The Tortolitas

EASY 1 reviews

The Tortolitas is a 8.6 mile out and back trail located near Tucson, AZ and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for mountain biking and is accessible year-round.

8.6 miles 948 feet Out & Back

mountain biking

2 years ago

I hiked the Lower Javalina Loop and part of the Upper Javalina Trail today in the southern part of the Tortolita Mountains. . I don't know what the overview is referring to. Maybe an unofficial bootleg trail off the Rail-X Road. Anyway, maybe the information below will be of value. And please note my comments regarding the season for this area.

The Tortolita Mountains are a range west of the Santa Catalina Mountains and northeast of the Tucson Mountains. Using towns for location, the Tortolitas are north of Marana, northwest of Oro Valley and west of Catalina. There is an excellent trail system developed by Marana in what is known as Tortolita Mountain Park in the southern portion of the range. The main access to these trails is from the south in an area known as Dove Mountain. A well developed trailhead where the public is welcome is available in the Ritz-Carlton resort. Another access is from the east on the Rail-X Ranch Road, which is a bit rough, and where you need an Arizona State Land access permit. The link below has a information and a printable trail map. Due to heat and snakes, hike here October through April only, unless you are a local.

The northern part of the range is on State Trust Land and is not as interesting as the southern part. It is accessible, though, and there are bootleg trails and bushwhack routes here. There are about 30 summits over 4,000 feet in the range, and the high point, known locally and unimaginatively as "Tortolita High Point" in on the eastern edge of the northern part of the Tortolitas.

There's a lot here, from easy trails to rugged scrambles, and great scenery.