The Tortolitas

Catalina, Arizona

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
1 Review
4 out of 5
The ride through the Tortolitas goes entirely through State Trust holdings. There are a few private acres here and there in the Tortolitas, generally ranches– both abandoned and operating– but they’re not well documented. This ride climbs to the top of a saddle overlooking several private areas; for those wanting to go down the other side of the saddle and explore the inner reaches of the mountain range, be aware that parts of the trail may cross private property. Look for and respect “No Trespassing” signs, especially at cattleguard crossings. The best time to enjoy this seldom-visited range is fall through spring; the summertime temperatures are no better here than in downtown Tucson. Expect summer temperatures to sit in the high 90s, and consistently break 100 degrees. From the top of the climb that marks the halfway point of this ride, cyclists can see many different mountain ranges rising from the flat desert. Look for the Picacho Mountains to the northwest, the Tortilla Mountains to the north, the Galiuro Mountains to the northeast, the Silver Bell Mountains to the west, and of course the mighty Santa Catalinas to the southwest. Trail Surface: Doubletrack.

The Tortolitas Professional Review and Guide

"The ride through the Tortolitas goes entirely through State Trust holdings. There are a few private acres here and there in the Tortolitas, generally ranches– both abandoned and operating– but they’re not well documented. This ride climbs to the top of a saddle overlooking several private areas; for those wanting to go down the other side of the saddle and explore the inner reaches of the mountain range, be aware that parts of the trail may cross private property. Look for and respect “No Trespassing” signs, especially at cattleguard crossings.

The best time to enjoy this seldom-visited range is fall through spring; the summertime temperatures are no better here than in downtown Tucson. Expect summer temperatures to sit in the high 90s, and consistently break 100 degrees. From the top of the climb that marks the halfway point of this ride, cyclists can see many different mountain ranges rising from the flat desert. Look for the Picacho Mountains to the northwest, the Tortilla Mountains to the north, the Galiuro Mountains to the northeast, the Silver Bell Mountains to the west, and of course the mighty Santa Catalinas to the southwest. Trail Surface: Doubletrack."

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Catalina
Distance: 8.6
Elevation Gain: 948 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Technical Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: Year-round; very hot in summer
Trailhead Elevation: 3,500 feet
Top Elevation: 4,100 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Arizona State Land Department
Local Maps: USGS Tortolita Mountains, Oracle Junction
Driving Directions: Directions to The Tortolitas

Recent Trail Reviews

11/20/2011
0

I've been here several times and the network has grown far beyond the scope of this guide. There's easily 20+ miles of trail above Dove Mountain and accessable from there and Oro Valley. Many of the trails are rocky tech rides. Wild Mustang has a gentler flow. Expect to work on all the trails. Hit Tortolita Preserve below the mountain for a easier set of trails. Saguaro forest, Sonoran desert.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018