Arivaca Road


A lovely rolling 70 mile ride, with 3,350 feet of climbing and some wonderful views.


Drive down I-19 for 37 miles from the intersection of I-10 and I-19 then take Exit 48 to Arivaca. Turn right, then at the T-junction turn right again and park in one of the big parking areas. We parked at the once-closed-but-now-open-again Longhorn Grill.

Head west on Arivaca Road and follow the road as it rolls uphill for 20 miles to the high-point. From here it rolls downhill for 3 miles to the pretty little town of Arivaca. (At 21.7 miles there is a coffee shop, the Tumbleweed Cafe, on the right which has rather erratic hours so best to check online. We stopped here on the way back.) When I first rode this in 2017, the road surface was adequate but in May, 2022, it has been repaved and is wonderfully smooth.

The not so good road past Arivaca, with Baboquivari in the background

Ride through Arivaca and follow the road as it curves right. In 2017 the road surface for the next 12 miles was noticeably bad, with occasional potholes in the road, but in 2022 it’s possible that this part of the road has also been repaved. Either way, it’s a pretty ride with amazing views of Baboquivari in front of you most of the way. 12 miles from Arivaca you reach Highway 286.

Riding back with Elephant Head ahead

Turn round here and ride back the way you came. You’ll be surprised at how much climbing you have to do to reach Arivaca again. Climb out of Arivaca and follow the road as it rolls downhill to I-19. The last few miles have wonderful views of rocky Elephant Head. Behind this and to the right you can see the observatory at the top of Mt. Hopkins.

Links and Other Clicks

The Tumbleweed Cafe

Cycling up Mt Hopkins

Other rides around Tucson

Other Cycling Pages

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