Arizona Gravel CampGet off the beaten path
Combine can't-miss paved road rides in Tucson with the gravel roads less traveled on this adventure.
A brand new Arizona mixed terrain (gravel/pavement) itinerary is coming in 2022. Since 2005, Tucson camps have been the heart and soul of The Cycling House. The original concept remains intact: an all-inclusive cycling vacation with guided rides, great food in a relaxing setting. What’s new about this trip is that we combine the best-paved road rides – including Mount Lemmon – with some memorable off-road adventuring. This is a perfect opportunity to get off the beaten path, whether it’s your first time riding gravel or you just want an entirely new perspective of Tucson. Refuel with healthy meals and take advantage of the skills clinics, yoga, massages and multi-sport activities – if you feel like it. Just like summer camp, riders love coming back to Tucson year after year. Want to view more Tucson trip dates? Check out our Tucson Road Camps Here.
- Five days of supported, guided rides to sunny Tucson’s best paved and gravel cycling routes
- The all-inclusive trip covers accommodations, ride support, and bike mechanics
- Healthy, delicious, home-cooked meals
- A relaxed environment in laid-back, comfortable accommodations.
- Multi-sport elements (optional): trail runs, outdoor lap swimming, yoga, and core work, nature walks.
- Skills discussions to learn – or reinforce – group riding, nutrition, bike handling, cornering and descending
- Optional massages with an experienced sports massage therapist
Using locally sourced ingredients, we create clean and delicious meals to fuel your week of riding. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included. Each meal is inventive and diverse – often inspired by our chefs’ global travels – and focuses on lean proteins, leafy greens and root vegetables. We focus on food specifically for endurance athletes and accommodate all dietary preferences and restrictions.
The Cycling House is our original cycling vacation concept. Our place in Tucson offers the opportunity to relax and recover in a spacious setting with friends. Enjoy yoga on the patio, share stories during a hot tub soak or finish a ride by jumping in the infinity pool. This comfortable environment lends itself perfectly to nightly skills discussions over appetizers. Need a quick bike fix? Our garage’s workbench and collection of tools rivals most bike shops.
Welcome to Tucson! (Mixed Terrain - Pavement/Gravel)
Riders arrive in Tucson, and we’ll shuttle to The Cycling House home base. Our mechanics will get to work on fitting riders to rental bikes or building riders’ personal bikes. Enjoy a leisurely rolling lunch by our chefs, ready for you when you arrive.
We’ll get settled into the house, set up everyone’s bikes, and go for an afternoon shakeout spin on mixed terrain.
The arrival spin will be around 20-25 miles with a combination of paved and gravel roads, with 1,382 feet of elevation gain, 1.5-2.5 hours.
Saguaro East National Park (Mixed Terrain - Pavement/Gravel)
The ride includes gravel roads, gravel single-track, and pavement. We point it South from The Cycling House and get our tires dirty on the way to Saguaro East National Park where we can stop for a quick bathroom break. A few more miles of paving then we get up close and personal with the mighty Saguaro Cactus on the Arizona Trail. The views are spectacular and the single-track riding might be new for some guests but it’s all part of the adventure! Sections of the single track are smoother than road sections and it is a great opportunity to work on your handling skills on rolling terrain. After the Arizona Trail, we head back towards Saguaro East National Park. Riders can choose to do the 8-mile paved route or 3 miles of pavement and 3 miles of singletrack. After the park, it’s all downhill back to Tanque Verde Ranch.
30-60 miles, with 2,500 – 3,500 feet of elevation gain, 3-5+ hours
Options abound and there is something for everybody!
Southern Arizona Gravel (Mixed Terrain - Pavement/Gravel)
Parker Canyon is a ride that requires a 1-hour shuttle each way. The ride has become an instant classic and starts and finishes at the Copper Hop Brewery. Our ride takes us through the rolling hills and grasslands with views of the Huachuca mountains towards Sierra Vista. The ride does not have any major climbs but has plenty of terrain changes. A little over halfway, we pass Parker Canyon Lake, which on a hot day can be quite refreshing. Our route home is the same as the ride home except for this time with a net loss. Typically we have a picnic lunch at the winery before making the drive back to Tucson.
