Sweetwater Preserve

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SHARES
  
AVERAGE RATING
****
4.43 out of 5
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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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Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (39 total check-ins)
  Michael Jones   4 days ago
  Jimmywingnut   3 weeks ago
  buellrider77@gmail.com   on Jul 3, 2015
  Run like a Deer   on Jun 28, 2015
  Michael Jones   on Jun 24, 2015
Photo & Video Gallery (25)
Trail Photos & Videos (25)
 
Reviews (14)
 

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 27, 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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Gramcounter


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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Gramcounter


December 25, 2014
 
Review: Sweetwater has become one of my goto trails. SDMB has been working hard to add new sections. Lots of options and the trail keeps you honest. Great technical spots, climbs and great flow.

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Granny Gear

July 20, 2014
 
Review: I've been riding this trail fairly regularly over the past few months as it's close to home. It's also been a great platform for learning some valuable MTB skills. This park has a number of different loops intersecting regularly enough that you can vary your direction of travel and combinations of loops to keep a regular rider entertained. These trails overall are easy enough to give a novice confidence while they master a number of important skills: negotiating some rocky drops and climbs, making a sharp 90 degree turn at the bottom of a nice downhill section; maintaining momentum during a short, steep loose climb; picking saguaro needles from various body parts when you don't manage to make some of the twisties sections. It's not unusual to spot deer, rabbits, quail and other wildlife while riding this spectacular saguaro forest. It can be VERY hot in the summer months, so bring a hydration pack with at least 70-100 oz's of water and tools to fix a flat if you have a closer encounter with the flora on this trail.

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Bunny Hop

May 5, 2014
 
Review: I've been mountain biking for a few months now and have been on some really easy trails and on some that just scared me. I visited Sweetwater for the first time this past Sunday and while I enjoyed myself, I am not sure I would consider this a beginner system. At least not as a beginner myself. The rocks presented some challenges I was not ready for, or that I hadn't the slightest clue how to tackle. There were a good number of spots where I opted to hop off and carry the bike a short distance before proceeding. The scenery is awesome and it is worth checking out, but if you're a noob be prepared for some pucker-time.

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Epic


March 26, 2013
John Fisch Epic  
 
Review: This trail is a rare combination of mostly easy and mostly fun. The densepack of saguaro is fantastic--it's like riding through a real forest, but of giant cactus rather than pines. You could take a noob here and enjoy the scenery or go here yourself and ride fast. Either way, it's a worthy ride

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Bunny Hop

January 23, 2013
 
Review: This is a momentum singletrack. Very fun fast and flowing! Will go back next time were in the area!

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Trailblazer

June 29, 2012
luv2mtb Trailblazer  
 
Review: Rode this trail yesterday afternoon (06/28). Rode just about everything out here, some stuff twice. The Northern trails are best done clockwise. Some locals I met said the southern trails are better done counter-clockwise. They were right; I did the southern loop both ways and counterclockwise is more fun/less work. MTB is not just about skill but about style. This system can be very rocky at times and if that's your style then go for it. There are some nice, flowy sections but they are disappointingly few in number. The climbs are gradual, 2nd ring stuff, but keep your momentum up because you'll need it to clean the rocks. I rode Fantasy Island and Sweetwater this week. Fantasy Island was way more fun. Sweetwater was a much better workout.

* Review edited 6/29/2012

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Singletrack


January 8, 2012
Jared13 Singletrack  
 
Review: A nice, easy trail. Lots of fun too. It is used for hiking and horseback riding and can be quite busy. I recommend getting there early in the morning to have the trails mostly to yourself. The trails are singletrack, rocky, and sandy in some sections. The best route I found was to enter the TH and head north towards Black Rock Loop. I hit Sun Canyon Loop on the way there and back and then followed the perimeter trails along with taking the Red Canyon Trail. If you do not circle back to hit The Spine and Octillo Hill, you're not missing much but you can get some decent speed traveling West to East on The Spine. As the previous reviewers said, there is some great scenery along the trail.

Similar Trail: Starr Pass and the easier parts of Robles Pass

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Sweetwater Preserve MTB Trail 4.43 out of 5 based on 14 ratings. 14 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
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Feature Article
Spring Break Singletrack Trek Part IV: Livin' on Tucson Time, Take 1
32 SHARES | 6 COMMENTS