Arizona, USA

Arizona Sonora Bike Tour

DURATION

6 Days

PRICE

$3149

LEVEL

All Levels

DAILY DISTANCE

30-50 miles

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Cycling (bikes included), Sonora Desert Museum, Kartchner Caverns

INCLUDED MEALS

All breakfasts. One lunch and one dinner on your own.

Discover and explore what we ultimately strive for in a cycling vacation–which is to simply “Pedal Happy”.

Southern Arizona: Azure skies, endless vistas hemmed with 10,000-foot peaks. Names out of a medieval fantasy: Chiricahuas, Dragoons, Catalinas, Rincons. This is the land of Geronimo, Cochise and 250-year-old saguaro cacti, where the sweet scent of desert creosote flower fills the air. Wildlife is prolific, from coyote to javelina, desert tortoise and rare birds. Bike sun-drenched bike paths and quiet side roads. Try your legs and lungs on Mt. Lemmon. Wander through heart-stealing landscapes. Explore the fascinating Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park (East and West), the “Sky Islands,” Coronado National Forest, Bisbee, Kartchner Caverns and plenty more!

If mountain biking is your thing, or you might want to give it a try, check out our sister company’s offering: Sacred Sedona.

This tour is operated under special use permit/s with the Coronado National Forest and Saguaro National Park. Bicycle Adventures is an equal opportunity provider.

Day 01

Marvel at the Raptor Free Flight show at the Sonora Desert Museum. Cycle through colossal cacti in West Saguaro National Park.

Meals

– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Hacienda del Sol or Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Ability Level

All Levels

Distance

49 miles

Elevation

+2,336 ft / -2,207 ft

Shuttle to the marvelous Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in time to see the Raptor Free Flight show while your guides prepare your bikes. Cycle quiet roads through West Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park from McCain Loop Rd to Gates Pass. Shake hands (metaphorically speaking!) with towering, some claim mystical, saguaro cacti – undisputed icons of the Sonoran Desert and a universal symbol of the American Southwest. Once in the city proper, we avoid the hectic streets by pedaling part of “The Loop” – Tucson’s delightful network of over 100 miles of urban shared-use paths. Cycle on The Loop to Hacienda del Sol, or Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, where we will spend the next three nights.

Day 02

Cycle rural roads, paved paths and the "Cactus Loop" in Saguaro National Park East.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch

Lodging

Hacienda del Sol or Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Ability Level

All Levels

Distance

44 miles (or less)

Elevation

+2027 ft / -1604 ft (or less)

Today, we begin our ride at Le Buzz Café, a popular staging location and hangout for local cyclists. Follow rural roads on the outskirts of Tucson, stopping here and there to take in views of the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains to the north and east. Explore Saguaro National Park East on the 8-mile Cactus Forest Loop takes you on a cruise through the rare saguaro forests of this area. Some folks say they could do this loop all day long – and indeed, many take the time to ride it in both directions! Following a gloriously gourmet picnic lunch, ride back to the hotel, or hop in the van to shuttle if you wish. You may want to save time for a visit to the pool! Dinner is on your own tonight.

Day 03

Spectacular Mt. Lemmon!

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort,
or Hacienda del Sol

Ability Level

All Levels

Distance

Mt. Lemmon climb (one way): 26 miles with lots of support options

Elevation

Mt. Lemmon climb (one way): +5,717 ft / -251 ft

Tackle all or part of the climb up Mt. Lemmon today. There are plenty of van support options if you don’t want to do the whole thing, and the mountain is worth a visit for a hike on your own even if you don’t plan to ride.

Rising almost 7000 feet from the valley floor, Mt. Lemmon is well-known as one of the premier bicycle climbs in the U.S. Tremendous views begin almost immediately as you ascend from cactus country on the valley floor up into the land of wildflowers, pines – and eventually – subalpine forests. In terms of biological diversity, cycling up Mt. Lemmon is the equivalent of riding from Arizona to southern Canada. Suffice it to say, it’s a different world on top on Mt. Lemmon any day of the year. Keep an eye out for transitory waterfalls and hidden canyons with goblin-like hoodoo rock formations as you ascend. Spring visits may feature wildflowers in bloom and fall visits may feature colorful aspens and maples. We are confident you won’t see a more fascinating range of habitat and ecology on any other 30-mile bicycle ride. Mt. Lemmon is truly a one-of-a-kind gem!

