We hosted our first gravel camp experience here during the winter of 2016. It was obvious the trend towards gravel riding and the adventure it enables was rapidly rising. A close mentor of ours shared with us his affection for the discipline and noted that it would continue on an upward trajectory. We listened closely and began exploring every road we could find in the greater borderlands region. We discovered that between Arivaca to the west, Tombstone to the east, the historic Empire Ranch in the north and Nogales, on the border of Mexico, there are hundreds of miles of dirt, gravel and mixed terrain riding to explore. Furthermore, it turns out all roads lead to Patagonia; it just depends on how big (or small) you want to go.
The riding on the borderlands is rough. It’s rugged and almost always provides a challenge. We don’t want to scare anyone, but it’s true. This place reminds you you’re human, and in order to visit historic ghost towns like Harshaw, Alto and Duquesne, you need to dig deep and ride from the heart. We call it the spirit world and it’s often visited as you depart Lochiel on the San Rafael Valley road, still tasked with 30 miles back to the Wagon Wheel Saloon.