What is it like to bike on the Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop is the greatest and most famous “loop” bicycle path system in all of North America. Cyclists, from pros to the novice, enjoy the clean, fast, smooth black top. And everyone enjoys Tucson cycling on our 130 mile plus car-free bike path. The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop is considered by many as the world’s greatest shared use/bike path system.
While bicycling is probably the most common use of Oro Valley/Tucson Loop, walkers, runners and horseback riders enjoy the The Loop as well.
Cyclists are advised to yield to pedestrians, to keep their speed at a reasonable level, and to announce their passing with a bell or other signal. Cyclists should ride two abreast (at most) and, as is the case with all trail users, MUST stay to the right of the center line at all times except when passing. And we advise cyclists to announce when they are passing. Use your voice. Be loud. Cyclists and road bikers need to be respectful that the Oro Valley/Tucson Loop is a shared use system for everyone.
Are there many other cycling and biking opportunities that are near the Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Yes! Almost unlimited. Check out the cycling section of The Arizona Bicycle Association at BikeAZ.org. Or check out the cycling section of tucsonbikerentals.org. BikeTucson.com also has information.
Our thoughts: Use The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop as the centerpiece of your Tucson/Southern Arizona cycling vacation experience.
Are e-bikes legal on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Yes! As long as they are pedal assist, you are fine. Tucson Bike Rentals and Oro Valley Bike Rentals rent and deliver e-bikes near The Oro Valley Market Place. Gas powered bikes are illegal and will be ticketed.
Can I ride my horse on Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
You you can. You will want to be sure that your horse will be comfortable around speeding bicycles, families with strollers, groups of joggers – and yes, other horses!
Can I jog/run on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Joggers dig the The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop. And they should! Our shared use bike path offers 130 miles plus CAR-FREE miles of enjoyment. So, prepare for a perfect day in the Tucson sunshine with light layers, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and plenty of water. Always remember there are plenty of water stops, restrooms – in addition to the numerous convenience stores, restaurants and local business that are at or on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop. Whether you are biking or walking, The Loop can be done with just one water bottle. There are plenty of parks, restrooms, fountains, and local businesses to get water.
Can I roller skate or skateboard on The Loop?
If you are that coordinated, yes! Keep a steady eye. Falling sucks.
Can my dog accompany me on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Yes. Pets are permitted. But you must keep your pet close to you. There are accidents between pets and cyclists and dog owners bear responsibility.
And please be sure to properly clean up and dispose of any waste. Also note that pets must be leashed (less than 6 feet) and may not cross the center line, staying to the right at all times.
Is The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop patrolled by police?
Yes! Both Oro Valley and Tucson do a great job of patrolling our fantastic loop.
Can I ride my quad, motorcycle, or other ATV on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
No. There are many, many dirt road opportunities in Tucson perfect for motorized fun. Many ATV-ers enjoy the many miles of river wash.
Is there a lot of directional signage on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Yes, you can navigate the system without using a map.
Are there mile markers along The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop Bike Path?
The entire trail is marked via GIS mapping on the Pima County-Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Loop Interactive map.
This map has many fields and features including mile markings down to .25 miles. Part of the problem with physically marking all stretches of the Loop is the fact it follows several water courses (Santa Cruz, Rillito, CDO, Julian Wash, Pantano, etc.) in several jurisdictions (Marana, Oro Valley, City of Tucson, City of South Tucson, Pima County). Likewise, many sections of the path are only on one side, not both sides, of the riverbed. The Loop Advisory Committee meets several times a year and has continued to debate the topic of marking the path.
We would like to see more physical mile markers on this path. Please enjoy the TucsonLoop.org interactive map that will help you find almost anything you need to plan your Tucson Loop cycling vacation experience.
Should I walk/bicycle/run on the right or the left of the path?
On all shared use systems, common guidelines are that you should “stay to the right” and “pass on the left” – regardless of your mode of travel. Note that you should not walk, bike, or run to the left of the center line unless you are passing someone ahead of you. If you are enjoying the outdoors with a group, be sure not to crowd the path and stay to the right of the center line.
Can I bike two abreast?
Legally yes. Should you? No. You are asking for trouble when you do that.
Are there restrooms along The Loop?
