Sweetwater Preserve

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SHARES
  
AVERAGE RATING
****
4.48 out of 5
View Topo Map

Beginner
10
miles

Singletrack
↑ 1,100 ft
↓ 1,100 ft
2,469
elevation (ft)

Network
Trail Description
About this trail
The Sweetwater Preserve features about eight miles of singletrack built by mountain bikers. A pristine piece of desert nestled between existing development, it is truly a gem and holds one of the densest collections of saguaro cactus in the Tucson area.

The singletrack begins to the right as you exit the parking lot. Stay right to enter a thick forest of saguaros. Look for a rare crested saguaro among them. At the top of a small pass, continue to the right on the "Black Rock" and "Sun Circle" loops. Hang on for a high speed blast through the Ocotillos on Black Rock, the longer of the loops.

After finishing the loops turn right to climb the semi-technical Lost Arrow Trail. At the next junction a left turn provides a more challenging option, Red Canyon Trail. Close the loop by descending the Wildflower Ridge Trail, enjoying birds eye views of the entire preserve.
added by smorrisBunny Hop January 12, 2009
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Fantasy Island
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (59 total check-ins)
  Biofanman   2 weeks ago
  Michael Jones   2 weeks ago
  Porter Rockwell   on Apr 25, 2016
  Jammerslammer   on Apr 15, 2016
  Bob L Zimering   on Apr 13, 2016
Photo & Video Gallery (31)
Trail Photos & Videos (31)
 
Reviews (21)
 

Granny Gear

April 28, 2016
 
Review: I live in Tucson, and like the variety of trails to pick from here. This trail system has become my favorite, which is saying something based on what's available. The recently completed "Desperado Loop" has become my go-to trail whenever I get a chance to introduce someone new to the sport. It is a fast, flowy and really fun loop which covers 4.16 miles. It is different than most of the other trails in that it really has no truly rocky sections, the climbs and descents are moderate, but the design takes full advantage of the lay of the land, creating super awesome stretches of undulating, roller-coaster single track and a few tight turns at speed.

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Granny Gear

April 1, 2016
 
Review: The new desporado trail is great. High speed lots of undulation, lots of sweeping turns . Very fast. Love it!

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Granny Gear

March 8, 2016
 
Review: This trail system has more than doubled my abilities (but I still suck!). This was the first true singletrack I've ridden in more than 20 years, but I've visited Sweetwater about 12 times in 6 short weeks. (A few other places, too). Many obstacles I initially "hiked" over, I've learned to ride over. Yesterday was my last ride on this sweet trail..I'm leaving Arizona for a couple years tomorrow. This trail is a highlight memory...it really got me involved in mountain biking again! To the creators of Sweetwater...THANK YOU! It is a wonderful place to go biking. Job well done!

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Granny Gear

February 19, 2016
RobertBrz2 Granny Gear  
 
Review: YeeeeHaaaa Tucson...What an amazing day I had here. I only visited tow for a few rides aand this was a highlight.. Great scenery and the riding was fantastic. I rode for miles and miles and still like I could go for more....Plus there is a new area being developed that is more flow and go... I did quite a bit of the Cross Country stuff and would go back here again and again...A TRUE GEM of the southwest

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Granny Gear

February 1, 2016
 
Review: This is a very nice series of interconnected trails. Most of them are suitable for beginners, but there are some definite challenging spots. The saguaro vista trail is spectacular, try to do it in the golden hours right after sunrise or in the hour before sunset. If you're visiting from out of town or out of state, don't miss that one. It's short, but I rode it multiple times...you are literally riding between Saguaros. That's a novel experience. Slime in tubes or tires is advisable.

Similar Trail: Haven't seen any like Saguaro for scenery.

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Singletrack


November 30, 2015
hproctor Singletrack  
 
Review: Quite a bit more than a beginner trail. Beautiful ride through rocky canyons with an abundance of Saguaro, Barrel, and Prickly Pear cactus along with other desert flora that can do some damage if you go off trail. Several loops available that are similar with the exception of Roller Coaster, which will end your ride with a smile. "You are here" map signs found at every junction, making it impossible to get lost.

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Gramcounter


October 10, 2015
 
Review: Very rocky, with beautiful views. Easy to a few technical rock garden type spots. Riding through all the cacti was very unique. Definitely worth the trip.

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Gramcounter

March 20, 2015
 
Review: Great day to ride. Flowers out and new section of trail was awesome!

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Granny Gear

February 28, 2015
xavier61 Granny Gear  
 
Review: I rode Sweetwater for the first time today. The trail is remarkably well maintained, kudos to SDMB. Marking are very clear, no way to get lost in here. The trail is not just a MTB trail, it is multi-use. Be prepared for hikers, joggers and horseback riders at any point. Everyone I encountered was friendly. There is not a single direction to ride, so be careful as to who is around the corner. As a relative noob to MTB I really enjoyed some of the trails. A lot of rocks are in the trail. If you don't have the technique or the leg strength you will be doing a bit of hike a bike. Elevations are fairly consistent, no sharp inclines, but if you can't keep moving you will lose your momentum and be walking. I'll definitely be back again for another ride.

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Bunny Hop

January 28, 2015
 
Review: Enough challenge to kick the craving, and there are a few technical spots but really only good for a quick ride. Advanced riders might be wanting a little more after.

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Sweetwater Preserve MTB Trail 4.48 out of 5 based on 21 ratings. 21 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
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Spring Break Singletrack Trek Part IV: Livin' on Tucson Time, Take 1
28 SHARES | 6 COMMENTS