The Starr Pass area is one of the most beautiful mountain biking area around Tucson because you are riding in the mountains themselves, rather than at the edge of the mountains. The trails are generally rockier than at many of the other local areas, and while many of the trails have long sections of smooth singletrack, they almost all have some very technical rocky areas. On my first trip to the Starr pass area I ended up walking a lot more than I expected do, partly because I was alone, and partly because I didn’t really enjoy the very rocky parts. The trails are all well marked at each intersection so it’s difficult to go wrong.
Drive up Starr Pass Blvd, then just after the Starr Pass Golf Club turn left on Clearwell Road (signed for the Richard Genser Starr Pass Trailhead). Follow Clearwell for 1/2 mile to the large dirt parking lot at its end.
On my first visit I mainly followed a recommended route on MTB Project, the Starr Pass Main Loop, which gives a good introductory ride to this area. But rather than return the suggested way and make the ride a lollipop, I returned on Starr Pass Trail. One thing to note is that MTB Project loop doesn’t correctly show all the trails on the ride.
So, the route I would recommend if you’ve never ridden here is: Rock Wren – Yetman – Starr Pass – Sarasota – Yetman – Starr Pass. This is a Figure 8 which passes between Cat Mountain and Little Cat Mountain and then gives gorgeous views of Golden Gate Mountain. It provides a good taste of the riding in this area, with a distance of about 9 miles and 800 feet of climbing.
Links and Other Clicks
Other Nearby Areas
Just to the south of the Starr Pass area are the Robles area and the Enchanted Hills area. All three areas are linked by trails and you can easily enjoy all three in a day. Here are links to three rides that you might consider.
A long ride combing Starr Pass and Robles areas
A shorter ride showcasing the Robles area
The El Grupo Loop, perhaps the best loop in the Enchanted Hills