Fun, winding loop trail near Dove Mountain with a variety of surface conditions and 100% singletrack”
— Stephen Woodall
This trail is maintained by the Town of Marana and provides pretty decent shade overall compared with most desert trails. While the beginning and end are a bit sandy, the topography does change into some harder packed dirt and even a few rocky sections up north. One nice aspect to this route are the twists and turns which add distinctive character.
To access the trailhead take Dove Mountain Boulevard north from Tangerine and head west on Moore Road until the road ends at the dirt road. You can open the cattle gate and park on the side of the road there. The trailhead is easily visible on the north side of the dirt road with signage and a log book just beyond. You can take the loop both clockwise and counterclockwise but bike traffic is suggested counterclockwise so typically, heading counterclockwise avoids higher closing speeds on this twisting trail.
Heading counterclockwise the first couple of miles are somewhat sandy and you'll be heading gradually uphill. If you'd like to shorten the loop by about 2.75 miles, you can head north at a fork in the path which comes at the 1.25 mile mark. This skips quite a bit of additional sandy path and basically eliminates the finger out to the east that you can see on the map. For the full loop don't head north and follow the main path on the right heading out to the east.
The path continues to twist and turn before heading further north briefly along homes by Heritage Highlands and then back to the west as it parallels The Gallery Golf course. This section of trail leading out to the east begins to be more hard packed dirt and eventually transitions to some rocky sections with a little bit of technical hiking. There are still a few wash crossings and you'll go up and down out of these areas a few times adding some brief descents and climbs. The rocky character of the trail remains as you head back south, at least for the first half of that southern leg. Then you'll find yourself back in some loose sand, still not too deep overall, as you make one last major turn heading east to the trailhead.
Overall it's a very pleasant loop. It's more utilized by mountain bikers, so keep your eyes and ears open for their presence. If you don't need the full mileage it's highly suggested to take that short cut and avoid that additional trail that leads through more sand. This route is fairly flat, and the relative shade of the trees makes for a pleasant outing.
Flora & Fauna
The singletrack is fairly tight and runs by all sorts of cactus. As always with desert recreation, keep your eyes peeled for both cactus and desert wildlife (snakes especially).