Continental Copper Access

4/5 (4 reviews)
San Manuel, Arizona (Pima County)
Last Updated: 05/30/2023

Trail Information


If wonderful scenery, traveling through saguaro forests, and rollercoaster-like offroad driving is your thing, this is definitely the ride for you. This road starts about 2/3 of the way up the mountainside, beginning at the Mount Lemmon Control Road trail then descends almost entirely to the San Pedro River below. On the way down you'll be treated to a spectacular view of the green riparian area (If in season) and the stunning Galiuro Mountains beyond. There are a few dispersed campsites to enjoy up at the cooler elevations. This backcountry road also makes an excellent loop from the Mount Lemmon Control Road Trail along the San Pedro River bottom to the end of the Redington Pass Trail. You can make a delicious all day loop from the valley floor in Tucson, up and over the Catalina Highway Scenic Road to the Backway Mount Lemmon Control road-4450-Redington Pass trail.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4/5 (5)
Official Crew
Rated 4/5
Visited: 05/30/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This is a great alternative way to Run up the back way to Mr Lemmon. Especially when travelling on Redington Road along the San Pedro. The Saguaros we're blooming, along with many other cactus species & wildflowers. The road was in billiard smooth shape right up to the Mr. Lemmon road
Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/19/2021

Very scenic and easy trail. Just went out here today with my old man the even brought the dog. Very scenic drive. I have a bone stock F150 4x4 with stock all season tires and it does just fine. Drove in 2WD the whole time. no need for 4WD on this trail. Ran into a few hunters out there, let the pup run around for a bit and just scouted for some wildlife with the binos. Definitely will take this scenic trail again soon.
Official Crew
Visited: 09/19/2020

The USFS has issued a "Trail Open" memo effective 09/21/2020.
Official Crew
Partially Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 06/15/2020

The Forest Manager, Kerwin Dewberry advised that the forest will be closed until November 2020.

AREA CLOSURE Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

AREA CLOSURE MAP Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-021

*While not completely within the closed area, the start point is in a restricted zone. Consider this closure.

The bighorn fire has closed the roads up Mount Lemmon. The town of Summerhaven is under a SET to prepare for an evacuation order. (as of 6/15/2020) This fire has grown about 1-2 thousand acres per day and the weather is not doing anything to slow this down. (Hot and windy).

Rated 4/5
Visited: 04/25/2020

This is an easy, but very scenic trail. We ran the Tucson Wash trail by Funtreks first, then cut cross country via S. River Road to the end of this trail. Ran it backwards to reach the Mount Lemmon Control Road ... then down the mountain into Oracle. Our path gave us a shorter loop than Jim suggests, but still a very beautiful loop. S. River Road has some unique formations along it. And, the Continental Copper Access trail adds to the enjoyment of the trip. Except for a short patch near the Mount Lemmon Control Road, you could do this trip in Grammy's Oldsmobile. Didn't get to investigate the cavern like structure in the deep valley off the south side of the road ... see photo 2. Would like to know more about it.

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