40-55+ miles, with 3,000 – 4,000+ feet of elevation gain, 4+hours
The Loop Bike Path & Gates Pass (Pavement)
Tucson has over 100 miles of dedicated multi-use paved trails called, The Loop. We usually ride The Loop after a couple of big rides or the day before Mount Lemmon. The Loop has very little climbing, so it can be a true recovery day. If riders are looking for more we will have the opportunity to add in Gates Pass and potentially A mountain. Today is all about options, more miles, more climbing, no problem! The entire group will finish at El Mercado and have lunch at Seis Kitchen before shuttling home. Guests will want to bring a change of clothing and we will plan to shuttle home after lunch. Don’t forget, there is always an option to ride home from lunch too!
30-50 miles, with 500 – 1,500+ feet of elevation gain, 2-3.5+ hours
We will have plenty of options today. Recovery cruise? No problem, we can do that. Looking for more miles? Don’t worry, that’s an option too.
Mount Lemmon (Pavement)
Get ready to experience Mount Lemmon, the crown jewel of Tucson riding and one of the best climbs in North America. Many professional cyclists have made Tucson their winter home for the access to this iconic climb, which switchbacks its way up the Catalina mountain range, topping out at 8,000+ feet.
The ride starts with a 4-10-mile warm-up from The Cycling House en route to mile 0 of the 20.5-mile climb. Mile markers and elevation signs mark your progress, while the amazing views up to the high alpine forest help take your mind off the uphill challenge. You’ll ascend nearly 5,500 feet, climbing at a 5-8% grade over the 20.8 miles, finishing in the small ski town of Summerhaven.
The reward for your efforts is a fun descent on impeccable pavement with sweeping turns. Mount Lemmon is a challenge for everyone, but with proper pacing, good fueling and determination, it’s a very achievable goal. We will finish by riding back to the house.
Lunch will be ready upon returning home at the end of the ride.
Dinner this evening will be enjoyed at The Cycling House.
Mount Lemmon: 47-55 miles, ~5,500-5,700 feet of elevation gain, 3-6 hours
Option to continue climbing to Summerhaven, Ski Valley or the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains
Shuttles will be running to the TUS airport all morning, and we’ll make sure you get to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
For those who don’t depart Tucson early, you are welcome to go on an optional self-guided ride on a nearby route.
Checkout by 11 a.m.
For those who don’t have an early flight, there is an optional self-guided departure spin before check out.
- Nov 1 - 6 $2,995 / Person
- Jan 24 - 29 $3,350 / Person
- Feb 14 - 19 $3,350 / Person
- Mar 7 - 12 $3,350 / Person
- Mar 14 - 19 $3,350 / Person
- Mar 21 - 26 $3,350 / Person
- Apr 4 - 9 $3,350 / Person
- 5 nights/6 days accommodations
- Airport transfers to/from Tucson International Airport (TUS)
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Bike build and breakdown
- Professional cycling guides
- Vehicle sag support
- Ride nutrition products
- Tools available to use in the garage
- High-quality ride photos
- Question about COVID-19 and what we’re doing to keep our guides and guests healthy and travel responsibly? Check out this article or contact us.
What's Not Included
- Bike rentals
- Gratuity for guides
- Mid-ride café stops
- Personal shopping
- +$ for single room supplement
- Looking for more Tucson trip dates? Check out our Tucson Road Camps Here.
- Trail runs or hikes
- Lap swim
- Core/stretching sessions
- Basic bike maintenance clinic
- Nature walks
Rent A Bike
Traveling through the airport with a bike—and paying for it to fly—is not everyone’s idea of a fun way to start a vacation. Fortunately, we offer high-quality, full carbon bikes on all of our trips across the United States and Europe. Want to just show up and ride? Just bring your shoes, pedals, helmet, and saddle (if you want), and rent one of ours.
Bring Your Own
Your bike is yours—we get it. Bringing your own bike has obvious advantages in terms of individual comfort. Before your trip, we suggest getting a tune-up at your local bike shop so it’s ready to roll for your week of riding. Once you arrive, we’ll be sure to have our mechanics build it and help with any necessary tweaks. Check out some helpful resources here:
Skip The Bike
If you or your travel partner want to enjoy the trip and explore a new destination without a bike, drop us a line and we’ll discuss options. Some trips are better suited for non-rider participants than others.
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