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Arizona: Saguaro National Park & the Sonoran Desert

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Cycling Arizona’s magnificent desert should be on every cyclist’s list. As Arizona bike tours go, VBT’s reveals rich history and culture like no one else!

Guided Biking

  • Daily Mileage: 6 - 52|
  • Biking: 4 - 5 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
4.7 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

7-day Bike Vacation Only

$2,745

Per person, double occupancy

Arizona: Saguaro National Park & the Sonoran Desert

Cycling Arizona’s magnificent desert should be on every cyclist’s must-do list. With VBT, you’ll pedal some of the American Southwest’s most stunning routes past rust-colored hills and into saguaro-dotted landscapes under a canopy of blue. Coast into artists’ colonies to see the work of local masters. Sip wines at a family-owned vineyard. Visit an early Spanish Colonial Jesuit mission complex. See a winged raptor take wing at the renowned Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. As Arizona bike tours go, VBT’s reveals the rich history and culture of the Southwest like no one else!

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills, ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who would like assistance This tour includes strategic shuttles on most days in order to access the best cycling routes, avoiding busy roads and repetitive scenery.

  • Daily Mileage: 6 - 52|
  • Biking: 4 - 5 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Sample Arizona’s surprising wines during a tasting and picnic at a family-owned winery
  • Unearth southern Arizona’s mining past during a visit to the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum
  • Explore the walking trails and fascinating exhibits of the highly regarded Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
  • Browse vibrant works inspired by the desert’s beauty the galleries of Bisbee and Tubac
  • Ride and picnic among the beautiful saguaro cacti of Saguaro National Park
  • Indulge in the amenities of the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, including world-class golfing and a luxurious spa.
  • Savor local cuisine infused with Native American, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo-American influences
  • Ride Tucson’s newly completed bike path, The Loop

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Feb68º/41º

Mar73º/44º

Apr81º/51º

Oct84º/57º

Nov73º/45º

Average
Precipitation:

Feb.07 in

Mar0.7 in

Apr0.3 in

Oct0.9 in

Nov0.6 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation Only

6 nights in a distinctive Southwestern B&B and two historic guest ranches Check
13 meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners Check

Tour Bikes

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Sun, Mar 15 to Sat, Mar 21 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Make your own arrangements for travel to Arizona and to our first inn. VBT offers a shuttle that departs from Tucson International Airport at 1:00 p.m.; you are welcome to use it. The shuttle works on a “show and go” basis. Reservations are not required or available. Your Stagecoach Express Driver will meet you at the restaurant Arbuckles near Baggage Claim 6. The driver will be holding a VBT sign. The travel time to Casa San Pedro is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

If you are scheduled to arrive at the airport after the shuttle’s departure or if you are delayed, you must take a taxi at your own expense. For guests driving to the tour, we recommend that you park your vehicle at the Tucson International Airport and take the shuttle, as our tour ends in Tucson. Parking at the airport costs approximately $10 a day in the garage, or $4.50-$6 a day in the economy lot offsite. Or you can park at Casa de San Pedro B&B for the week. Please contact the first inn if any travel delays or changes occur; they will inform your VBT trip leaders.

Upon arrival at Casa San Pedro, take time to settle in and change into your biking clothes. At 3:00 p.m., meet your group and your VBT trip leaders for a safety and bike-fitting session, followed by a short warm-up ride. At 5:30 p.m., meet your fellow travelers during a tour orientation and welcome reception. Enjoy your welcome dinner served family style in the B&B’s dining room, ending with homemade pies. Get to know your traveling companions as you anticipate your vacation, highly rated among Arizona bike tours.

Hotel: Casa de San Pedro B&B
Meals: Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Warm-Up: 6 miles

What to Expect: Get acquainted with your bicycle during a leisurely warm-up ride along South Palominas Road. The majority of this ride is on a paved road, a short portion is on packed dirt.

This morning, get underway on your Arizona biking vacation as you cycle to the historic mining town of Bisbee, crossing the scenic San Pedro River en route. Nestled among the rust-hued Mule Mountains, Bisbee was founded in 1880 and remained a thriving community until its large-scale mining operations ceased in the 1970s. Today, Bisbee flourishes as an artists’ colony and exudes a delightful “Old West” feel. Upon arrival, begin exploring this charming town on Mexico’s border; make sure you stop in at the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel, affectionately known as “the best little wheelhouse in Arizona.” Though this unique institution sells vintage and modern bicycles and other items, it is more of a museum than a bicycle shop. You may also uncover the mining history of Bisbee at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum. After an included lunch at a local restaurant, there’ll be more time to explore the historic town.

