Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cougar Trail

Tucson, Arizona
Did you bring the map? I obviously didn't, because I never made it to the trail I wanted to get to. I know I made a stupid mistake along the way, but it doesn't matter. Let's just pretend I really meant to ride the Cougar.

The truth is I had a nice sunset ride and explored some of the rolling trails and jeep roads around the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. This is a great beginner ride.

How to get there: Take Speedway until it turns into Gates Pass Road. Take Gates Pass Road over the pass to the intersection with Kinney Road. Drive through the intersection and park in Parking Area K16.

Length: 9 miles. 1 hour. ~1000 feet of elevation.

Trail Conditions: Good.

The Map:
Map of Cougar Trail

The Ride:Cross Kinney Road and head into the brush on the NE corner of the intersection. After 0.35 miles, turn left when you reach the graded road to Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute. Follow this road for 0.85 miles then turn left onto the marked Orcutt Trail. When you will hit the T intersection at the power line, turn left and head down the hill. Turn right at the fence at the bottom of the hill. This is the Cougar Trail. Keep going straight and cross a deep wash. You'll come to a T-intersection and follow the rock arrow to the left down to Kinney Road. Turn right on Kinney Road and go 1.2 miles. Turn left into the Juan Santa Cruz Picnic Area. Jump the curb before the road loops back. Head down into the wash and catch the trail going to the left around Brown Mountain. It will eventually parallel Kinney road. After 2.5 miles, you'll come to the end of the singletrack. Cross McCain Loop Road and head into the Gilbert Ray Campground. Take the A loop and catch the trail marked with a TRAIL sign on the left at campsite 52. Follow this trail for 0.35 miles, and you'll come out at parking area K16.

Other Options: Now that I know what I'm doing I think I'll climb the Cougar Trail, and then take the Brown Mountain trail back for a more exciting descent.

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