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Meadow Trail #5A, AZ

Guide 102 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.6 of 5 
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,100 feet
Elevation Gain -350 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 1.38
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2  2020-05-12
Mount Lemmon / Lemmon Rock Loop
7  2019-08-24
Mount Lemmon / Lemmon Rock Loop
22  2019-06-29
WOR - Lemmon - Mint Loop
14  2019-06-29
WOR - Lemmon - Mint Loop
5  2019-06-15
Mt Lemmon Figure 8
28  2018-08-11
Mount Lemmon / Lemmon Rock Loop
4  2018-05-27 SunDevil3
18  2018-03-24
Soldier Trail to Mount Lemmon
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Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 384
Photos 3,875
Trips 2,944 map ( 19,126 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Co-Author PrestonSands
co-author avatarGuides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,560
Trips 1,349 map (6,892 Miles)
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 8 AM
Sun  6:37am - 5:37pm
Official Route
24 Alternative

Highcountry Sweetness
by fricknaley & PrestonSands

Would I recommend a 0.8 mile hike as a destination for a 25 mile drive up the Catalina Highway? I guess not, but I would recommend finding some way to incorporate the Meadow Trail into any Loop or route you plan on doing on the top of Mt. Lemmon. It is that sweet...

The Meadow trail exists as a small alternative route to the beginning of the Mt. Lemmon trail. The official trailhead is about 0.1 miles into the Mt. Lemmon trail, which is located at the top of the road (Observation Road) that goes right past Ski Valley. So, hop on the Mt. Lemmon trail and immediately look for the signed trail junction for the start of the Meadow trail. Hang a right onto the Meadow Trail.

It starts as an old dirt road. There is a fenced off observatory off to the right. To the left is forest and ferns. There are often sunflowers here, with the requisite butterflies on them. The trail is flat through here.

Shortly the flavor of the trail changes as you enter covered pine forest proper. Some of the forest it burned, some is not. Everything is blanketed in ferns and there is shade everywhere, cooling off those hot Tucson temperatures. There is a great earthy, pine scent to the air. There are a couple of small grassy meadows here and there. To your left if you wander off trail are nice views out over the Wilderness of Rock and upper Sabino Canyon. You could spend all day here. Up to this point the trail is markedly level.

After roughly 0.5 miles the trail starts to switchback down the ridge, shaded all the way. There are some nice, huge trees along the way. Flowers and ferns too. Soon enough you come to the signed junction with the Mt. Lemmon trail again. To the right is miles of wilderness. To the left is the route back to the Mt. Lemmon trailhead. If you hang a left here be sure to take the short signed spur to the Lemmon Rock Lookout for some of the best views in Southern Arizona.

Don't miss out on this summertime treat.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2007-06-25 fricknaley & PrestonSands
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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.

Permit $$
Visit this link for full details.

There are four specific day use areas that require a Coronado Recreational Pass or a National Pass/America the Beautiful Pass.
1) Sabino Canyon - located on the Santa Catalina Ranger District (520)749-8700
2) Madera Canyon - located on the Nogales Ranger District (520)281-2296
3) Cave Creek - located on the Douglas Ranger District (520)364-3468
4) Mt. Lemmon at 11 day use sites.

Catalina State Park $6 per day. Sabino Canyon Tram is $10 extra.

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary and continue 28 miles, past Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, to the power substation on Radio Ridge. Hike west on the trail to a dirt road. Hike down the road to the trail junction.

The Catalina Highway is paved and suitable for passenger cars. Observatory Road is an all-weather gravelled road. Both roads may be snow-covered in winter, when chains or 4-wheel drive may be required. Observatory Road beyond Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley is not maintained for public use during the winter. It is closed when snow-covered or icy.
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