Cougar Canyon/Maus Trail--Tortalitas is about 8.4 miles long and located near Tucson, Arizona. The trail is great for mountain biking ... more »and normally takes 1-3 hours.
This route is described by others on the web but it is difficult to locate. Plus, the unfriendly signage and numerous "Dead End" signs almost convince you to turn around. Don't do it!
You find ithe trail by driving on Tangerine Road west to La Cholla. Take La Cholla north until to intersects with Moore Road (about 1 mile) and then head west (turn left) and go 1/4 mile to Como Drive. Follow Como north until the large collection of mail boxes appears and go left on Cougar Canyon Drive and follow it about 1 mile to the improved trailhead where I began. There is room for 3-4 vehicle here. You head up the stony dirt road that goes north,, not the paved road that goes east.
Once on the dirt road, the route is pretty evident. It climbs steeply, but eventually levels out near the one closed cattle gate. From the trailhead to the first windwill is about 2.4 miles. You can continue on to the low pass in the ridge ahead--this is now the Maus Trail. The single track is easy to identify and follow. Some rock sections before and after the little pass present a challenge.
Heading east after the pass, the trail follows the main drainage until it bisects a rather deep side ravine. This is the dip. From there, though, the trail down is level and really pleasant. I turned around at 4.2 miles, but was just a bit shy of the Edwin Road windwill and tank which is near the active mine at the end of Edwin Road. Edwin Road heads due east and intersects with Oracle Road in the little town of Catalina--about 6 miles to the pavement.
I have hiked the trail from the Edwin windmill back west through a narrow rocky pass that eventually connects to the Goat Corral and the windmill there. This ride was to find the other connecting trails so that eventually I can put it all together. Check out my August 25th hike titled "Maus Trail" for this route and description,. And also my Alamo Canyon hike which went to the Goat Corrals.