodging
  • Round-trip ground transportation from the Tucson host hotel
  • 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

Permit & Land Use Fees Include

  • Saguaro National Park entry and commercial fees
  • Sabino Canyon entry fees

Not Included

  • 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)
  • Long stem tubes
  • Bike shipping/building/packing/tuning*
  • Personal cycling kit
  • Day pack (available to rent from AOA)
  • Gratuities to AOA Guides

*Please see the “Rentals & Add Ons” tab below for a list of available bike and gear rentals and purchase options.*

Trip Details

Trip Rating (1 – 5)

Fitness – 3.5

Comfort – 4

Solitude – 3

Guest Participation – 1

Click here for an explanation of AOA’s trip ratings.

 

Where to Meet

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: 2 min to 12 max

MINIMUM AGE: 16+

 

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.

Rentals & Add Ons

SOLO ACCOMMODATIONS UPGRADE

$325 pp

Gear Rental

  • 30 to 40 liter day pack ($25 per pack)
  • Bike rental is available through AOA. See the bike rentals tab below.

Optional Additions

*A bike and helmet are not included with the cost of this trip.*

  • Bike building/packing/tuning ($125) when you ship to AOA – Find out more
  • Purchase: 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder ($35 per)

Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%)

 

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.

 

 

Trip Dates

Dates

2018 Dates

  • October 11-14
  • October 25-28
  • November 8-11
  • November 15-18
  • November 29- December 2
  • December 13-16

2019 Dates

  • January 10-13
  • January 24-27
  • January 31- February 3
  • February 14-17
  • February 21-24
  • February 28- March 3
  • March 14-17
  • March 28-31
  • April 4-7
  • April 11-14
  • April 18-21
  • October 10-13
  • October 24-27
  • November 7-10
  • November 14-17
  • November 28- December 1
  • December 12-15

To see all multi-day guided tours, visit our Adventure Tour Calendar.

Cancellation & Trip Policies

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.

This trip confirms with 2 guests. Grab a friend and your trip is guaranteed!

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.

 

Essential Eligibility Requirements

AOA’s goal is to provide challenging and meaningful experiences through guided and self-guided tours to unforgettable destinations. These criteria have been developed to help our guests identify the skills and abilities needed to successfully and fully participate in these tours. If you are unable to meet certain criteria, please contact us; we may be able to assist you with reasonable accommodation(s) unless it would change or otherwise risk the fundamental nature of the tour, would compromise your safety or the safety of other participants or guides, or would place an undue financial or administrative burden on AOA.

See the complete Essential Eligibility Requirements.

 

Travel Insurance

We recommend Travel Guard insurance.


 

Trip Itinerary

Overview

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!

DAY 1: MEET IN TUCSON – RIDE SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK

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. They flock to Tucson in the winter, so don’t get discouraged if a Pro Rider dances past you on the short but leg searingly steep climb over (in)famous Gates Pass. Aside from the killer view, your reward is a grin inducing descent into the outskirts of Tucson. The rest of the ride is super mellow as 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.

DAY 2: VISIT SABINO CANYON, 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. The Sabino Canyon portion is more of a sightseeing adventure cruise, but when we hit the National Park you will get to find out just what it feels like to have installed your bike on a roller coaster. This might be the one of the only roads in the US where the actually bikes pass all the cars! Many participants take a double lap and ride the loop twice just to experience it again!

Winter rains bring life to the desert and an incredible spring bloom where wildflowers fill the landscape with colors from across the spectrum. The remainder of this epic bike ride rolls 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. The owners of race-horse Secretariat own the Inn, but swear didn’t give the horse any of Lance’s stash.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 Canyon 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. The road surface alternates between Chamois Butter smooth and rough enough to make you wish you installed some 28’s. Don’t fret, the rough sections don’t last long. After a punchy climb and only a short distance from the US border with Mexico, you won’t believe the rich diversity of this landscape near the lake! 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: RIDE TO TOMBSTONE AND THE OK CORRAL

Today starts early with an epic (but optional) climb up a canyon into the 10,000-ft Huachuca Mtns followed by a fast and rolling journey across the valley. Squeeze those last watts out of your legs as you power into the most famous of wild west towns, Tombstone! Have some fun, where else can you ride your bike past cowboys having shoot outs in the street while they brag to you about their (very different) riding skills. Carefull about getting too sassy though, one of them might lasso you! The big finale 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

Note about itinerary changes: We do our best to operate each trip as closely as possible to the published itinerary, however there are sometimes forces outside of our control that could require us to make adjustments to the operations of a trip. These include but are not limited to weather, natural disasters, road closures, park closures, campsite availability, emergency guest illness or injury.

 

Check out this trip’s route

Click here to see the routes we bike in Southern Arizona on this trip.

 

Tips for Planning a trip to Southern Arizona

Looking to plan a road biking trip but not sure where to go? Read this blog to find out the best places for a road bike trip in the spring! 

While all of our road cycling tours have rider support, it’s still very important that you know the basics of bike maintenance before any ride. 

Before you rent or ride a bike, you might want to know what size you are. Here’s a blog on finding out your best bike fit.