Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Mt Lemmon - Marshall Gulch Day Hike
when Saturday, August 26, 2023
where Tucson
the hike     Expansive views from Mt. Lemmon. Previous fires have cleared wide areas, so you can see in about all directions. We will start on top of the mountain and work our way down. There will be fir and aspen trees to start the hike, then moving to a pine forest later in the day. Views are big here, encompassing the Wilderness of Rocks to the southeast, Romero Canyon to the west and north, and most dramatic of all, Pusch Ridge to the west, stair-stepping its sawtooth course toward Tucson.
    Beginning on the Mt Lemmon Trail to connect us to the Wilderness of Rocks trail, losing 2,000 ft. in just 4 miles. Wilderness of Rocks is a picturesque area of rock formations and a diversity of settings that range from sub-alpine to high desert to riparian zone. This is mainly open, so you will need sun screen here. We will find a shady spot here to have lunch and view the area. Wilderness of Rocks trail is also the Az trail. Mt Lemmon will be above us at this point, so we can see where we started the day.
    After lunch, continue on the Wilderness of Rock trail until we get back into the pine forest. At this point we will cross Lemmon Creek a couple of times. It may have water or may not. This hike leads through an area of diverse habitats that include excellent examples of Canadian Zone riparian areas and ponderosa pine forests. If you’re a bit of an amateur naturalist, you might want to bring a guide to Arizona’s trees as well. You’ll see quite a few different species along this trail which changes aspect and life zones as it loops around a false summit of Marshall Peak. You’ll find aspens here, of course, but you’ll also pass by Douglas fir and white fir, Gambel and silverleaf oak, madrone and more.
    We will continue up this path until we get to Marshall Gulch saddle. This is just a place where multiple trails cross. Restrooms are available at Marshall Gulch. Two go to where we left one car; one goes back to Mt. Lemmon. We will continue on the Marshall Gulch Trail. It leads down a cool, shady canyon which is usually well stocked with wildflowers and pleasant little pools. The drivers will then get in the car we left here, to retrieve the cars we left on top. We will then find a place to eat in Tucson. Be prepared for rain. The chance of a thunderstorm is 30 percent.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 13 miles one way trip
time 6-8 hours, plus drive time
EC -2600' +1000 elevation change
elevations 7000' (Wilderness of Rocks) to 9,200' (Mt. Lemmon)
type One way
starting at
Power substation on Radio Ridge
AKA Meadow Trail Parking Lot
32.440585°N,  110.785750° W  
See Map.  
on trail 100% – Lemmon #5, Wilderness of Rocks #44, Marshall Gulch #3, Aspen #93
rating "B+"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Trailhead might require a $5 per car fee or a National Park pass.
Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Summerhaven
leader    You must email the leader to confirm. Please provide your cell phone number when you sign up in case I need to contact you on the day of the hike.
meet at
9:15 AM at the trailhead.
meet in
6:00 AM in the parking lot south of Einstein Bros. Bagels on the SE corner of 48th Street & Ray Road, west of I-10. For those leaving their cars behind, please park up against the west curb of the parking lot and not in the Einstein’s common parking area. For those meeting at Einstein’s, the hike leader will appoint someone to sign people in and arrange carpools to the trailhead.
•  Take I-10 east to Tucson.
Exit at Grant Road (exit 256).
Take Grant to left turn on to Tanque Verde Road.
Take Tanque Verde Road to a left turn on to the Catalina Highway.
Drive 4 miles to the Forest boundary and continue 28 miles, toward Summerhaven.
Take the road though Summerhaven to Marshall Gulch and leave one car there. There are restrooms at Marshall Gulch.
Return though Summerhaven, past Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, to the power substation on Radio Ridge.
Park in the gravel lot and start on the trail out of the SW corner.
There is also a lot below that does not require a pass, but you must walk up to the trailhead.
About 150 miles (3 hours) each way for the drive.

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updated August 19, 2023 © Copyright 2023, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.