Mountain Bike the Desperado Loop



3.6 miles

Elevation Gain

231 ft

Route Type


Added by Josiah Roe

Awesome views of the Tucson Mountains, the Santa Catalina Mountains, the City of Tucson, and of course giant Saguaro cacti.

The Desperado Loop in the Sweetwater Preserve is a great introductory mountain biking loop that is perfect for beginners, yet the Loop can also be tied into the larger Sweetwater Trail System for more advanced riders.

Beginning from the parking lot, the Desperado Trail loop quickly rises to a ridge system that looks out over the alluvial plain on which the city of Tucson is built, and then leads into a fantastic and expansive grove of Saguaro cacti before returning back to the trailhead. There are a few moderator technical spots on the trail but nothing that a beginner cannot handle. More experienced riders will enjoy the downhill return to the trailhead.

To get to the trailhead/parking lot, take El Camino Del Cerro west from I-10 and then go south on North Tortolita until it dead ends in the parking lot.

Be sure to bring water and sunscreen, particularly during the warmer months.

For guided trips and/or bike rentals, Home Grown Rentals provides both throughout the entire Sweetwater Preserve system.

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Known for

Mountain Biking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly



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