At your leisure, cycle back to the inn. Take time this afternoon to relax in the B&Bs courtyard listening to the fountain and birds. Or wander the grounds and stroll through the labyrinth and gardens. This eveningyou will enjoy a delicious, locally sourced dinner.

Note: Casa de San Pedro does not have a liquor license and invites guests to provide their own.

Hotel: Casa de San Pedro B&B
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 20 – 52 miles

Morning
Casa de San Pedro to Mexican Border and Bisbee: 32 miles
OR
Casa de San Pedro to Bisbee: 23 miles

Afternoon
Bisbee to Casa de San Pedro: 20 miles

What to expect: Cycle to Bisbee along Route 92, a paved highway. Pass over the San Pedro River, one of only two major rivers that flow north out of Mexico into the United States. It also is one of the last few undammed large rivers in the Southwest. This morning’s ride brings you to the United States and Mexico border. Arrive into Bisbee, enjoy lunch with the group at Bisbee’s Table and explore the historic mining town. After your exploration of Bisbee, ride back to the inn, where you will enjoy dinner tonight. It is BYOB, so make sure to pick up your preferred beverage in Bisbee today.

Today, shuttle from Hereford to Sonoita. From here, you cycle through beautiful open range and over rolling hills to a local winery, where you pause to enjoy a picnic lunch and a tasting. Kief-Joshua Vineyards is a small family business in beautiful Elgin, Arizona—right in the middle of what has become known as “winery row.” The vineyard planted its first vines in 2005, and harvested its first grapes in the fall of 2008. The winery practices traditional winemaking methods and eliminated the use of herbicides and pesticides in the vineyard in 2006.

Later, shuttle or ride into Patagonia, where you can browse all manner of eclectic local shops. Enjoy a tasty treat at the famed Gathering Grounds, home of “the best cup of coffee in Arizona.” You will have hot and cold options to choose from in this popular coffee shop. In the late afternoon, shuttle from Gathering Grounds to Tubac Golf Resort & Spa. Settle into your private hacienda and enjoy the rest of the evening on your own.

Hotel: Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 16 – 36 miles

Morning
Sonoita to Kief-Joshua Vineyards: 16 Miles

Afternoon
Kief-Joshua Vineyard to Patagonia: 20 miles

What to Expect: Start this morning with a one-hour shuttle from Casa de San Pedro to the town of Sonoita. From here, cycle to Elgin on paved roads with rolling hills. After a picnic lunch and wine tasting at Kief-Joshua Vineyards, head back to the start of the ride at Sonoita Mercantile. From here, choose to shuttle to Patagonia or pedal the additional 12 miles. Visit the quaint shops and galleries in Patagonia. Your final meeting point is Gathering Grounds, a family-owned and -operated coffee shop with wonderful coffee and baked goods that you are welcome to sample on your own.

After breakfast, a scenic cycling route delivers you to the town of Tubac, crossing the Santa Cruz River for a leisurely ride in the beautiful countryside. On your way back, you stop at Tumacácori National Historical Park, a mission dating to the 17th century. Enjoy a self-guided visit of the mission, museum, orchard, garden, and walking trails. If you wish, you can also visit the family-owned and -operated Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company. Afterward, there’ll be time to explore Tubac, a colorful artists’ colony where talented sculptors, painters, potters, artisans, and jewelers perfect their craft drawing inspiration from the magnificent desert landscapes. You may also decide to visit the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.

After lunch on your own, the afternoon is free for you to explore. Relax at the resort, tee off at the golf course, or take advantage of the spa. If you desire a tee time or spa appointment during your stay, we recommend that you contact the resort prior to traveling.

Enjoy dinner this evening at the resort.

Hotel: Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 10 – 34 miles
Tubac & Tumacácori National Historical Park: 24 miles
Afternoon
Tubac Loop: 10 miles

What to Expect: This morning, you ride on paved roads from the resort through the countryside to the Tumacácori National Historical Park. Here, enjoy a self-guided visit of the mission grounds and explore the museum and bookshop. After, cycle into the center of Tubac to explore the town and enjoy lunch on your own. Or choose to continue on your bike for an additional 10 mile looks through some of the residential roads and open terrain of Tubac. Some of Tubac’s favorite restaurants are Elvira’s, Shelby’s Bistro, Wisdom’s DOS, and the Tubac Deli.

