OverviewA series of loops on a piece of State Trust Land in Tucson Arizona.
The loops run counterclockwise and are marked at various junctions with all sorts of trail goodies varying from handmade signs, thermometers, christmas trees with ornaments and large stone defined patterns.
Of note, Richard Cunningham visited and said that this trail put Tucson back on his map...whether that is viable or not there is something inherently fun about this loop. It is a great ride, able to loop in around 18 miles of all singletrack through the creosote, mesquites, paloverde and saguaro cactuses of the Sonoran Desert.
The trail is fast and twisty with many short ups and downs making it a great place for exercise and fun. Littered with jumps and bumps, bermed corners and a area called " the half pipe" there is a little something for every level of rider.
Alternate dirt roads intersect the course allowing easy bailout or easy warmups if needed, and it is used very frequently so solo rides are much less dangerous than other more remote locales.
Finally the weather will change the trail after every monsoon season, removing sand, replacing sand, changing lines and changing growth on around the trail so if you get bored of it after the next rain it will be like a new course.
Trail DescriptionRolling singletrack for its entire duration, generally loose over hard clay.
There are many areas of sand across washes and when rains occur there can be substantial and dangerous flooding and lightning.
One will find cattle here as well but there are very few on site. As long as it remains State Trust Land it will have cattle so be aware, be careful and be respectful.
It is also a haven to Western Diamondback rattlesnakes and in the range of Mohave Rattlesnakes.
The trail is well marked and very hard to get lost on. Worst case scenario is riding all the loops and returning to the start area tired and sunburned. The trail is also one-way so heed the signs and don't worry about riders coming towards you.
Getting ThereThere are 2 entrances to the trail:
1. Enter via the Irvington entrance:
.......Go to the intersection of Irvington and Harrison and park at the paved parking area. If it is full park on the dirt on either side of it. The entrance is to the west of the parking lot at the visual intersection of Harrison and Irvington. Proceed through an opening in the first barb wire fence and ride south about 50feet until the switchback entrance into the trail. Once inside there is a sign to the south with a map of the trail and a picnic table to the east. To the immediate right of the sign is the entrance onto the trail, to the far right of the sign adjacent to the chainlink fence is a road that crosses the site from north to south. To the left of the picnic table is the exit where you will return after your loop.
2. Enter via Valencia:
........On the north side of Valencia at Frost Rd is the other entrance to the trail. There is a switchback entrance there too. Park on the dirt near the entrance and go in. To the east you will see a trail that is marked with a bunny cutout. This is the entrance. To the west you will see a trail coming out which is the exit of the trail. Since this part of the trail begins on a loop be careful after about 1.4 miles that you look out for an large flat area with some signs and flags. Note this area because you will need to turn here to return up to Valencia after finishing the other loops.
When to BikeThis is a good trail to ride at the following times:
April-Sept: Early morning (start before 6am for a full loop)
............Night ride (start after 7pm)
Oct: Early morning (sunrise starts and mid morning finishes)
..........Night ride (after sunset)
Nov-Mar: Anytime of the day weather permitting
Avoid any daytime rides during the summer in Tucson period.
Avoid the area when it there is the possibility of monsoon rains (very heavy peak rainfall and a lot of lightning strikes in a very short period of time). Monsoons can sneak up very quickly. Check your weather forecast during June, July and August before going to ride any trails in Tucson.
Fantasy Island is totally suited to night riding and is a very fun trail to do so on.
EquipmentFantasy Island is well suited:
Bikes: Single speeds, Hardtails and short travel (<5") bikes. Long travel bikes are heavy and hard to use due to the flat terrain and the short steep rolling hills.
Tires: :Large volume knobbies work best. After rains semi slicks can be very fast. Being the desert it is recommended that you use a sealant in both tubes and tubeless applications.
...Water:With a lap time of around 1:30-2:00hr on average you will not need nutrition but being the desert you will need hydration. Figure at least 16oz per hour of exercise and add more as the temperatures go up. In summer a person could easily consume 50-70oz of water during a hot lap around Fantasy Island.
...Tubes: always bring at least one tube and a pump even if you run tubeless. At least with all the traffic that the trail receives you may be able to be bailed you by someone else but....