A Bike Path is Close to La Reserve
Walk or ride, when permitted by the traffic light, across Oracle Road and......
...at the sign, make a right. Follow the cement walk for a short distance until it deadends and......
....turn left and you are now on "The Loop". A few pedal strokes or several steps leads you to.....
....this junction. A right at the bridge provides access to Catalina State Park or Oro Valley Marketplace. Staying straight you will follow the "Canada del Oro River Park" trail toward the southwest. At about mile 9, you will cross under I-10 and from there you have 3 directional options. Consult the "Pima County Trail System Map" a copy of which can be found at area bike shops for more complete information.
Heading southeast and getting on the "Santa Cruz River Park" trail will lead you to, at about mile 12, the "Loop Bicycle Shop" where you can refuel or shop for cycling related products.
The bike path usually borders sandy washes which are not all that interesting but there are always views of the mountain ranges and of course, sometimes you'll get close to wild life too. While Tucson area roads are generally in poor condition, the bike path's surface is flawless. Enjoy exploring!
Introduction to Area Hikes, Bike Paths & Adventures
We are surrounded by beauty, which includes 4 mountain ranges (Tucson, Santa Ritas, Santa Catalinas and Rincons). Our community sits on the western edge of the Santa Catalinas and what we see when we look to the east, is Pusch Ridge. Pusch Ridge is dominated by 4 distinct peaks as shown above. As beautiful as they are, when one stands at the top of each, the views are incredible. I have been fortunate to have hiked to the top of each, along with many of the other 50 peaks within the Catalinas. Below is information about the nearby Linda Vista Trail and an ascent to Pusch Peak.
Approximately 2 miles from the entrance of East Pusch Wilderness Drive is the easily accessible "Linda Vista Trail". Turn left on Oracle Road, stay in the left lane and then make another left on E. Linda Vista Blvd. Trail head parking is a little ways on the right, past the school. Other than providing access to a faint trail to Pusch Peak, there is a network of trails shown on the signpost. Opting for the perimeter trail, is a good, undulating way to expose oneself to hiking in the Sonoran desert with marvelous views to the southwest-northwest. The perimeter trail is about 2.4 miles and easy to follow. Take plenty of fluids. For me, one liter is more than enough but more is always better than less, out here.
Within moments of leaving the parking lot, views begin to open, including the prominent peaks to the southwest, Sombrero and Panther.
I go up the center of the perimeter, bearing right at this pile of rocks, eventually reach the back of the perimeter trail. Turning left I am almost immediately confronted with a sign warning that the faint trail emerging from the right, is not a maintained trail. True enough as it is overgrown and an ascent that I refer to as, "knee buckling". So far, I've been climbing at a moderate rate but what follows is very steep. From the trail head, the distance to the peak is only 2.1 miles but there is 2600' of elevation gain.
After monsoon season, especially overgrown and.....
....in some places, especially steep. This 15' wall is a lot of fun to scramble up and over.
A sure sign that a trail has had little use, trail side cactus still have most of their needles attached. On frequently trafficked trails, the needles have been deposited in shins and clothing. A tip; carry tweezers with you when hiking.
The views improve. About half way up, you may notice the trail splits, left and right. Go left for the peak as right takes you to.....
....this prominent point with grand views.
Higher and higher the knee buckling route goes. I'm always fascinated by these ridges which remind me of the back of a Stegosaurus. Finally, after almost 2 hours of climbing I reach....
....the peak. I've done this hike 6-7 times and sometimes there is a jar with a notebook inside, under a boulder where one signs their name with date. I always sign each peak register the same, "Go Buckeyes".
That is Bighorn Mountain across the way. It looks close but requires a rigorous, off trail effort to reach. If you reach the top, take time to refuel and enjoy the 360' views. Take care during the descent and I find one hiking pole helpful to absorb the impact of down climbing.