Arizona is one of the most beautiful states in the country, featuring gorgeous desert landscapes, sprawling mountains and canyons, unique cacti and plant life, and sunny weather most days of the year. If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, simply riding throughout the state on your bike can allow you to appreciate the stunning views through one of your favorite hobbies.
The Tucson, Arizona, area offers some of the best views in the state. Read on to learn about our favorite Tucson motorcycle rides in and around the city.
Cactus Forest Drive
If you’re looking for a quick motorcycle ride near Tucson to complete in an hour or two, Cactus Forest Drive could be your best choice. This 8-mile paved route cuts through Saguaro National Park, just east of Tucson.
This route is entirely paved, making for a smooth, easy motorcycle ride. Because it’s so short, you’ll have plenty of time to stop along the way and admire the beautiful desert scenery. This Rincon Mountain District is full of giant cacti that paint the landscape and provide an exciting view.
To access this road, drive east from Tucson until you reach Freeman Road. Then take this road south to the Old Spanish Trail and follow signs for the Saguaro National Park entrance. You’ll find Cactus Forest Drive a quarter of a mile past the entrance.
Sky Island Scenic Byway
Scenic byways span some of the most beautiful landscapes throughout the country. If you’re looking for a stunning scenic byway to traverse near Tucson, we recommend Sky Island.
Sky Island Scenic Byway is a 27.2-mile road that offers breathtaking canyon, desert, mountain, and forest views. This route is one of the only paved roads that lead to the top of Mt. Lemmon, an impressive mountain range in the heart of the Coronado National Forest.
You’ll find several points of interest throughout this byway, including:
- Coronado National Forest
- Aspen Vista
- Babad Do’ag Vista
- Gorden Hirabayashi Recreation Site
This road should take you anywhere from three to six hours to travel on your bike. Additionally, you may need to pay a small fee to access certain stops along the route.
Redington Road is another scenic route near Tucson that can provide impressive, sprawling views of the natural desert. This road passes through Santa Catalina and the Rincon Mountains, providing views of huge cattle ranches and horse farms in the area.
Redington Road is approximately 29.1 miles across and will probably take you around three hours round trip to navigate from Tucson. This route is better suited for seasoned riders, as most of the path isn’t paved and can get a little rocky at times.
This motorcycle route also offers an excellent opportunity to do some hiking. Several trails cut away from Redington Road, allowing you to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery up close. You’ll also see popular viewpoints that are just a short walk from the road.
Mt Lemmon Scenic Byway
Mt Lemmon Scenic Byway is a 28-mile road located about 15 miles northeast of Tucson. This paved road takes you through the majestic Catalina Mountains and up into the peaks of Mt. Lemmon.
Along this route, you’ll see gorgeous views of rockscapes, mountain forests, deep canyons, and vast deserts. You’ll also see a diverse selection of vegetative life, as this area contains some of the most wide-ranging plants and animals of any area of similar size within the U.S.
Every twist and turn up the mountain will reveal a stunning new scene, making for an engaging, enjoyable motorcycle ride. You can expect this route to take an hour or two, giving you plenty of time to stop along the way and enjoy the view.
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