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Elephant Head

Average Rating:    (3.28 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 18

Starts up with some great woop-d-doos, followed by some great twisty single-track. Ending with a magnificent climb to the top which rewards with a screaming downhill!
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Latitude
31.789907537201483
Longitude
-110.87677001953125
Trail Directions
Go south on I-19 out of Tucson. Get off at the Green Valley exit and follow directions to Madera Canyon (maps available at the gate). Cost $2 to get in last time I was there.
Trail Length
27 miles, depending
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Tucson
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (18 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
January 27, 2015

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Barry Brown ,  Racer

Summary:
Elephant Head Trail- Madera Canyon, Green Valley, AZ
Just did this ride and loved it! I parked in the Proctor Parking area, paid the $5 fee and took off down the dirt road (Proctor Road) marked (FR 781) or Elephant Head Trailhead. This dirt-road alone is such a blast, it's all downhill and you can fly with jump after jump to launch off.The dirt road is around a mile and a half maybe more and remember what goes down must come up! At the end of the dirt road find slip #11 and continue to the bottom of the draw, here you will find a loose 4-wheel drive road going up and this is where the start of the Elephant Head trail is, you have to go thru a small gate. I had a blast, I have been riding on the Tucson trails all week and this was a nice change with insane, breathtaking views! The trail is not for everyone, advanced riders will love it but others will most likely wish they had either stayed home or gone somewhere else. I found countless spots that were fairly difficult but most could be tackled. The beginning is the worst area, it does get better and has a few fast clean sections, I loved it because I felt like I was for once on a grand adventure going where few had gone. The whole trail to Elephant Head is down-hill and fairly fast meaning your return will be a long and fun climb. When you get to the end off the trail you will be under Elephant Head and you will hit a dirt road. This is Chino Canyon and it's a VERY tough ride to the top, I think it's around 6 miles and you will climb around 4000 feet to the top, it'a fantastic challenge but again it's an advanced to expert ride for sure and the decent can be a killer! The views on this 2.5 hour round trip are insane folks, bring a camera for sure and lots of water, tubes, food, etc.... Have fun I love it!!

Recommended Route:
Directions to the Northern Trailhead: Take I-19 south to Green Valley, approximately 30-miles south of Tucson. Watch for Exit 63, Continental Road, on the south side of town. Turn left (east) on Continental Road when you get off the highway. Go 1.1 miles and turn right on Whitehouse Canyon Road to Madera Canyon. Follow the pavement 11.2 miles to Proctor Road (dirt road on the right), just past the combination Proctor parking area and fee station. If there are no cones set up channeling you into the parking area, you’ll get in free. If not, you’ll be redirected past the fee station for a donation. Follow Proctor Road and stay left whenever the road splits. Park in the pullout on your right, or you can drive up the jeep trail (FR 781) yourself, though not all vehicles will do well.

Directions to the Southern Trailhead: Drive south from Tucson on I-19 like the above, but instead of getting off at Continental Road, continue another 17-miles (or so) and get off the Interstate at Exit 56. Go West under I-19, and take the Frontage Road South to Elephant Head Road. Take a left there, and then a right on Mt. Hopkins Rd. Drive about 6.7-miles and you can park in the few spots available. Then ride your bike about 1.5 miles up the dirt road, and hand a left onto another dirt road. Congrats, you’re there!



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Review Date
November 2, 2011

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: dave ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
If as some reviewers state this is the best thing around I'd take up shuffelboard. this trail sucks. rocky, sandy crap interspersed with fire roads. Some parts are rideable for the super macho I can ride anything even if I can walk it faster with half the effort mixed with dirt roads, wow what more can't you ask for?. If this is the best they can do for a mountain bike trail they should find other things to occupy their time.

Recommended Route:
almost anywhere but here

Other recommended trails in the same area:
try the new section of the Arizona trail south off Suarita Road at Hwy 83. What a mt. bike trail should be even if it's not.



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Review Date
January 28, 2010

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: abegold ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Beautiful views of the Santa Ritas and desert vistas. Mesquite Twig Girdlers (insect) is pruning back the mesquites. The indian site is a beautiful spot, especally when the stream is flowing. Little shade except upper 2 miles near Madera Canyon.
Singletrack has many rocks and few level sections.

Recommended Route:
Most do NOT do this trail as listed but start at Hawk Rd and ride uphill on dirt roads to the singletrack, 3.3 miles above the parking.
This way there is lots of sand so best ridden after a good rain. At the first T go straight and at junction stay left. The trail is marked by a sign. Going past it heads into a canyon that was wet and forest.
Taking the Elephant Head singtrack east it runs about 5 miles to Madera Canyon. At 1.8 miles you'll cross a wash. To your right is a 4' waterfall when flowing. Above it is a ancient indian site with 10 metates.
This trail is rocky and little of it is flat.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Arizona Trail on eastern side of Santa Ritas, Robles Pass in Tucson, Willow Springs near Harshaw, Oak Tree Canyon, Temporal Gulch.



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Review Date
February 28, 2009

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: swarga ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
I found this trail by accident and since I was there I decided to ride it. From the trailhead there is a gate then it starts out rocky. The Trail is overgrown so wear pants and sleves (my legs and ankles are scratched up good). There are a few technical sections, mostly wash crossings, but the sceanry is different than any I've seen in AZ. After the first 3.5 miles you come to a road that is about 3" deep with sand. I went about a mile up this then headed back as the sun was going down.
I would ride it again, but I would dress differently next time.



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Review Date
January 25, 2008

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: thaphillips ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I lived in Sahuarita for 2 years, and this was my closest trail. That being said, this trail sucks. It is always overgrown, the trail is very rocky and I would not suggest taking a hard tail. The "great descent" people are talking about is a DIRT ROAD, not a trail or fire road. This "great descent" just happens to go down for a long ways and you go fast so people like it. It does have good scenery, but if I was looking for scenery I would be hiking not biking.

To sum it up..... it's a lot of work for a very little reward. Also bring a truck if you want to park at the trail head, because it is rocky and a low clearance vehicle will get torn up.


The madera canyon trails are much better, but they are illegal for biking.

Recommended Route:
NONE!

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Aspen Draw
Brown Mountain
The Gap
Fantasy Island
Golden Ranch ....etc



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Reviews 1 - 5 (18 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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