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Arizona Desert Camp 2020

Scroll down for individual weeks! View 2020 Camp Dates!

Since 1996, PAC Tour has been offering different tour weeks out of Tucson, Arizona. Each year the weeks differ to provide a variety of roads and cycling challenges. Details here about road conditions at Desert Camp!

First time registering for Desert Camp?  Read about Dale Johnson's experience! Read it here

 

We will begin each tour from the Country Inn and Suites Hotel located 1/2 mile from the Tucson Airport. Your arrival hotel room on Saturday night is included inTucson. Your departure hotel room is included the last night of the tour. A hotel shuttle bus is available to bring you and your bike to the hotel. You will be able to ship and store your hardshell bike case at the Country Inn and Suites Tucson. Rider information Booklet will be emailed around December 1st.

Country Inn and Suites, 6681 Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85756

Reservations call: (520)741-9000

If you wish to arrive early or stay over a few nights - make your own reservation by using this link to connect with the Country Inn and Suites Hotel. Under Special Rates - Enter PROMO CODE: PAC20

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What's Included for Desert Camp?

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Arrive: Tucson, AZ, Saturday, February 22
Averages 37-67 miles per day
Depart: Tucson, Saturday, February 29
 

Week One: Historical Hotels

Arrive in Tucson and saddle up for a tour filled with sizzlin' southwest history every day! The first day we ride 54 miles to the artist community of Tubac. Next day onto Patagonia! The following morning we'll head out on an easy 56 miles through the wine country of Elgin before spending an evening walking the wooden sidewalks of historic Tombstone. Bisbee and Benson are the last towns on this tour.

This tour is for riders who are looking for a fun cycling holiday. It's the easiest Desert Camp Week. You'll enjoy this tour more if you can average 10 mph to have more time to explore the old southwest along the way. If you want to train for racing and average faster than 15 mph you should not attend this week. Please consider joining a longer mileage week of Desert Camp.

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Arrive: Tucson, AZ, Saturday, February 29
70 to nearly a 100 miles per day
Depart: Tucson, AZ Saturday March 7

Week Two: First Century Week

This week is for riders who want to ride long miles everyday, but stay at one location for four nights. The first day's ride to Nogales offers a change in scenery then we head to Sierra Vista (Holiday Inn Express) for four nights. On the last day we ride back to Tucson. Daily rides can be customized for riders with specific intensity. Evening cycling programs will be provided on a variety of topics. Each day will offer routes with 60-100 mile options.

The riders at this camp will range from intermediate to experienced. All riders should be able to ride 50 miles in 4 hours with stops.

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Arrive: Tucson, AZ, Saturday March 7
67-100 miles per day
Depart:Tucson, Saturday, March 14

Week Three: Chiricahua

 

This week is a cross between our popular Mountain Tour with more time to ride the beautiful Chiricahua Mountains. The 15 mile climb to the Chiricahua Monument is considered one of the best roads in the region. You will spend 2 nights in Willcox and 2 nights in Historic Bisbee so you can customize shorter or longer routes if you wish. You also get to visit quirky Tombstone!

This week is for experienced riders. All riders should be able to ride more than 50 miles in 4 hours with stops.

There are several historical hotels in Bisbee and we will be using several of them to accomodate the group size. Please register early if you want to sleep in the Cooper Queen Hotel!

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Arrive: Tucson, AZ, Saturday March 14
70-100 miles per day based in Sierra Vista, AZ
Depart: Tucson, AZ Saturday March 21

Week Four: Second Century Week

This week is for riders who want to ride long miles everyday, but stay at one location for four nights. The first day's ride to Nogales offers a change in scenery then we head to Sierra Vista (Holiday Inn Express) for four nights. On the last day we ride back to Tucson. Daily rides can be customized for riders with specific intensity. Evening cycling programs will be provided on a variety of topics. Each day will offer routes with 60-100 mile options.

The riders at this camp will range from intermediate to experienced. All riders should be able to ride 50 miles in 4 hours with stops.

