|Name: Wildcat Trail FR4458||Author's Rating:|
|Author: Matt Marine||Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet|
|Type: Bike||Difficulty: (Learner). This is all Jeep trail, not too hilly, some sand, good learning trail for kids who haven't done much singletrack|
|Time: 1 - 2 hours||Region: SE Arizona|
|Length: 4.3 miles (out and back)||Elevation gain/loss/change: + 78 / -398 ft / -328 ft (one way)|
|Type: Out and back||Avg Elevation: 4600 ft|
|Best time to go: fall, winter, spring||Fees: May require a State Trust Land permit (see update on permit page).|
|Fitness rating: Medium||Educational Merit: Low|
|Danger/fear rating: Low||Scenic Beauty: Medium|
|Hours of Operation: NA||Last updated: October, 2011|
|Short Description: An non-technical (for the most part) bike trip along a Jeep road that can be ridden by beginners|
|Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area. Francis Mountain; American Flag; Cody's Cache|
|References / Contact Information: Campo Bonito; Triangle Y Ranch|
|Points of interest: Francis Mountain, Campo Bonito, Triangle Y Ranch|
|Special Considerations: May require a State Trust Land permit (see update on permit page).|
|How to get there: From Tucson, drive north on Hwy 77 toward Oracle. Turn right on American Ave at Oracle. Drive 2.4 miles, then keep right on Mt. Lemmon Rd. After about 1/4 of a mile, turn right onto Cody Loop Dr. Continue driving for another 2.2 miles. Turn right onto the dirt road (Wildcat Trail). Click here for directions.|
Note: This trail was originally done as a 4WD adventure, but could be done as a mountain bike ride also. Many of the pictures and video are from my original 4WD trip.
As I was driving along this trail I was thinking that this is one 4WD trail that could be done as a mountain biking adventure. Many 4WD trails are just too darn rocky and steep for my tastes in biking. This one is neither. It is a wide, fairly smooth trail that connects between Cody Loop Rd and Mt. Lemmon Rd (the back way up Mt. Lemmon).
This trail is in the foothills of Mt. Lemmon near Oracle. The higher elevation means cooler temps in the summer, but also snow possible in the winter. One portion of the trail is through a wash and can be sandy, but most should be decent riding. My thoughts are you can use this trail for beginners and kids just starting to learn mountain biking. It's wide, fairly smooth with no huge climbs.
Wildcat Trail is a high-clearance 2WD road that for the most part follows the power lines from Oracle to Campo Bonito. Campo Bonito is the mining group in which William "Buffalo Bill" Cody invested in the early 1900s near Oracle, Arizona. Cody mined gold, silver, quartz and tungsten in the area. Oracle and Campo Bonito are rich with Buffalo Bill history. Click here to see the history of Campo Bonito.
The trail is along what Google Maps calls Wildcat Trail. The Forest Service labels the trail as FR4458 (at least from the south). To access this trail, you can choose either the north end (near Oracle) or the south end (near Campo Bonito).
You can park near the gate at Waypoint 001. Go through the gate. There are a few small wash crossings and short hills as you come up the trail toward the turn off to Francis Mountain (Waypoint 002).
Continue on the main road that parallels the power lines. There are numerous turnoffs in both directions. Stay on the most traveled road. Keep going past the cattle tank on the left.
At Waypoint 003, the Arizona Trail intersects Wildcat Trail. Continue going along the main road. Again, there are numerous road off to either direction. Between Waypoint 003 and 004, you will go by a house on the right. This house is currently occupied, please stay on the trail. Just before you reach Waypoint 004, the road travels along a wash and can get sandy.
At Waypoint 004, the road to Campo Bonito heads off to the right. Continue going straight. The road is well graded here until you reach Mt. Lemmon Rd. The road to the Triangle Y (YMCA) Ranch is off to the right also. Once you've reached Mt. Lemmon Rd (Waypoint 005), you're done with Wildcat Trail.
You can turn around and retrace your steps back to the starting point, explore the Campo Bonito area or head back along the Mt. Lemmon Rd.
Have fun and be safe!
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