Kentucky Grit

Development Route / by Captain ‘O’

Do you have the grit? The route has sections that are more jeep road / technical double track than gravel. Most of it is rideable but …. some may not be. Be tough, be strong!

What we like about this route: a visit to the ghost town of Kentucky Camp, a short section of riding on the Arizona Trail that is scenic and well suited to a gravel bike, big views of Mt. Wrightson, and riding in the alpine woods of the Santa Rita Mountains that feels more like Prescott, AZ than the Sonoran Desert just south of Tucson.

The route is a Development Route for two reasons: (1) The route also has a nondescript high point / turn around point — a set of radio towers just beyond Melendrez Pass and (2) We have not ridden the entirety of the route.

We believe miles 0.4 to 3.4 are public roads, but if not, detour to Highway 83 as an alternative. Also, at mile 13.6 there may be an option to route left and catch the original route closer to Melendrez Pass.

The route is suited for big tires. 40 mm is pretty much the minimum you want. 650b’s with 50 mm tires or a 29’er with 2.1’s would be better. Some will stiff prefer a hardtail mountain bike.

Adventure / Gravel Route

– Loop with dogleg: 27 miles / 2000 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 79 % gravel, 3% single track, 18% paved
eBike Friendly: No
– Location: Tucson, AZ
– Course by: Captain O
– Published: December 2019


Advanced due to some steep and technical jeep road / double track.

The Start

At the gravel pad on the NW corner of Sonoita Road (Hwy 83) and Greaterville Road. This is just before the Border Checkpoint on Sonoita Road about 15-16 miles south of I-10.
Lat / Long: 31.785443, -110.696430


Cue Sheet / GPX file / TCX file


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
Blue = single track

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.

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