With its long and layered cultural past, Patagonia-Santa Cruz County is a gravel bike destination that combines a rich historic legacy with a unique natural environment. The community here holds important historic and cultural significance within a diverse region. It is a place where Native American, Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and Anglo territorial heritages and traditions intersect with the natural landscape in ways unique to southeastern Arizona. Visiting cyclists will see that the intersection of diverse cultures and the physical landscape is very much a source of the region. Our desert frontier landscape, the underlying threads of natural history and human experience, and the distinctive stories this region has to tell are why Patagonia-Santa Cruz County is an unforgettable gravel bike destination experience. We believe the best way to experience the borderlands region, where the Sonoran cactus desert scrub meets the Chihuahuan desert grasslands, is on the backcountry roads of our region. We hope you enjoy the southeastern Arizona outdoor lifestyle.
We would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone interested in exploring Patagonia, one of the best gravel cycling destinations in the West. We are proud of our history and distinctive character. A unique spirit permeates and is easily perceived by those who spend time here. Situated at over 4,000 feet elevation between the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains in a riparian corridor of Sonoita Creek, our network of unpaved county and forest service roads offers endless adventure. These roads take in the expanse of the southeastern Arizona border region, including the San Rafael Valley, to deliver an unforgettable cycling experience to in-state and out-of-state visitors. Furthering Patagonia-Santa Cruz County’s ability to build upon its natural and human assets to develop a Nature Based Economy. Gravel cycling is a natural fit. Make Patagonia-Santa Cruz County your next bike destination. Ride through time and see remnants of our past and help build the future of outdoor recreation in southeastern Arizona.
The evolution of gravel cycling continues. Rock Shox brought decades of design experience to the new Rudy XPLR. It features enough travel to keep you comfortably in control when riding mixed terrain. The aesthetics and angles share similarities to other past Rockshox forks, but the new Rudy XPLR is gravel-specific designed from the ground up, and performance stands out. With 30mm and 40mm travel options, 700x50mm tire clearance, Charger Race Day damper tuned, the Rudy makes your gravel riding dreams come true. It is tuned for shorter travel and efficiency over bumps while the Maxima Plush damping fluid reduces friction and silences damper noise. It’s energy-efficient on tarmac with rock-solid lockout and can be tuned to the rider via the Airspring and Rebound Adjustment. The Rudy weighs in at only 1227g (2.7 lbs). A typical carbon gravel fork weighs close to 600g (1.3 lbs). The difference is the equivalent to 1 full 22 oz. water bottle at 630g (1.4lbs). All things considered you’re really getting front-end suspension for about the same added weight as a small water bottle. For more information visit www.sram.com. Available in Quicksand or Gloss Black.
Get in the groove and let the good times roll. We’re gonna stay here till we soothe our soul.
Photo: Joey Schusler/SRAM
It’s an exciting time as Patagonia-Santa Cruz County continues to evolve by becoming a gravel bike destination, and the Patagonia Lumber Company building at 295 McKeown Ave is the resource hub for your ride. Built in 1915 as a Field Office by the Flagstaff-based Arizona Timber Company, it now houses a Presta Coffee + Arizona Wine + Beer + Food Truck venue that serves as an outdoor bar and live music venue for everyone.
Local entrepreneurs Heidi and Zander Ault have put their hearts and souls into the building, beer garden, and list of incredible beers and wine. They’re proud to be local business owners, and help energize Patagonia’s downtown sector and enjoy the simple life. Pop in, say hello. Enjoy a beverage, and join a group ride or grab any last minute bike supplies.
You might think that with wider carbon wheels and higher volume gravel tires you should turn the dial past 10, and go to 11. But, hold on. In this case, higher volume means more air, and more radness might not be the result of more air pressure. The crew over at Enve Composites know a thing or two about this science. Everything about the design and construction of a wider internal rim measurement, matched with a higher volume, tubeless gravel tire, exists for a purpose. Stronger. Faster. Lighter. Too much pressure and you could have a nasty, jarring ride. While too little pressure might not transfer your valuable energy into momentum. We have a chart that can help. See where you fit in these numbers. Start with the chart and go for a ride… release some pressure and ride some more. Test it on another ride. Run the tire pressure that you like the best, just mind the max inflation ratings of your rim and tire. Lower air-pressure might be your new normal.
