“A shorter version of the full Honeybee Canyon Loop that's just a bit over a twelve miles.
— Stephen Woodall
This is a shorter version of the full 20.7 mile Honeybee Canyon Loop
that's ideal for days that don't allow for a longer run. Watch out for mountain bikers, as it's one of the more popular local spots.
Need to Know
*UPDATE* - As of December 9, 2017 an OFFICIAL trailhead access point was created in Oro Valley off of Rancho Vistoso Boulevard. To get to the trailhead starting from Oracle Road & Rancho Vistoso Boulevard head west on Rancho Vistoso. Continue past the light at Innovation and over the bridge at Big Wash. Just a bit past the bridge make a u-turn at the first left hand turn lane. Almost immediately after making the u-turn on Rancho Vistoso take a right down a short hill, following the dirt road to the parking area. This large parking area currently has no facilities but water, bathrooms, and a paved lot are planne din the future. Other access points to Honeybee through Sun City or the Methodist Church are to be used at your discretion but this is the official trailhead. There is also access still from Edwin Road further north off of Oracle but the washes are very sandy and the dirt road very rough. 4x4 vehicles highly recommended for the Edwin access.
UPDATE: There is a NEW, official trailhead just south of the Big Wash Bridge off of Rancho Vistoso Boulevard.
From the new trailhead parking lot head north under the Big Wash bridge for 1.3 miles along a pretty sandy path. At the 1.3 mile mark you'll come to a cattle gate on your left hand side which you want to open and go through. A half mile past this point at 1.8 miles from the trailhead you'll come to another gate, but DO NOT go through this gate. Instead veer just left of the gate onto a singletrack trail. This trail continues for just under a mile before coming to a "T" junction at 2.25 miles from the trailhead. Turn left at the "T" onto this trail. This is the trail that was accessed from the church. This is where the fun really starts. At 4.15 miles you'll intersect the Rail X Ranch / Honeybee Canyon Loop
right after passing some cattle tanks. Take a right (NW) at this four way intersection. After a half mile of singletrack, you'll reach the Powerline Road (about 4.65 miles from the start). Cross the road and continue on the singletrack heading up the gradual ascent. At 5.35 miles from the start, you'll reach a "Y" in the trail. Head left (west) to complete this short loop as the trail to the right will take you on the longer route.
Follow this short loop path up a short incline and then down a rockier section of trail where you'll reach the other half of the longer loop. Head to the left, where you'll meander up a short ridgeline before descending down a fun, short hill. You'll run through some flat sections for awhile before the trail loops around to the left and up one fun hill climb. Power up this hill for a good quick anaerobic section before rolling back down to the Powerline Road. Take a right and follow the Powerline Road for 0.2 miles, then take a left back onto singletrack & follow for 0.35 miles. Turn right when you reach a junction, continue past the cattle tanks and back down the path you originally started on to the end.
Flora & Fauna
Since it's the desert you may encounter rattlesnakes, bobcats, coyotes, javelina, etc. This shorter loop is also where you're more likely to see large jackrabbits. Cows graze this land too but are pretty docile and are used to human traffic. Plenty of cactus so watch your step! You'll see a great variety of desert plants.