Originally a Southern Pacific railroad town, Vail is a growing community east of Tucson in the foothills of the hulking Rincon Mountains. This “town between the tracks” is also home to Colossal Cave Mountain Park and the Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Trailhead.


  • Mile 114.9 – Vail is 6.3 miles away – SE on Marsh Station Rd. to Frontage Road to Vail interchange North.
  • Vail Map is below.


  • 3,235


  • 10,208

Post Office

  • 13190 E. Colossal Cave Rd. Ste 100, 85641 (M-F, and Saturday)
  • Colossal Cave Mountain Park (16721 E Old Spanish Trail, Vail, AZ 85641) will accept hiker re-supply boxes for a maximum of 8 weeks. It is suggested to ship by UPS or FedEx, since USPS does not deliver directly to the park. If hikers are delayed they will need to communicate with the park. They can arrange to pay and have their package shipped back to them, or unclaimed items will be donated after the 8 week time period. (8am-5pm every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas)


  • Quik Mart (13142 E. Colossal Cave Rd.), (520) 762-1009. Convenience store with limited items for resupply.
  • Safeway (13380 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way) Full Service Grocery
  • Walgreens (13542 E. Colossal Cave Rd.), (520) 232-2763. Drugstore chain with health & beauty aids, prescriptions & photo services, plus mini-mart basics.


  • Fito’s Taco Shop (13303 E. Colossal Cave Rd.), (520) 762-8888. Tasty, inexpensive Mexican food.
  • Montgomery’s Grill & Saloon (13190 E. Colossal Cave Rd.), (520) 762-0081. Bar and grill menu in a pub-style atmosphere.
  • Hot Rods Old Vail (10500 E. Old Vail Rd.), (520) 202-0987. A unique local restaurant (with stone-fired pizza and local steaks) surrounded by new and old school hot rods, bikes, boats and racing machines.
  • Dairy Queen (13160 E. Colossal Cave Rd.), (520) 762-0343. Because who doesn’t like an ice cream after a long day on the trail?
  • Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Snack bar available with hot dogs, burgers, burritos, etc. at the Cave entrance. La Posta Quemada snack bar closed until further notice.
  • Hacienda Del Lago Bar and Restaurant (14155 E. Via Rancho del Lago)


  • Rincon Creek Ranch (14545 E. Rincon Creek Ranch Road), (520) 760-5557
    75-acre guest ranch with casitas bordering Saguaro National Park – one mile away from the AZT

Urgent Care

  • Northwest Emergency Center at Vail (10146 E Old Vail Rd), 24 hrs, (520) 574-7400

Bike Shop

  • Ben’s Bikes (7431 S. Houghton Rd.), (520) 574-2453. Full-service bike shop near the trail.


Area Attractions

  • Colossal Cave (16721 E. Old Spanish Trail), (520) 647-7275 – Cave tours are just a short distance from the Arizona Trail. The trail goes through Colossal Cave Mountain Park, but to see the cave itself requires a detour of two miles. Take the spur trail to La Posta Quemada Ranch and continue on Colossal Cave Road north.
  • Cienega Creek Nature Preserve
  • Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Trailhead (Marsh Station Road) – From I-10, exit 281, loop exit to Marsh Station Road. Travel northeast on Marsh Station Road approximately 3 miles. Zimmerman, a 30-year-old aide to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was killed along with five others in the January 8, 2011 Tucson shootings that injured Giffords and a dozen others. This trailhead and interpretive trail celebrates his life and love of the outdoors and Arizona Trail.

Gateway Community Map

Vail Gateway Map

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