Montezuma

5 Star Route / Ridden and Reviewed by Gravel Girl & Captain ‘O

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado might have been a failed Spanish explorer during the 1540’s, but inspiring the Coronado National Memorial is quite the legacy which is where this route starts. The route climbs up the majestic Montezuma Pass, dives off the back …. then sweeps down across open grasslands in the San Rafael Valley. Three popper hills later (we call them the teeth) and you arrive at Parker Canyon lake, where you can enjoy a nice picnic stop before returning on the same roads, but in reverse. The “teeth”, the grasslands, and up and over Montezuma Pass. The final few miles, descending back into the visitor center, is just spectacular!

Ride Details 
Park at the Coronado National Memorial Visitor Center.  Pop in and say “howdy” to the friendly staff before taking off.  

The first 3 miles wastes no time with a solid 1,300 foot climb to the top of the pass. The first mile is paved and then changes into gravel switchbacks with dreamy views of the surrounding area.  When you reach the towers, stop and really suck in that glorious view.  // Read More

Adventure / Gravel Route

– Out & Back: 36 miles / 4300 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 93% gravel, 7% paved
eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 1 hour, 40 min south of Tucson, Arizona
– Course by: Captain “O”
– Published: December 2019

Difficulty / Strava Metrics

Moderate.
Gravel Girl’s ride data.

When we like to ride this …

Late fall to early spring when the skies are clear and the temps are moderate. We would avoid this route in summer. It is very exposed to the sun. Wind could also make this route brutal.

The Start

Coronado National Memorial visitor center. Flush toilets, water.
Lat / Long: 31.345688, -110.253960

Food / Water

Parker Canyon Lake and Marina general store. Seasonal.


Downloads

Cue Sheet / GPX FileTCX File

Legend

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.

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