Montezuma el Grande
This route is the concatenation (love that word!) of two 5 Star routes: Montezuma and Bud and Bo. This route is 5 Star the entire way! Montezuma Pass. Parker Canyon Lake. Canelo Hills. San Rafael Valley. (The reason that we classify this as a Bandit Route is that there is no new content within the ride that we have not already documented.)
George’s general thoughts on the route are that “all of the roads are in great shape and non technical. The roughest part of the ride was heading down the back of the pass from Montezuma. While pavement (~ a 12 mile section) isn’t always my favorite part of a gravel ride, we had a great time on that section. The paved road is fast, rolling, fun corners and very low traffic. The total vert on the ride definitely sneaks up on you. It only felt like we took in two good climbs (front and back of Montezuma) but the rollers out there are endless so you are on the pedals a lot during the ride.”
At ~ mile 17 water and food can be found at the Parker Canyon Lake and Marina general store (easonal). At the intersection with Highway 83 (paved) go left towards the lake instead of going right. This will add ~ 1 mile.
The route rides equally well in both directions and for some, the counter clockwise direction may make more sense as the water stop comes later in the ride.
40 mm tires are more than adequate for this ride. The route is exposed – be wary of sun and wind.
Adventure / Gravel Route
– Lollipop: 72 miles / 6700 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 80% gravel, 20% paved
– eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 1 hour, 40 min south of Tucson, Arizona
– Published: January 2020
Advanced. Due to distance and elevation gain.
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
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