register help
Bigelow Trail, AZ
64 21 0 0 official
Description 21 Triplogs  0 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Tucson North
Difficulty 1.5    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,910 feet
Elevation Gain 640 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.25 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.2
Interest Peak
Author Preston Sands
Descriptions 166
Routes 149
Photos 5,490
Trips 1,148 map ( 5,965 miles )
Age 37
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
5  2014-07-13 fricknaley
18  2014-06-15
Novio Spring Falls
18  2009-11-30 Preston Sands
5  2009-02-23 keepmoving
12  2008-12-10 Preston Sands
6  2006-12-09 Jim Lyding
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Forest Coronado
Backpack - Yes & Connecting
Seasons - Early Spring to Late Autumn
Official Route
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.1  Mount Lemmon / Druid
0.2  Pine Canyon - Catalinas
0.4  Palisades Canyon
0.5  Kellogg Mountain Trail #45
0.5  Incinerator Ridge to Leopold Point
0.5  Knagge Trail #18
[ View More! ]

where red lights mean go
by Preston Sands

The Bigelow Trail provides an easy hike that connects the Catalina Highway to the towered summit of Mount Bigelow. Mount Bigelow, at 8550 feet, is the second highest named summit in the Santa Catalina Mountains. On this trail you will find wonderful views and an easy peak bag. The Bigelow Trail can also be done in combination with the Butterfly Trail, which it connects with.

The hike begins at a trailhead parking area directly across the highway from the Organization Ridge Road turnoff. Just west of the trailhead's restroom building, a large trail sign and map mark the beginning of the Bigelow Trail. The Bigelow Trail begins by climbing northward into ponderosa pine forest, but soon tracks northwest along a mountainside above the Catalina Highway.

At 0.2 miles (32.41178 N, 110.71472 W), the Bigelow Trail makes a sharp turn uphill to the right, leaving the route of an obvious trail that continues straight ahead. From this unsigned junction, the Bigelow Trail turns north to climb a shallow ravine, then continues to ramble upward across a gentle slope scarred by the 2002 Bullock Fire.

The Bigelow Trail reaches a saddle and a four way trail junction with a little sign at 0.65 miles, where the Kellogg Trail departs to the right, and the Butterfly Trail continues straight ahead. Turn left to continue on the Bigelow Trail.

From the saddle, the Bigelow Trail heads west along the ridgeline, but soon opts for the rocky southern slope of Mount Bigelow, where it leaves the fire damage behind.

The Bigelow Trail comes to an end upon arriving at a service road at 0.9 miles, amid the numerous communication towers of Mount Bigelow's summit. To reach the true summit, turn right onto the service road, and continue for 0.1 miles to the fire lookout tower. A few feet to the east of the fire tower you will find the USGS bench mark set into bedrock, minus the elevation (8550 feet). From the summit, there are spectacular views in almost every direction, both near and far. Many of southern Arizona's sky islands are visible.

For a longer return hike, one can descend the service road, or turn onto the Kellogg or Butterfly Trails. Otherwise, return the way you came.
© 2008 - 2015


Map Drive
Water none
Sun5:21am - 7:34pm
Preferred May, Jun, Jul, Aug → Any
RoadPaved - Car Okay
Permit $$
Sabino/Madera - $5 per day or $20 annual. Catalina State Park $6 per day. Sabino Canyon Tram is $8 extra.

Directions To hike
From Tanque Verde Road in Tucson, follow the Catalina Highway to the trailhead parking area on the right, at milepost 19.45. The trailhead is directly across the highway from the signed Organization Ridge Road turnoff, and is 0.1 miles before the Palisades Visitor Center. (see hike description)
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
page created by Preston Sands on Dec 18 2008 12:43 am
Since 1996! Member driven since 1996! or

HAZ was created for the love of hiking. It is something special. The content is family friendly for all to enjoy. Take a few minutes to keep it the best hiking resource on earth. Write a triplog that will be useful to someone you do not know. Post photos on less used trails. Inspire a future generation. If your bills are squared away consider a donation.
enjoy life, be careful & be kind
Back to the Basics
Hiking 101
Warning: heat kills! Avoid 8am to 5pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated.
Hikebot recommends using an umbrella to block the sun.
Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.
© 2015 HAZ