I had been on the Green Mountain trail once like 12 years ago, and I thought it was time to revisit it. My first time out there, it was a pretty tough hike for me - so at least I've made a little progress. This time we started at the bottom TH just across from the Bear Canyon parking area. This parking area and the first half mile of the trail weren't there last time I hiked it - you used to have to access the trail from the General Hitchcock Campground. Overall the trail is in great shape, wide and extremely easy to follow. We had the puppies with us, and they had a blast, with pools of water and a bit of flow in upper Bear Canyon and lots of lizards to chase.
Once at Bear Saddle, we headed down to see Mavrick Spring, which one of my guidebooks described as a lush, beautiful oasis. Should have heeded the warnings scratched on the trailmarker of "waste of time spring" and "mud spring". Fires and die-off have rendered the spot pretty bleak, and with winter's grip still strong at that altitude, it was a pretty ugly desintation considering all the climbing you have to do to get out of it. The spring was just barely dripping, though I don't know if that's a good flow or just what it does all the time. I felt a little bad that we told another group we were headed there and they followed us on the promise of a beautiful spot - but, I guess that's what you get for taking my advice
We hiked a ways still uphill on the Green Mountain trail, but decided to make our day a little shorter and headed back for the saddle to check out Guthrie Mountain. This trail was smaller, took a very slight amount of route finding at a couple of spots, and had some truly grand views. At one point, you're on a high ridge with views to Kit Peak and Baboquivari to your right and the Pinelanos and Galiuros to your right. We were the only folks on this trail, and I wished I'd found this a long time ago. It would be a fun place to watch the sunrise! The red rocks here are also a mystery, and I spotted some cool hodoos which I'm going to try to get out to on another trip.
We got to the scramble point to the peak and stopped. My hiking partner and her Doberman weren't up for it - but I definitely want to come back sans dogs and get up to the peak!
Turned around back to the car. I think we did around 8 miles, and the elevation is hard to tell, but it should be somewhere around there. An easy Sunday stroll, which will probably be even prettier come mid-summer. I might have to go back!