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Mountain Biking

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Sunglow Ranch, Base Camp and Bikes

Sunglow Ranch directly abuts the Coronado National Forest, which offers numerous trails for mountain bikers across a broad spectrum of ability and are directly accessible. There are also several trail options right on the ranch’s 475 acres. Experience the luxury of leaving for a ride right from the door of your casita.

We encourage group leaders to contact us for more information about hosting cycling trips at Sunglow Ranch.

About an hour from the ranch, the Elephant Head Mountain Bike Route is a combination of little-traveled roads and remote trails designed especially for mountain bikes. Winding across the scenic foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains in the shadow of the dramatic landmark for which it was named, the route was designed both to challenge a rider's skill and to provide a scenic, back country experience.

One end of the ride is at the mouth of Madera Canyon Recreation Area. The other is at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory Visitor Center on the road to the top of Mount Hopkins.

From the Madera Canyon trail head, the ride follows old jeep tracks across the desert grasslands and mesquite flats to the base of Elephant Head Rock, where it turns into a single-track trail. As the trail curls around the Rock, it heads up Chino Canyon into Chino Basin along a steep old mining road.

At the top of the climb to Chino Basin, the ride turns south along a rugged mountain trail over a saddle then down a nice grade into Agua Caliente Canyon. After crossing Agua Caliente Creek, the route leads along a couple of little-used forest roads around a couple of foothills that mark the western limits of the Santa Rita Range. The ride ends at the Whipple Observatory Visitors Center where water and rest rooms are available. Or you can just make a quick turn around in the parking lot and do it all over again in the opposite direction.

Difficulty: Challenging/exciting

Attractions: Season: Fall, spring, summer. Designed for mountain bikes

Length: 13 miles

Elevation: 3,600'-4,600'