This morning, shuttle from Tubac Golf Resort & Spa to Saguaro National Park, home to the remarkable Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. This unusual museum boasts more than 300 animal species and 1,200 varieties of plants in a beautiful natural setting. There’ll be ample time to observe wild animals and desert plants, attend lectures, visit an art show, and take a self-guided tour along the two miles of walking trails. Enjoy lunch on your own in either of the museum’s two restaurants. Then return to your bike for an exhilarating ride through Saguaro National Park, named for the distinctive large cacti that grow here and nowhere else on earth. It is pure pleasure to cycle this classic Arizona landscape that has come to epitomize the Southwest. Your ride continues to the stunning Gates Pass in the dramatic Tucson Mountains. As you approach Tucson, you follow The Loop, the city’s new multi-use path, to the hotel. Dinner is on your own this evening.

Hotel: Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choice:
Saguaro National Park West to Hacienda del Sol: 33 miles

What to Expect: Shuttle this morning to the intersection of Ajo Highway and Kinney Road. Enter Saguaro National Park West and take the time to visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. After lunch on your own, ride into Saguaro National Park West with its endless views of large saguaro cacti. Those looking for a challenging climb may continue on Gates Pass Road, a winding, hilly ride. This additional mileage follows a road with no shoulder and blind corners, so it is only for more comfortable riders. If you prefer, you may shuttle over Gates Pass. As you approach Tucson, follow The Loop, a multi-use path, to the Hacienda del Sol.

Please Note: The rules in Saguaro National Park are strictly enforced. You must wear a helmet at all times when cycling in the park, and you must obey the speed limit and any traffic signs. Park rangers will issue tickets to offenders, including those speeding on downhill slopes.

Shuttle from the ranch to cycle another scenic route along the Old Spanish Trail into Saguaro National Park. In the park, pause for a picnic lunch in a spectacular setting, gazing upon a desert terrain dotted with stunning Saguaro cacti. Saguaro National Park, spread over 92,000 acres on the edge of the modern city of Tucson, protects some of the most impressive forests of these giant subtropical plants. After lunch, you cycle to Broadway Bicycles and back to Hacienda del Sol. Be sure to leave time to stop and purchase an Arizona cycling jersey!

Tonight, celebrate with the group during a farewell dinner at Hacienda del Sol’s renowned restaurant, The Grill.

Hotel: Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 14 – 34 miles

Morning
Broadway Bikes to Saguaro National Park East: 14 miles

Afternoon
Saguaro National Park East to Hacienda del Sol: 20 miles

What to Expect: Shuttle this morning from Hacienda Del Sol to Broadway Bicycles, located in Tucson. Visit the bicycle shop, a great place to purchase cycling gear. Then, cycle the Old Spanish Trail toward Saguaro National Park East, where you enjoy a picnic lunch prepared by your trip leaders. After, you may ride or shuttle back to Broadway Bicycles and your hotel.

Please note: The rules in Saguaro National Park are strictly enforced. You must wear a helmet at all times when cycling in the park, and you must obey the speed limit and any traffic signs. Park rangers will issue tickets to offenders. BEWARE of the first downhill after the ranger tollbooth on the left.

The tour concludes after breakfast at your hotel. A shuttle to the Tucson airport will be provided to guests at 9:00 a.m., arriving approximately 40 minutes later. If you are flying out of Tucson, we suggest a flight no earlier than 12:00 p.m. Guests who need to get to the airport earlier or later must make their own arrangements. The VBT shuttle is also available to shuttle guests whose cars are parked at the first inn. It will arrive at the inn by noon.

Meals: Breakfast

Arizona: Saguaro National Park & the Sonoran Desert 8

Download PDF Itinerary:

Bike Vacation Only View Activity Chart
Reviews

Guest Reviews 26 out of 27 (96%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.7 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation Only

7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $995

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Sun, Mar 15 - Sat, Mar 21, 2020

From
$2,895

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Sun, Mar 22 - Sat, Mar 28, 2020

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$2,895

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Sun, Oct 18 - Sat, Oct 24, 2020

From
$2,745

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Sun, Oct 25 - Sat, Oct 31, 2020

From
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Sun, Nov 8 - Sat, Nov 14, 2020

From
$2,895

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Sun, Nov 15 - Sat, Nov 21, 2020

From
$2,895

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Sun, Nov 22 - Sat, Nov 28, 2020

From
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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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