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Arizona: Saguaro National Park & the Sonoran Desert

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Cycle sprawling cacti-dotted landscapes, explore magnificent mining towns, and soak in mountain backdrops with VBT’s quintessential Arizona bike tour.

Guided Biking

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

Starting From

7-day Bike Tour Only

$2,895

Per person, double occupancy

Arizona: Saguaro National Park & the Sonoran Desert

Soak in sprawling desert landscapes as you ride across vast, versatile ranges. Ride into the prolific “winery row,” where you’ll enjoy a picnic and a tasting at a local winery featuring wines produced from the West’s unique terroirs. Coast into artists’ colonies to see the work of local masters. Your journey leads you to idyllic Patagonia, a quirky town encapsulated by picturesque mountains. At the renowned Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, explore hundreds of animal and plant species, followed by an exhilarating ride through Saguaro National Park, named for its distinctive native cacti found nowhere else on earth. VBT’s Arizona bike tour guides you along some of the American Southwest’s most stunning routes to unearth quintessential Arizona.

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 winery featuring wines created from the West’s unique terroir.
  • Explore the walking trails and fascinating exhibits of the highly regarded Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
  • Bike and picnic among the beautiful saguaro cacti of Saguaro National Park
  • Cycle Tucson’s Gates Pass and The Loop bike path
  • Visit the Tumacácori National Historical Park for a self-guided tour, home to three Spanish mission communities and beautiful orchards and gardens

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

Tour Only

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

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, Feb 20 to Sat, Feb 26 - 2022

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. The shuttle works on a “show and go” basis. Reservations are not required. 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 one hour and 45 minutes.

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 the first day of your Arizona bike tour. After a safety and bike-fitting session, enjoy 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.

Today’s Ride Choice
Afternoon: 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 6 miles
Accomodation: Casa de San Pedro B&B, Hereford
Included Meals: Dinner

This morning, get your Arizona bike tour underway 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 evening you 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.

Today’s Ride Choices
Morning: Casa de San Pedro to Mexican Border and Bisbee — 32 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. The ride into Bisbee will be a steady incline. Bisbee sits at over 5000 feet of elevation, your VBT trip leaders will offer a shuttle option into Bisbee. Arrive in to Bisbee, enjoy lunch with the group at a local restaurant and explore the historic mining town. After your exploration, ride back to the inn, stopping along the way to view the Lavender Pit, a former open pit copper mine.

Cumulative Distance Range: 20-52 miles
Accomodation: Casa de San Pedro B&B, Hereford
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 for a picnic lunch and a wine tasting. The Twisted Union Wine Company is a small locally owned business in beautiful Elgin, Arizona—right in the middle of what has become known as “winery row.” Your lunch will be enjoyed while taking in views the vast landscape and grapevines. The tasting will include premium wines created with the focus of highlighting the uniqueness of the local terroir.

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.

Today’s Ride Choices
Morning: Sonoita to Vineyard — 16 miles
Afternoon: 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 and open range. After a picnic lunch and wine tasting at The Twisted Union Wine Company, continue your loop back to Sonoita. Once in Sonoita, choose to shuttle to Patagonia or pedal the additional 12 miles downhill. Visit the quaint shops and galleries in Patagonia. Your final meeting point is Gathering Grounds. From here the shuttle is about one-hour to your hotel in Tubac.

Cumulative Distance Range: 16-36 miles
Accomodation: Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, Tubac
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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.

Today’s Ride Choices
Morning: Tubac &Tumacacori National Historical Park — 24 miles
Afternoon: Tubac Loop Ride — 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 loop 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 10-34 miles
Accomodation: Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, Tubac
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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.

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

What to Expect: Shuttle one-hour this morning to Saguaro National Park West and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. After your museum visit and 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 section of ride over Gates Pass 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, along the Santa Cruz and Rillito Rivers. The ride ends at your hotel in the Catalina foothills.

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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 33 miles
Accomodation: Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch, Tucson
Included Meals: Breakfast

For your final ride of your Arizona bike tour, take a shore shuttle from the hotel to a local bike shop where your cycling will begin. Today’s ride is a scenic route along the Old Spanish Trail into Saguaro National Park. Once in the park follow the one-way Loop Drive, for a thrilling cycle through the park. Your morning ride ends at the Javelina Picnic area for a picnic lunch, 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, continue cycling through the park to returning 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.

Today’s Ride Choices
Morning: Broadway Bikes to Saguaro National Park East — 14 miles
Afternoon: Saguaro National Park East to Hacienda del Sol — 20 miles

What to Expect: Take a short shuttle this morning from Hacienda Del Sol to Broadway Bicycles, located in Tucson. Visit the bicycle shop, a great place to purchase cycling gear. Cycle the Old Spanish Trail through Tucson toward Saguaro National Park East. In the park follow the one-way Loop Drive. Stopping for 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.

Cumulative Distance Range: 14-34 miles
Accomodation: Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch, Tucson
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Your Arizona bike tour concludes after an included breakfast at your hotel. VBT’s complimentary shuttle is available to take departing guests to the Tucson airport 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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Arizona: Saguaro National Park & the Sonoran Desert 9

Download PDF Itinerary:

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Accommodations

Reviews

Guest Reviews 30 out of 33 (91%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

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7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $845

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Sun, Oct 10 - Sat, Oct 16, 2021

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Sun, Nov 14 - Sat, Nov 20, 2021

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7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $995

Sun, Feb 20 - Sat, Feb 26, 2022

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Sun, Feb 27 - Sat, Mar 5, 2022

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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