Turn-by-turn navigation made easy. Get the app, enjoy our routes, free.
Download the free Ride Spot app to navigate the routes using visual and audio directions and track your ride. Hover over the QR code with the camera on your smartphone. Follow the prompt and download the app.
Once you have downloaded and registered, scan the QR on any of the following map pages to immediately see, save and navigate the gravel route. Together We Make Biking Better:
Click the green route line to see the Ride with GPS route link. Click the link to land on the interactive route page.
No personality casts a larger shadow over Arizona history than Eusebio Francisco Kino (August 10, 1645 – March 15, 1711). Padre Kino was an Italian Jesuit, missionary, geographer, explorer, rancher, cartographer and astronomer. Over the last 24 years of his life he worked in the region then known as the Pimería Alta, present-day Sonora in Mexico and southern Arizona. He traveled the region and collaborated closely with the indigenous population, primarily the Sobaipuri, Tohono O’Odham, and other Upper Piman groups. Kino helped them diversify their agriculture, introduced ranching, and aided them in their constant wars with the Apaches. He also vehemently opposed Indian enslavement in the silver mines. He was a positive force during an era that saw the converging cultures of the Southwest clash. By the time of his death, Kino had established 24 missions and visitas (country chapels or visiting stations). As an ally with staunch anti-slavery sentiments, he gained the indigenous peoples’ trust and learned their ancient trading routes. Kino was present over a number of first encounters between Europeans and Native Americans. These travel experiences resulted in a cartographic catalog of work that has influenced Arizona travel ever since. Cartographer In 1691, Eusebio Kino made his first expedition into Arizona, including present day Santa Cruz County. These horseback expeditions mapped thousands of square miles. For over a century and half, Kino’s maps were reproduced with great accuracy by the world’s best map-makers, geographers and historians. It was the standard cartographic representation of northwestern Spanish America and southwestern United States. The original Native footpaths shown to Kino expanded and grew as the region evolved from the mix of Native, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo influences. Cattle trails, stagecoach, freight, railroads, toll, and mining roads owe their development to Kino’s cartography skills. This guidebook is intended to be used in the spirit of how Kino viewed the art of map-making. His maps were not merely a visual aid to understand a geographic reality, but rather an effective illustration that complimented his voluminous field notes. He intensely recorded his explorations as scientifically as his written word. Map-making was Kino’s preferred means of expression because maps provided fuller and clearer expression to his experiences. Significant to all his maps is the place humans hold within them. Maps were never about the mountains, rivers, or the desert plains, or so much about the native settlements and missions themselves. It was always about the people. Even geographic features were thought of and represented in relation to the inhabitants, villages, and groups of people. Water was there to support the people. Cattle ranches and farms to feed the people. The desert exists for the people. Kino wisely understood the need to be progressive with his maps, in the sense that they were to be chronologically ever more inclusive and more accurate, eliminating earlier misconceptions, his own and those of others. This Patagonia-Santa Cruz County Gravel Adventure Field Guide is designed to remind you the cycling travel experience should be so much more than a digital route on your device to follow. As you explore the region, allow yourself to see through Eusebio Kino’s eyes. Engage with the surrounding natural beauty and people within it. Allow the majestic high desert landscape, the diverse fauna and wildlife, and the people to be a source of personal discovery. Enhance your understanding of life on the border. The visita was said to be the center point for the San Jose de Sonoita land grant established in 1825. GG
We are excited to partner with the Arizona Wines Trail Passport to help promote an amazing area to ride bikes and experience wine. The Area of Sonoita and Elgin are located 13 miles north of Patagonia are one of several regions in the state and feature some amazing, award winning vineyards. This field guide has 3 route options to help you explore the area. Look to pages 32 and 34 for starting points digital RQ map links and more information.
Click the ad on the right to visit ArizonaWines.com for more information.