Oracle Control Road

Oracle, Arizona

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3 Reviews
4 out of 5
The Oracle Control Road provides alternative access to the paved Catalina Highway, which climbs up Mt. Lemmon from Tucson. The graded dirt road travels the north side of the mountain and gives access to other 4WD trails, campsites, and hiking trails. At the highest elevations of the trail, on Mt. Lemmon, travelers pass through oak and pine forests. The trail gradually descends, giving great views of Marble Peak and further down the San Pedro River Valley with the San Manuel Copper Mine visible in front of the Galiuro Mountains. The trail surface is rough enough that a highclearance vehicle is preferred as the trail follows a shelf road down toward Oracle. The shelf road is wide enough for a single vehicle with plenty of passing places. Special Attractions: Gently sloping trail offers views of the San Pedro River Valley and Galiuro Mountains; Alternative access to the trails on the east side of the Santa Catalina Mountains. High-clearance vehicles are preferred, but not necessary. This trail is dirt roads, but may have rocks, grades, water crossings, or ruts that make clearance a concern in a normal passenger vehicle. The trail is fairly wide, so that passing is possible at almost any point along the trail. Mud is not a concern under normal weather conditions.

Oracle Control Road Professional Review and Guide

"The Oracle Control Road provides alternative access to the paved Catalina Highway, which climbs up Mt. Lemmon from Tucson. The graded dirt road travels the north side of the mountain and gives access to other 4WD trails, campsites, and hiking trails. At the highest elevations of the trail, on Mt. Lemmon, travelers pass through oak and pine forests. The trail gradually descends, giving great views of Marble Peak and further down the San Pedro River Valley with the San Manuel Copper Mine visible in front of the Galiuro Mountains. The trail surface is rough enough that a highclearance vehicle is preferred as the trail follows a shelf road down toward Oracle. The shelf road is wide enough for a single vehicle with plenty of passing places.

Special Attractions: Gently sloping trail offers views of the San Pedro River Valley and Galiuro Mountains; Alternative access to the trails on the east side of the Santa Catalina Mountains. High-clearance vehicles are preferred, but not necessary. This trail is dirt roads, but may have rocks, grades, water crossings, or ruts that make clearance a concern in a normal passenger vehicle. The trail is fairly wide, so that passing is possible at almost any point along the trail. Mud is not a concern under normal weather conditions."

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Oracle
Distance: 26.9
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 2.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 4,500 feet
Top Elevation: 7,900 feet
Local Contacts: Coronado National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Mt. Lemmon, Mt. Bigelow, Campo Bonito, Oracle, Tucson, Mammoth; BLM Globe, Mesa, Casa Grande, Mammoth; and others
Driving Directions: Directions to Oracle Control Road

Recent Trail Reviews

4/1/2009
0

This drive is very easy and has lots of great views and other cool things. Theres 4 different mines along this trail, one vast cave (Peppersauce Cave) and 2 main turn offs that I've seen so far that lead to other places. One up to Rice Peak which is a more difficult 4x4 trail, and another which meets up with Black Hills Mine road. I have yet to travel it but judging by the satellite photos, it looks pretty cool. There are lots of livestock along the Oracle Control Road to include cattle and horses so do keep an eye out. There are also a few corners to be wary of as there are often dirt bikes, quads, and other vehicles which whip around there. All in all, there is definitely LOTS to explore along this trail/road. Ive often seen cars drive along here too so not much clearance at all is needed.


4/24/2008
0

A very do-able trail in a stock suv or truck. Toward the end of our assent we met a PT Cruiser starting down the mountain; I'm sure if he took it slow he made it to the lower end with little problem. The views were great and we enjoyed a pleasant lunch at the ski area near the top.


10/19/2007
0

This is an extremely beautiful road. As far as shelf roads go, this is very wide and easy to negotiate. I did it in my '07 Toyota FJ Cruiser and didn't find it necessary to shift out of 2WD. In a few weeks I plan to take some people up it in a Honda CR-V and don't anticipate any problems. Bottom line - anything with more clearance than a car is OK. The views are dramatic and breathtaking. Also, it's interesting to see the vegetation and terrain change with the altitude. Of course you can see the same changes by driving the Mt. Lemon highway on the South side of the range, but the backway (aka Oracle Control Road) is a vastly more rewarding experience. Watch out for cows!!



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May 2018