Cochie Canyon

Development Route / by Captain ‘O’

This is a route I mapped using satellite imagery and Strava heat maps, but I have not set tire tread on the southern and eastern half of the route — the Tortolita Mountains. Thus, the designation as a Training Route.

At ~ mile 20, at the power station, I am unsure if the route can continue north on public lands. Satellite imagery shows roads, however the Strava heat maps show little to no activity. Thus, the route may enter private lands. If so, at mile 20 go west along the power lines to reconnect to the original route, at about mile 37, on Owl Head road.

Further, I give no guarantee on road conditions or if this route will actually “go” in its entirety. Approach this as an adventure. Go prepared with the route loaded on a GPS device and have a way to navigate, such as Gaia, if you need to re-route and detour.

I have documented this route because I believe this area, and going further north and east, has the potential for some great gravel rides … but from what I can find, this area has had little exploration and documentation.

The larger area that needs exploration and documentation is bounded by:

  • Tucson on the south,
  • Picacho, Coolidge, Florence on the west,
  • Superior on the north, and
  • Kearny, Dudleyville, and Oracle on the east.

Another route in the area that we have documented, and ridden, is Owl Head.

If you ride this area and have route recommendations and pictures to share, please send us an email. We would really appreciate it! Our email address is at the bottom of the page.

Adventure / Gravel Route

– Loop: 44 miles / 3100 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 90% gravel, 10% paved
eBike Friendly: Unknown
– Location: ~ 30 min northwest of Tucson, AZ
– Published: January 2020


Moderate (this is a best guess).

The Start

A makeshift dirt parking area at the intersection of N. Owl Head Ranch road and Cochie Canyon Trail road.
Lat / Long: 32.470032, -111.194865


Cue Sheet / GPX file / TCX file


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road

For help with GPS files, the RideWithGPs mapping app and to learn how to download our routes for free, see the “Using Our Rides” page.

  • Andy says:

    I’ve ridden most everything in this area. Power lines, gas lines, gravel, etc. What you call a power plant is just the switching substation that can be ridden around. However, There are other segments I’m not sure go thru. Some of the Strava heat map you see are mine and not all recommended or public lands. Email me and I can share everything I know rideable in this area, and what’s private. And I’m back exploring it in November-March.

    • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

      Yes! We would love your input on this. We will be in Tucson around November 15th for 2 months. Maybe we can explore and ride this together. Just emailed you privately. Thanks!

      • Chad D says:

        Hi Kevin – Avid gravel cyclists (me + wife) here in Portland. Also going to be in Tucson for the month of September. Would love to connect down in AZ for some rides in the area. Planning to ride 3-4 days per week.

  • Kevin / Co-Founder @ Dirty Freehub says:

    From MattJ:
    I have ridden a section of the Cochie Canyon ride you have poasted. I plan on exploring more back there when it cools down and I have time, but with a 2 year old who knows when that will be. The Tortolita mountains are beautiful.

    My route overlapped yours from around mile 8.3 to 12.5. Almost immediately after the intersection at mile 8.3 the trail all but disappears. There is a steel and wire barricade preventing vehicles from driving the road at around mile 9 (if memory serves me correctly), it is easy enough to hop but over time I think the road will continue to slowly vanish over time. A couple of the wash crossings are rocky (big rutted out boulders) and techy but short (100 ft) so they’re easy to hike through.

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