The Lemmon Drop was amazing and 100% legit, but definitely not for the faint of heart. Starting from Green Mountain we hit Bug Springs, Molino Basin and Bellota, on the AZT before finishing with La Milagrosa.
The Lemmon Drop starts on Mt Lemmon and takes the AZT (Arizona Trail) through the Coronado National Forest and ends on the outskirts of Tucson. Because of snow we were unable to do the first three sections (Aspen Draw, Sunset and Incinerator Ridge), so our shuttle guide Art from Home Grown suggested we start from Green Mountain.
This ride included Green Mountain, Bug Springs, Molino Basin, Bellota and La Milagrosa. And while the trail ended there be prepared for a fairly long 6 mile road ride back to the parking lot. We had the misfortune of facing a light headwind most of the way back which totally burned out my legs. In the future parking a car at the end of La Milagrosa to avoid this long road ride back might be worth it.
If you’re interested in the custom La Milagrosa T-shirt I designed click here:
We met with everyone at the Madera Village parking lot. Once we had everyone the Homegrown shuttle drove us 40 mins up the mountain pass to our starting point at Green Mountain.
The Green Mountain trail starts with a punchy 100 ft climb. The exposure in some spots is scary, and combined with the tech, it makes for an exciting challenging trail with breathtaking views. At the 4 mile mark you will go through the General Hitchcock Campground and make a left on the Mt Lemmon Highway.
You will see the Bug Springs trailhead at mile 4.4 and be greeted you with the first of two massive hike-a-bike sections. The second hike-a-bike occurs at mile 6.5, but it’s shorter than the first. In total you will climb 650ft on this trail. The next two miles will have you smiling from ear to ear as the trail opens up to beautiful views and fast flowy single track.
At the end of Bug Springs you will cross over the Mt Lemmon Highway and begin the Molino Basin trail which will continue the downhill fun for another 3 miles. At mile 12.2 you will crossover the Mt Lemmon Highway again and start the Bellota trail. This trail starts off with a brutal climb that will have you hiking a few sections as you ascend 500 ft. Although it is marked a blue on Trailforks I found the next 2 miles downhill quite technical. At the bottom you will see a round concrete structure where you will bare left.
At mile 15 you will make a right onto La Milagrosa which is a double black trail. The infamous ‘Waterfall” comes up pretty quickly so be careful. Over the next 2 miles the trail will undulate up and down through some pretty technical terrain. The final decent starts at mile 17.5 and will last about two miles before dumping you out onto a gravel road. Eventually the gravel road will merge in to Horsehead Rd. Take that a mile and hang a left on Soldier Trail followed by a right onto Snyder Rd. Finally make a left on Catalina Highway which you will be on for 4 miles until you reach the Madera Village parking lot.
In total, our ride ended up being about 26 miles with 3000 ft of climbing. If want to follow the route we took, check out my Strava or Trailforks links below.
Trail Details & Additional Info
Madera Village parking lot
9095 E Tanque Verde Rd,
Tucson, AZ 85749
If you like what you see, or have some feedback/questions feel free to contact me. If you enjoyed the content and you want to see more check out my other pages on Trail Sage.
#MountLemmon #Tucson #MTBAZ #LaMilagrosa #homegrownmtb #POV #IbisCycles #IbisMojo3 #MountainBike #MTBing