The drive from Oro Valley to Kitt Peak is mostly via Ajo Way/St. Rt. 86, a flat , straight shot with the Quinlan Mountains growing on the horizon. On the right peak a small, white spec is one of the observatories.
I go through a border patrol checkpoint, make a left on #386 and a sandy, unofficial parking area is immediately found on the right. Later, a friend told me there have been a number of car break-ins at this spot as traffic is very light. Many people park at the tiny town of Three Points around 23 miles to the east.
This being my first mountain climb of this visit, I plan to ride slowly and enjoy the 12 mile workout. I even pause a few times to take images. Water is still flowing in ravines and over slick rock from the rain and some snow melt.
Odd thing is my legs felt pretty good and I began to regret my decision not to push myself. My best time is 1:22, today 1:45 and I think I can beat my best time on my return trip. 3450' of elevation is gained during the ascent having an average grade of 6% so a little steeper than Mount Lemmon but of course, much shorter.
Proof that I rode the bike and not the car. The peak has the largest collection of observatories in the world and the.....
….views are grand.
The road does a 360 around the mountain rather than switch backing up the face of one side.
Baboquivari Peak in the distance and the high point of the Baboquivari Mountains. Just have to do that hike one of these days. Snow still present on the north facing slopes. There was some snow on Kitt too but only along the road where it had been piled.
The pavement is very good and the traffic very light on this Monday. In total, only 15 vehicles passed me going up or down as I ascended.
Coasting down is kind of a pain as it requires frequent braking. My hands ached at times and so I stopped to take pics, of course.
Unseen but heard, water rushes through this ravine. Finished with 25 miles and an urge to go back and do it again soon. I so much more enjoy this climb over Mount Lemmon. The latter is, for me, such a grind up 26 miles. Oh, while my best time is 1:22, the overall best is an unbelievable 47 minutes by Luis Lemus.