Arizona Trail--Passage #13: Oracle State Park - TRAIL

Arizona Trail--Passage #13: Oracle State Park - Trail, Oracle, Arizona

This section of the Arizona Trail travels primarily through Oracle State Park. Even when the state park is closed, the trail is open. Start at the trailhead indicated south of Oracle on the Mt. Lemmon highway. You park near the turn off to the American Flag Ranch and look for the trail crossing south of there. The trail starts off through gently rolling hills, crosses Webb Road, and enters the park. The trail is well-groomed here and you pass several park trails--Manzanita, Cottonwood Wash, Gasline Road. You come to the windmill and from here it gets more hilly and arduous. Windmill loop is too sandy for mountain bikes as is Cottonwood Wash or Kannally Wash back to the ranch headquarters in the park. If you choose to continue north on the AZ Trail, be prepared for steep up and down sections following the powerline, We chose to do a loop rather than returning the way we came once we reached the highway 77. Cherry Wash is also too sandy for most mountain bikes and you will need to walk quite a bit before you intersect the Mariposa Trail which leads back to the internal park road. From there, we rode the highway back north to where we parked when we started. Total distance is about 11.5 miles. It took us 3 hours, but we stop and take lots of photos.

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