Road to the Summit of Rice Peak

Total Miles


2301.47 ft


1 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Fall, Summer, Spring

Trail Overview

This is a noteworthy forest road spur that culminates atop Rice Peak, in Coronado National Forest, northeast of Tucson, Arizona. Rice Peak Road is a very rugged two-track that runs south along a mountain ridge, significantly increasing in elevation for its duration. Enjoy breathtaking views to the west, and of the neighboring mountains, while traversing rock fields, both loose and fixed, and steep ascents. The final ascent to the summit consists of an exciting climb with loose rocks that will cause your vehicle to search for traction, but crawling with open differentials will get the job done. A stock four-wheel drive vehicle with sufficient ground clearance from the factory, a low-range transfer case, and an experienced driver or spotter is recommended. Mild suspension lift is recommended for a more relaxed experience. The majority of this route is shared with the Arizona Trail, a popular south-north backpacking trail across the entire state, so encountering hikers is likely. This trail is recommended for the challenge, the scenery, and for the amazing views from atop Rice Peak.


While this route can be soloed in most lifted four-wheel drive vehicles, a stock vehicle with limited ground clearance will have to use great care, and an attentive spotter is strongly recommended. There is one section of fixed rocks that is fairly gnarly, and the final ascent is steep and loose, and your vehicle will search for traction at times. The route is narrow and high-elevation, and offers few places to turn around along the way.

Technical Rating


Access Description

The forest road spur to Rice Peak is located atop a ridge in Coronado National Forest, northeast of Tucson. The preceding forest road network grants multiple approaches to this trailhead; the most popular is via Peppersauce Canyon (FR29) and Nugget Road (FR4472).