There are numerous restroom stops on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop Bike Path. Between restrooms on the path and at parks, there are around 50 restrooms throughout the 130 plus mile system. And do not forget there are convenience stores and many nearby locations on our incredible shared use/bicycling path. The restrooms are handicap and family friendly.
Are there places to get water on The Loop?
The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop is a one water bottle ride (except for the summer). You can ride this system because there are numerous bathrooms and parks (over 50) where you can get water. And there are many convenience stores, restaurants and businesses on the path – or just off the path.
Are there places to eat on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Yes! In Oro Valley, The Oro Valley Market Place offers Olive Garden. For great burgers we recommend Legends in the Omni Resort golf course. When you see their golf course, exit and bike on their golf cart ramp heading north and you will go right to their restaurant. Best place to eat on The Loop? Top Golf is on the Loop just off the highway. Very good food. Get in a “round of golf” on their driving range and have fun.
Are there good coffee shops on The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
There are! Savaya Coffee is just behind The La Encontada Apartments that is ON The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop in Oro Valley. They only offer coffee and not much else. Ren Coffee is on The Loop next to Homewood Suites. This is an aaaaaaaaaaawesome coffee shop, place to eat and drink. They also serve beer. We really like Presta in the Mercado San Augstin (Downtown), a half mile off the Congress exit.
Are there trash cans along The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Yes. You will find trash cans at numerous stops and trails along the route. Be sure to properly dispose of all trash (especially pet waste) in these containers and do not litter along the paths. Tucsonans are quite proud and protective of our clean and wonderful city.
Is it possible to camp anywhere along The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Yes! Book a reservation at The Catalina State Park in beautiful Oro Valley. There is no better place to camp in Arizona. The Catalina State Park connects to the Oro Valley/Tucson Loop. There is nowhere else on The Loop system that allows camping.
Can I set up a stand to sell my merchandise along The Loop?
No. The City of Tucson and Pima County do not allow any commercial activity along The Loop unless a special permit is granted. And that special permit is difficult to get.
Oro Valley/Tucson Loop founder: Who is Chuck Huckelberry?
Chuck Huckelberry is considered the leading advocate of our incredible Oro Valley/Tucson Loop. A civil engineer and the current County Administrator of Pima County, Huckelberry is a man who had an incredible vision of building this extraordinary shared use, car-free bicycle path. His vision has helped elevate Tucson as the greatest biking destination in the world today. In addition to helping cycling, this bike path has made Tucson cleaner and increased transportation efficiency, while increasing value of real estate. Homes are often worth 15 percent or more depending on their location to The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop.
The value of The Loop cannot be underestimated or fully understood. Tucson has risen greatly in stature and tourism is booming as The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop has become Tucson’s number one attraction. The idyllic community of Oro Valley – nestled against The Catalinas – has people from all over the world traveling and starting their cycling and hiking vacations based around The Loop. Oro Valley has even become the top retirement destination for cyclists in North America. The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop is a remarkable accomplishment that our community has great pride in. And Chuck Huckelberry – and others – deserve terrific credit.
He has been an advocate of The Loop since the 1980s. The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted in 2018 to name The Loop in his honor. Job well done.
What else do I need to know before I experience The Oro Valley/Tucson Loop?
Here are some things to keep in mind before you start your Loop cycling vacation experience.
- Be kind and courteous to other people on The Loop. Say hello with a smile. Stay to the right, except when passing. Choose to enjoy the laughter of children. Encourage other people on the path: “I love your hat” or “Your baby is so sweet!”
- Keep the paths clean and beautiful. Do not leave anything on the path or trails. Pick up and properly dispose of litter and pet waste. Participate in community volunteer days or bring a trash bag and clean up on your own.
- Stay safe and be prepared. Protect yourself with light layers, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water. However, there are plenty of water stops. Walk, run, or jog with a friend or family member, when possible. Always tell someone where you are going and for how long.
- Be happy. You are enjoying the greatest place on earth! Notice the blossoming flowers, the towering saguaros, the interesting architecture, the majestic mountains, the sparkling sunshine, and the fresh air. Tucson is a beautiful place to work, play, and live. And Tucson/Oro Valley, Arizona is the greatest place in the world today for cyclists, hikers and those who have an appreciation for the desert.
- Have a great time and discover Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona – Biking Capital of The World!