Picture yourself as a trailblazer embarking on a daring journey across a rugged and awe-inspiring landscape. That's the kind of adventure that awaits you on the Golder Ranch. It's a beloved mountain biking trail in the heart of Tucson, Arizona. Covering a length of 30.6 km and boasting an elevation gain of 583 meters, this intermediate trail will push you to your limits and test your skills in ways you never imagined. But fear not, for the rewards of this journey are plentiful.
In this review, we'll guide you through the unique features and challenges of the 50-year Trail / Golder Ranch. We'll also provide insider tips to ensure you make the most of your mountain biking adventure.
The 50-year Trail starts at the trailhead located at Golder Ranch Road and ends at the Catalina State Park Trailhead. So, this isn't a loop trail.
The trail offers a challenging ride with technical sections, rocky terrain, and steep climbs. The trail is a network of singletracks, and the surface varies from hard-packed dirt to loose rocks and sand.
The trail configuration is a point-to-point route, meaning riders will end up in a different location than where they started. This could be inconvenient for those who need to return to their starting point. However, it's an excellent opportunity for those who want to explore new areas.
During the fall, the trail has loose and sandy areas that can be challenging to ride. However, when it rains, the sand turns deep, making it even more difficult. The trail passes through areas with cacti and bushes that grow and overhang during the monsoon. This adds an extra layer of challenge to the ride.
There are no extra fees for using the trail, and there are no lift services or pump tracks available. However, fat bike grooming is available, making it easier to ride through sandy areas.
Obstacles on the trail include rocky sections that can be challenging to navigate, especially for beginners. Some steep climbs and descents require skill and experience to ride. Riders should also be aware of snakes and other wildlife, especially during night rides.
Shuttles are unavailable for the 50-year Trail, so riders should plan accordingly. However, bus routes can transfer riders to and from the trailhead.
The 50-year Trail passes through some stunning landscapes, including views of the Catalina Mountains and the Sonoran Desert. Riders can also glimpse local wildlife, including mule deer and various bird species.
Riders should take precautions when riding the 50-year Trail, including watching out for snakes and other wildlife. The foliage can be thick, so riders should wear protective gear and carry plenty of water.
A good map is essential when riding the trail, as it can be easy to get lost in some areas. It's also recommended to ride with a group or a partner, especially for night rides.
The Golder Ranch is a challenging yet rewarding mountain biking trail that offers stunning views and technical terrain. With no extra fees and fat bike grooming available, this trail is an excellent choice for experienced riders looking for a challenge. However, beginners and first-timers on the route should take caution, especially in the technical sections and steep climbs.