September 29, 2023

Tucson: Fantasy Island

 The Fantasy Island trails in Tucson have long been on my list to ride. For one reason or another I hadn't made it there. Not entirely sure why, I've always heard they were fun, but maybe not worth a 2 hour drive south as a destination. Perhaps. The locals often hold fun events there and the trails have a lot of bunny themes.

I finished up my Rincon Valley Loop, had lunch at the Rockin K market and figured I had a couple hours to check out what the Fantasy Island trails had to offer. I should add it was early afternoon and hovering around 100ยบ.

I parked at the southern end and I believe you need a State Trust Land Recreation Permit to ride here. I have one, so I was good.

Pay attention to where you park.

I immediately was greeted by a bunny...and a cholla ball to my ankle while taking this photo!! Ouch.

Good signage and one-way trails, a recipe for speed!!

Passing through the junkyard.

The area has seen recent urban development, nice to see some trail access remain. This cut through the Southeast Haughton Area Recharge Project.

Water fountains too, not chilled. I checked.

Cool!! My kind of trails!! I have a side hobby collecting license plates.

This would be the Christmas Tree Loop. Duh.

The trail goes over then loops around and can go under, if you're small enough. I am not.
I was getting warm and starting to feel the accumulation of doing two rides in the warm weather on the same day. There were more ups and downs than I expected too. Fun stuff. 

Since these trails are one-way there aren't a whole lot of short cuts available. These trails pack a lot of miles in a small area, like a bowl of spaghetti. Everything is well documented on the Trailforks app, so I tried to find a short way back, but I was in a bit of no-man's land. It was Friday and hot, so I figured there wouldn't be anyone else out on the trails. I made a short connection back to the Bunny trail going the 'wrong' way. Didn't see a soul, so it worked out just fine, not recommended on a popular ride day though.

Back near the start.

The signs are marked Wrong Way near the trailhead.
I was able to ride a good portion of the trails, but still need to check out the main loop in the NW corner. I'll definitely be back, it was much more fun than I thought it would be and it wasn't all boring flat trail with no character. You can tell a lot of love has been put into this trail system by the locals. They lost a section of the trails a few year ago when a housing development was put in. Hopefully the remaining trails are here to stay. It's a great system right in the east side of Tucson. Check 'em out.


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