Overview: East Fork #24A does not offer the dramatic desert landscapes or cascading water falls that make many other trails in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness so memorable. This 2.2 mile segment of the Arizona Trail is a fairly simple hike with views that are decent at best. However, #24A is a critical link between six popular trails: Sabino Canyon #23, West Fork Trail #24, Bear Canyon #29, Sycamore Reservoir #39, Palisade #99, and Box Camp #22. Adventurous hikers looking to connect multiple trails and form their own unique hikes while escaping the crowds on Mt. Lemmon and Sabino Canyon are bound to find #24A essential. Although this trail can be hiked in any number of ways, I will describe it as hiked from West to East.
Hike: Starting at the Western terminus with Sabino Canyon #23 and West Fork Trail #24, East Fork #24A departs across the wash heading in a westward direction. This level section ends approximately one tenth of a mile later where you encounter a signed intersection with Box Camp #22.
From here you continue straight along East Fork #24A as it follows its westward path and begins a very gradually climb in elevation as it skirts along the hillside and begins to follow the wash. At first you find that you are above the wash looking down on stagnant pools of green water, but before long you find yourself at the same level as the wash as the trail stretches on. As you make your way closer to Palisade Trail #99 you will be treated to patches of shade provided by the oak trees that line the wash.
One mile past the intersection with Box Camp #22 you will arrive at the intersection with Palisade Trail #99. Those looking for a good spot to take a break would be wise to take advantage of this last opportunity for shade by the wash, as this final 1.1 mile segment will switchback up the hill as it works its way toward its Eastern terminus. Although the trail is not too steep, at least by Push Ridge Wilderness standards, it can be difficult with the midday sun beating down. At the top of the switchbacks you will arrive at a saddle and be greeted with a signpost marking your arrival at the junction with Sycamore Canyon #39 and Bear Canyon #29 and the end of East Fork #24A.
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