“A shorter version of the full Honeybee Canyon Loop that's just a bit over a ten miles.”
— Stephen Woodall
This is a shorter version of the full 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* - Access up the Powerline Road has been restricted by the HOA as of October 1, 2016 so there is no longer an option to start along Rancho Vistoso Boulevard. New permanent trailhead access is in the works with the Town of Oro Valley though. THE BEST ACCESS right now is off of Miravista Lane in Catalina by the church but DO NOT PARK ON THE CHURCH PROPERTY. They have given outdoor enthusiasts permission for this access but BE COURTEOUS and AVOID SUNDAY MORNING HOURS when they're busy. Best parking is in the Basha's shopping center on the east side of Oracle, just north of Golder Ranch Road. 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.
When parking at the Bashas in Catalina cross to the west side of Oracle at the stoplight by Golder Ranch Road. This point is where all mileages are taken from.
Head south on Oracle for about about 0.2 miles and turn west (right) onto Miravista Lane towards the church. Take a left (south) just past 0.5 miles onto a dirt road. Follow this downhill until the 1.1-mile mark and enter the State Trust Land through the barbed wire fence. The top two strands have hooks that can be unlatched on the left side, HOOK IT BEHIND YOU. The path immediately crosses a large wash and the singletrack begins as it meanders up & down. At 3.1 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 3.65 miles from the start). Cross the road and continue on the singletrack heading up the gradual ascent. At 4.35 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.