Day 04

Visit Kartchner Caverns, a stunning limestone cavern system and stay at an inn known for its diversity of birds and butterflies.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Casa de San Pedro

Ability Level

All Levels

Distance

Variable.

Elevation

Variable.

After breakfast we shuttle to Kartchner Caverns for a tour (admission included) of what lies beneath the desert. The world-class cave formations here are considered to be some of the best of their kind in the entire world. First discovered in the early 1970s, the cave was kept a secret for over a decade (to protect it) until, in 1985, Governor Bruce Babbitt secretly left the state capitol with two bodyguards and spent three hours crawling through tight passages to reach the cave’s showcase chambers, including the Big Room, Echo Passage and Cul-de-sac Passage. Kartchner Caverns finally gained official Arizona State Park status in 1999. Have lunch after the tour and then shuttle south to Hereford for a two-night stay at Casa de San Pedro, home to over 355 species of birds and hundreds of butterflies. Settle in at the hotel, enjoy the pool, chase birds and butterflies, or go for an easy ride in the area before enjoying a family-style Mexican dinner with us tonight.

Day 05

Cycle in the "Sky Islands" to a mountain reservoir.

Meals

– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Dinner

Lodging

Casa de San Pedro

Ability Level

All Levels

Distance

48 miles

Elevation

+2,367 ft / -2,368 ft (or less)

Today holds plenty of surprises, as well as a total change of scenery! The first surprises are the vineyards of the Sonoita and Elgin areas of Arizona, south of Tucson. The rich soils of this region are almost a mirror image of those in Burgundy, France. The second surprise is the scenery of the “Sky Islands” high country. We say farewell to saguaros and hello to hillsides covered in manzanita, Gambel oaks, sycamore and yucca. Our route – a locals’ favorite – follows a twisting, traffic-free road to a refreshing mountain reservoir in Coronado National Forest. There is plenty of great riding here for you to enjoy as much or as little as you wish.

Day 06

A Bicycle "Brothel," a Border Wall, and bohemian Bisbee.

Meals

– Breakfast

Ability Level

All Levels

Distance

12-18 miles

Elevation

+1,721 ft / -996 ft
or …
+1,021 ft / -296 ft

Shuttle to Naco – a tiny town cut in two by the USA/Mexico border for a look at “The Wall” – before we begin pedaling to artsy, bohemian Bisbee, home to the Copper Queen Mine, source of some of the world’s highest-grade copper ore. If copper isn’t your thing but vintage bikes are, you won’t want to miss going for a metaphorical spin down a memory lane of hand-made lugged frames and the simplistic elegance of friction shifting that is the “Bicycle Brothel” bicycle museum in Bisbee – otherwise known as “retro-grouch” heaven. And yes, we use the term affectionately. After all, some of us owned, rode, and loved these beauties when they were state-of-the-art! Spend more time in Bisbee (lunch is on your own) or make the 6-mile round trip to Mule Pass before we load up and shuttle back to Tucson.

*Bicycle Adventures operates under special use permits while on Federal Lands managed by the National Forest Service (USDA), National Parks and Bureau of Land Management. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

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Private Tour
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Single Supplement
Price
$850 2022 / $918 2023
This is not required. It is an optional fee to allow a solo traveler to guarantee a private room for the duration of the tour.
Dates
Feb 19, 2023
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$3,400
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Mar 5, 2023
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$3,400
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Mar 12, 2023
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$3,400
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Mar 19, 2023
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$3,400
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Mar 26, 2023
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$3,400
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Oct 1, 2023
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$3,400
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Oct 8, 2023
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$3,400
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Oct 15, 2023
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$3,400
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Oct 22, 2023
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$3,400
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Dates
Oct 29, 2023
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$3,400
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Dates
Nov 5, 2023
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Price
$3,400
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Dates
Nov 12, 2023
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This means that the tour will definitely depart as scheduled and not be canceled.
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$3,400
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