This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Participants should have previous cycling experience and be comfortable in the saddle for 4–6 hours per day. Rides consist of moderate and more vigorous cycling days covering 40–76 miles of open road, city roads, and urban bike paths. Daily rides have total elevation gains and losses ranging from 2,100'–4,800'. The optional summit of Mt. Lemmon includes 7,000' of elevation gain/loss.
Meet your guides and fellow trip members this morning. After a group orientation and short transfer, we begin our first ride of the trip, cruising directly from our hotel to Fountain Park, where the town’s namesake water feature shoots water almost 600 feet in the air (one of the tallest fountains in the world). After enjoying the quiet rolling residential streets of Fountain Hills, we ride out into the gorgeous Sonoran Desert along the banks of the Verde River, and into lovely McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Once back at our hotel, there will be time to check-in, relax, enjoy the hotel’s spa or pools before a group dinner at the family-owned Tuscany-inspired restaurant right on property. Lunch and dinner included.
Cycling: 53 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +3,188'/-3,179'
Today we join the locals in celebrating Silent Sunday at South Mountain Park, a day blissfully free of vehicular traffic on this popular summit ride. If the twists and turns up the summit road to the panoramic overlook aren't your style, detour along the flatter but equally scenic San Juan Road, which lets you enjoy a more casual ride between two mountain ranges. We descend to the Farm at South Mountain to enjoy a local farm-to-table lunch set in a pecan grove. After lunch, we transfer south to Tucson, the newly evolved hip and bike-friendly community set in the heart of southern Arizona’s most dramatic mountain ranges. After settling into our hotel for the next three nights, we gather for dinner with our guides and newfound friends. All meals included.
Cycling: 33 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +2,108'/-2,108'; Van transfer 2.5 hours
This morning, we have breakfast together and enjoy stunning views of the Catalina Mountains. Once we're properly fueled, we’ll begin our ride right from the hotel, utilizing the popular Loop multi-use urban path through town and along the Santa Cruz River. We climb the narrow and challenging Gates Pass, with a thrilling descent into the heart of Saguaro National Park, where nearly 2 million saguaro cacti thrive, the densest population in the world. We break for lunch at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, recognized throughout the world as a model for innovative presentation and interpretation of native plants and animals. We can choose to explore this fascinating museum or do all or part of the return ride back to the hotel. We'll have time this evening to clean up and relax a bit before rendezvousing with our traveling companions and heading to dinner at a local favorite restaurant.
Cycling: 56 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +2700'/-2700'
Breakfast and dinner are on your own today to allow maximum flexibility in choosing your own style of adventure! Options include a casual ride through beautiful Catalina State Park with minimal ride guide support, a challenging climb to the summit of Mt. Lemmon with full SAG support, or a hike on your own to the beautiful Maiden Pools of Ventana Canyon. For those interested in a change of pace, stay on property and relax by the pool or book a well-earned spa service! Brown bag to-go lunch included.
Cycling (Optional): Mount Lemmon: 60 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +6902'/-6902'; short van transfer
Cycling (Optional): Catalina State Park: 29 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +971'/-969'
Hiking (Optional): 4.7 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 1,312'
This morning, we check out of our hotel and head further south into Arizona’s wine country. Today's spin takes us through Tucson to the eastern side of Saguaro National Park – a not-to-be-missed ride popular among local roadies – before we ultimately make our way to remote Sonoita, AZ. The final, optional leg of our ride will find us in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains and is intended for riders comfortable with a narrow shoulder with moving traffic. It will be a steady climb to the high desert grasslands filled with vineyards, and rewarded with inspiring panoramic vistas. Tonight, we celebrate our week’s adventure with a final dinner together. All meals included.
Cycling: 45 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +2241'/-1709'; Van transfer: 1 hour
Cycling (Optional addition): 31 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +4810'/-4810'
We awaken on our final morning in the comfort of the Sonoita Inn, and a hand-delivered in-room breakfast, courtesy of our guides. After packing our belongings into our vehicle, we set out on our final ride of the journey—straight from our hotel to Parker Canyon Lake. Our route today provides tranquility and solitude as we take in the incredible lush landscape of southern Arizona, replete with vineyard-dotted hillsides. We'll stop at Parker Canyon Lake for a guide-prepared picnic lunch with a view before our return ride to Sonoita. Our guides will load up the bikes and we'll give our tired legs earned recovery time during the drive back to Phoenix. We anticipate arriving in Phoenix between 6pm-7pm this evening. Breakfast and lunch included. Note that no showers will be available after our ride today so please plan accordingly.
Cycling: 62 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +4221'/-4221'; Van transfer: 3 hours