Cañada del Oro River Park Trail


7 Reviews

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Cañada del Oro River Park Trail Facts

States: Arizona
Counties: Pima
Length: 11 miles
Trail end points: Santa Cruz River Park Trail at I-10 (Marana) and E. Tangerine Rd./SR 989 (Oro Valley)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 8791719

Cañada del Oro River Park Trail Description

The Cañada del Oro River Park Trail follows its namesake waterway in the northern suburbs of Tucson from a junction with the longer Santa Cruz River Park Trail in Marana to Oro Valley. The recently completed trail features smooth pavement and undercrossings wherever it encounters a road.

Various destinations are conveniently located along the trail's route, including retail establishments in Oro Valley and both Pima Community College's Northwest Campus and the adjacent Northwest YMCA Pima County Community Center in unincorporated Pima County. You'll also pass under three connecting bridges for the Omni Tucson National Resort's two golf courses, which are separated by the Cañada del Oro River.

The continuous trail is actually known by several different names. In Oro Valley, the trail is also known as the Cañada del Oro (CDO) Shared Use Path or CDO Linear Park, with the exception of the easternmost tip along Big Wash, which is appropriately known as the Big Wash Shared Use Path. From Thornydale Road to Magee Road farther south, the trail is now officially known as the Cañada del Oro Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park in honor of the youngest victim of the mass shooting at a constituent meeting held by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in 2011.

The Cañada del Oro River Park Trail is also part of a larger trail network called The Chuck Huckelberry Loop, spanning more than 136 miles throughout Tucson and Pima County.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking and restrooms for the Cañada del Oro River Park Trail are available at a trailhead on N. Shannon Road, south of W. Magee Road. An additional trailhead with parking is located on W. Starburst Drive off N. Thornydale Road.

Cañada del Oro River Park Trail Reviews

Great Asphalt Trail - well maintained

Started at Thornydale and rode NE. As others have noted, the trail climbs very gradually going NE which makes the return ride easy. Did 5 miles out and 5 miles back. Scenery is pretty with mountains in the distance. Saw a few other cyclists on the trail and a couple people walking dogs. Drove down from Phoenix to ride this trail and will definitely ride this trail again; will also explore the rest of the Loop.

A Beautiful Run On A Desert Path

Tucson has many miles of beautiful paths and the Canada del Oro River Park section is one of the finest.

I parked my vehicle at the La Cholla Boulevard lot just north of McGee Road. It’s a gravel lot with plenty of spaces. From there, I chose to run northeast towards La Canada Drive. I was looking to run a total of 4-miles so I ran 2-miles out and back. I began by running under La Cholla Boulevard, through the Overton/Hardy Road pedestrian crossing, under La Canada Drive and then over a bridge that crosses a wash to complete my 2-miles. I then turned around to head back to my vehicle.

The path is an asphalt surface and is very wide in order to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians. It’s in wonderful condition too. I visited on a weekday morning around 9:30 AM. There were not a lot of people out that day, but enough to where I felt safe. It’s is also marked extremely well so no confusion at all.

A couple of things to be aware of. First, there is hardly any shade so get out early in the summer. You may want to consider sunscreen too. Secondly, while you are not far from roads, you will also be surrounded by desert. Don’t be surprised if you encounter amazing Arizona wildlife (snakes, coyotes, etc.). Always be alert and remember that if you respect them, they will very likely respect you. Finally, there are no restrooms in the La Cholla parking lot or along the way of this small section. So be prepared.

This section of the path is very peaceful, scenic and I enjoyed all the friendly people who were also enjoying it with me. Can’t wait to go back!!

worth the trip from Phoenix

This trail brings us down from Phoenix for a ride! It is a great workout and so beautiful! Can’t help but be happy on this trail.

Canada Gold

I would agree with the other reviewers. This is a lovely ride along the river. I started in the south just off the fwy. The trip up was head and cross winds. The weather started cool and cloudy but eventually cleared. There are many entrances to the trail. Some obvious and some not so obvious. I was not alone on this trail it is quite popular. There are a couple nice clean restrooms along the trail especially in Oro Valley Marketplace across from the Walmart. You’ll need to cross the street to get to it. Also, a couple nice pavilions along the way to rest or have a bite to eat.


Awesome views of the mountains, wide open spaces

I was in town to ride in the 34th El Tour de Tucson, November of 2016. From the Candlewood Suites on River Road I connected to the Loop on the Rillito River Trail (from the parking lot!). I crossed to the south side of the Rillito at Camino de la Tierra (fast traffic, dump trucks, rough careful!). On the Rillito I connected to the Santa Cruz Trail and rode north catching the CDO Trail just north of Orange Grove Road.

The trail heads NE and is generally a gentle uphill grade all the way to where I turned around at N Oracle Road. It wasn't exhausting, just constant pedaling. On a recumbent trike I wasn't going more than 6 or 7 mph, but that's what I like about the trike. I could focus on the vistas and just enjoy the ambiance of the ride especially the views of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

On the return I was now going downhill most of the way. I shifted into the big ring and cruised along at about 15 mph enjoying the self-made breeze. It was a Friday and traffic on the trail was light.

According to Strava I rode 28.6 miles at an average of 7.7 mph (max of 22 mph) climbing a total of 501 feet. The nice thing was expending the most energy on the climb and then enjoying the ease of the return trip. This trail is a fun ride.

Good One

We started at the Green Memorial River Park trail head off of Shannon Road. Nice trail head with restroom and plenty of parking. Traveled north about 5.5 miles. Trail surface is very good and width varies by section. Plenty of users on the trail and most were friendly with a good morning. Wouldn't want to do this one in the summer or mid-afternoon, does have some shade along the way but gets toasty early in the day. We did see a coyote along the trail. All but one of the road intersections pass beneath the main road, the except was well marked with crossing light, etc., but was a side road with little traffic. Would do this one again.

Southwestern Beauty

A great trail on asphalt along the Canada del Oro. Beautiful views of the Catalina Mts. If you're biking in the summer go real early in the morning as the heat will drain you. Hydrate often!

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