A great mountain bike ride to start off the Strava Climbing Challenge, or just to get in some climbing!
This ride climbs about 5,000 feet to the top of Mt Hopkins. The first 7 miles are on a fairly steep dirt road, gaining elevation by twisting upwards around the lower section of the mountain & rolling through the early morning shade of several canyons. The next 5 miles continue up into the pines, past several telescope sites on a steeper paved road. Then the final half-mile the grade gets VERY steep – especially the last 300 feet!! The views are SPECTACULAR!! Peak elevation is 8550 feet.
Directions: from Tucson: Drive south on I-19 past Green Valley. Exit at Canoa Rd. , go under I-19 and continue south on the EAST frontage road to Elephant Head Rd. Turn LEFT here and continue for a mile or so, across the railroad tracks, RIGHT on Mt Hopkins Rd. Continue up Mt Hopkins Road about 6 miles until you reach Whipple Visitor Center .
For car pooling from Tucson, meet at the Home Depot parking lot off Irvington Rd, just west of I-10 (behind the McDonald's) at 730 am.