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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Meadow Trail #5A, AZ

Guide 103 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  3.6 of 5 
1 Active
784 103 0
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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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19  2021-05-14
Lemmon Not-a-Loop
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
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Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 387
Photos 3,971
Trips 3,102 map ( 20,159 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Co-Author PrestonSands
co-author avatarGuides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,615
Trips 1,492 map (7,560 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  5:16am - 7:32pm
Official Route
25 Alternative

Highcountry Sweetness
by fricknaley & PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
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 Mount Lemmon Trail #5, 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 to start 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 the covered pine forest proper. Some of the forest is 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 in the air. There are a couple of small grassy meadows here and there. To your left, if you wander off the trail, are lovely 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 lovely, 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 are 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

    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.
    2021 - FAQ
    $8 per vehicle per day
    $10 per vehicle per week
    $40 per vehicle per year (valid for one year from date of purchase)

    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.

    2021 Catalina State Park
    Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
    Individual/bicycle: $3.00

    2021 Sabino Canyon Tram is $12 extra. [ website ]

    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 graveled 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.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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