Cat Mountain Trail … The Best in the Starr Pass Area
Cat Mountain is the second page about trails in the Starr Pass area. To read about the first part of the ride please click: Star Pass.
We then rode up to the other large junction and took the Cat Mountain trail. We stopped and David explained that the trail had been there a long time … but had just recently become his favorite. A couple minutes after starting the ride and I found why David liked this trail so much.
The trail was somewhat steep, but not too bad. What made this trail difficult for me was how rocky and rough the tread was. I had stayed right behind David for the entire ride, but he pulled away from me at this point. I struggled to keep up enough momentum to ride over each rock, while David just kept motoring on. Was the difference his new bike or just his skill level (or both)? David proved to be a very good technical climber.
Please enjoy this interactive, trail map. The automobile icon marks the trailhead. Click the icons for info on land-marks, both general and personal to this ride.
Have you ridden this the Cat Mountain Trail before? What did you think of it? Share your story with us and other visitors to this page here.
The Cat Mountain trail leveled off after about .4 miles and offered some nice views of Tucson and the neighboring hills and gullies. Resting in the shadow of Cat Mountain, David pointed out several landmarks, such as the Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa (to the north) and University of Arizona Mountain (to the east).
Once again, I felt lucky to be there, to enjoy the view, the desert trails, the friendship.
Coming down off of Cat Mountain was a lot of fun. I found the trail to be my favorite type … a slight downhill, large flowing turns, cactus growing right on the edge. Cactus? Yes, I like the thrill of riding trails that make me pay for not being in control … of weaving my way down a snaking singletrack with 20 foot tall Saguaros zipping by, 4 inches from each shoulder. Adrenaline! Wow!
The Cat Mountain trail ends when it intersects the 36th Street Trail. David said he often parked at the end of 36th street to do a ride, as it was easier to get to from the south.
We turned left and did a little bit of climbing, followed by some rocky descent over a “trail” that resembled a high sierra creek bed … nothing but round rocks the size of softballs. I visited the dentist shortly after this ride and found out one of my old fillings was cracked and I was going to need a crown! I am going to blame it on that stretch of the Cat Mountain Trail!
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We rode right by a very nice housing tract which bordered a golf course on the opposite side.
David mentioned he had his sights on one of the houses along the golf course … one which looked abandoned. He had been checking to see if the house was being foreclosed, or was going to be sold at auction, or…
We had one more stiff climb before we reunited with the Starr Pass Trail and jetted back to the parking lot. When I looked at my Android it said we had traveled 11.8 miles. We covered almost every trail in this area in a little over 2 hours (2:19).
David loaded his bike quickly. He had told me earlier he had a dinner date with his next door neighbors (two octogenarians) at the golf club they attended.
I told him I was impressed that he would share his time with 80+ year old people who were not family and with a 57 year old mountain biker he didn’t know until that day. I felt lucky to have met this friendly fellow and I expect the neighbors felt the same way having him live next door.
The following map and website provides a whole bunch of data about this ride. I have found all the measurements on Strava to be pretty accurate except for the elevation gain/loss. I like being able to compare my performance compared to my previous trip or to other people doing the same segment of ride.