Oracle is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. The population was 3,563 at the 2000 census. Buffalo Bill Cody owned a mine in Oracle briefly and, in 1911, appeared as "Santa" for a group of local children. The community is the location of the Biosphere 2 experiment and was the official residence of environmentalist author Edward Abbey. Oracle is becoming a bedroom community for Tucson, Arizona, but large-scale development is opposed by many residents. Oracle State Park is adjacent. The Arizona Trail passes through the Park and community. Oracle is the gateway to the road up the back side of Mount Lemmon. A dirt road to the summit on the "back side" of Mount Lemmon, starts here and offers a secondary route other than the Catalina Highway to the top. Follow East Mount Lemmon Road southeast off East American Avenue. This route is popular with off-road 4x4 drivers and with off-road or dual-purpose motorcyclists, but should not be attempted by regular passenger cars or street motorcycles. This road ends at the Catalina Highway near Loma Linda.