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There's no question that Chiricahua is a tough climb, but I would say that it has some steeper parts and some less steep parts, so it's not just a continuous slog (like Mt Ventoux in southern France). The first few miles are relatively gentle as the scenery starts to change from desert to more forest and you get your first view of the unusual rock formations. To break it up, riders can stop at the Park Service visitor center, which has bathrooms and interesting displays. The middle part of the climb is deep in a forested canyon, which can be cooler than on the desert floor. Sometimes, water is flowing in a small creek bed and you get more close-up views of the bizarre formations. The last few miles are a bit steeper, but still not as steep as parts of the Mt Graham climb from Mountain Week. This stretch is also very rewarding because of the expansive views and switchback road that clings to the hillside. Riders are back into the open at this point and you can see the twisting road up ahead. There is a nice parking lot at the top, surrounded by miles of rock formations, with interpretive displays and short hikes to overlook vista points. In sum, while this is clearly a good climb, I've rarely been on a climb that is as rewarding as Chiricahua and best of all, there is very little traffic. The descent is thrilling, but with excellent smooth pavement, so it takes only a fraction of time to get down.

Concerning the Chiricahua Climb

by Charles Breer

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Arrive: Tucson, AZ, Saturday March 21
74-110 miles per day, Loop tour to New Mexico
Depart: Tucson, AZ, Sunday March 29

Week Five: Mountain Tour

Mountain Tour is the hardest desert camp week with 7 full riding days. The route makes a grand loop first heading south to the border town of Douglas then back north to Lordsburg, New Mexico and Safford, Arizona. We weave out to Safford, Arizona where Mt. Graham lies to the south. A winding 35-mile-long road that climbs steeply up the southern flank of 10,717-foot-high Mount Graham is the highlight and challenge of this week. We ride past the Chiricahua Mountains on our way back to Tombstone!

Always a popular week so register early! You will be not disappointed.

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The training base for riders attending Desert Camp is different than for riders joining our other cross country tours. Most riders are coming from winter climates. They are unable to ride outside during the three months before Camp. These riders can still arrive at Camp ready to ride. Here are some fitness goals:

Training Tips for Desert Camp

Tour full waiting list starting email us if you want to be listed
19 & under $1500
20 and over $1400
Single supplement $550
19 & under $1500
20 and over $1400
Single Supplement $550
19 & under $1400
20 and over $1300
Single supplement $550
19 & under $1400
20 and over $1300
Single Supplement $550
19 & under $1500
20 and over $1400
Single Supplement $550

The Desert Camp Rider Information Booklet PDF is emailed to registered riders after Dec 1st. If you require any information before then - call 612-804-9970

Register by Dec 1st and receive our custom voler desert camp jersey. View 2019 Desert Camp Jersey All registrations include a cool PAC TOUR commemorative and a cycling book.

SAVE $$$ Ride, Sleep and Eat Option - Opt out of commemoratives and save $100 on your first week of Camp.

Save an additional $100 when you register for 2 weeks of PAC Tour Arizona Desert Camp as each additional week does not receive commemorative items such as jersey, book and clothing.

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Returning for 2020 Gravel and Road Week

Arrive: Tucson, AZ, Sunday, March 29
Road and Gravel southwest of Tucson
Depart: Tucson, AZ, Saturday April 4th
19 & under $1300
20 and over $1200
Single Supplement $400

PAC Tour's introduction to gravel riding was a success in 2018 look for this week to return in 2020.

The first five days average about 45 miles with 60-75% of the roads being gravel. There will be some connecting sections on pavement. 50% of the roads are limestone bike trail quality and the other 50% have soft sand, dirt and rocks.

We ride from Tucson to Sonoita, around to Patagonia then back to Sonoita finally returning to Tucson.

Read Dawn P. write up of the 2018 Gravel Week experience!

If you would rather not travel with your bike to camp - Rent a bike. Contact Tucson Bike Rentals - They offer several levels of road bikes. They can put together a bike that fits you with delivery and pick up at the Country Inn and Suites for $350 per week. Look at American made Bike Friday -the bike that folds and packs so your bike travels with you easily on the airlines or in your car!