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Aspen Trail #93, AZ

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Guide 88 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson N
3.6 of 5 by 20
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,440 feet
Elevation Gain 1,550 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,800 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.7
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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11  2019-07-15
Aspen-Marshall with a hint of Mint
5  2019-06-15
Mt Lemmon Figure 8
8  2018-08-30
Mount Lemmon Loop - Lemmon / WOR / Aspen
7  2017-08-26
Mount Lemmon Loop - Lemmon / WOR / Aspen
6  2017-07-22
Sunset-Aspen-Marshall Loop
7  2017-06-04
Mt Lemmon Figure 8
15  2017-06-04
Mt Lemmon Figure 8
2  2016-07-24
Sunset Trail #90 - Catalina
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Aug, Sep, Jun, Jul → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:08am - 6:27pm
Official Route
30 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Catalina on my Mind
by HAZ_Hikebot

Likely In-Season!
The loop formed by these two trails is one of the most heavily used upper elevation routes into the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. This moderate hike leads through an area of diverse habitats that include excellent examples of Canadian Zone riparian areas and ponderosa pine forests. If you're a bit of an amateur naturalist, you might want to bring a guide to Arizona's trees as well. You'll see quite a few different species along this trail which changes aspect and life zones as it loops around a false summit of Marshall Peak. You'll find aspens here, of course, but you'll also pass by Douglas-fir and white fir, Gambel and silverleaf oak, madrone and more.

Notable sights along this view-rich trail include the bare granite walls of the uppermost reaches of Sabino Canyon, through which the first half mile or so of the Aspen Trail passes. Along this part of the route the pathway literally sparkles with flakes of mica and quartz. After taking in the wide angle overlooks at Lunch Ledge and Marshall Saddle, both of which include overlooks of the Wilderness of Rock area, towering Lemmon Rock, and Romero Pass, take the Marshall Gulch Trail back to your starting point. It leads down a cool, shady canyon which is usually well stocked with wildflowers and pleasant little pools.

Attractions: Great views, scenic canyon, cool mountain setting, fall colors and easy access!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-02-27 HAZ_Hikebot
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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.

Most recent of 24 deeper Triplog Reviews
Aspen Trail #93
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I took all three pups up to Mount Lemmon today for a nice 13-mile loop. We started at Marshall Gulch at 8:30am. There were a few other cars in the parking lot when we arrived, but we only saw three other people for the first 12 miles of the hike. The temps could not have been more perfect all day. It was ~35 degrees when we started and I don't think it ever hit 50. It was pretty windy and chilly on our ascent up Aspen trail to the top of the mountain, and when we got to the top we were literally hiking in a cloud for a few minutes. It finally warmed up a couple hours later as we descended into the Wilderness of Rocks area and had more direct sunlight. WOR had water flowing in every creek crossing, which the doggos all loved. We didn't take many breaks because the temps were so pleasant, and because Blanco and Cup are treat snobs and hated the new treats @friendofThundergod bought them for this weekend, so they weren't enjoying their snack breaks as much as they normally do. We finished in 5.5 hours on the dot to a much more crowded trail head parking lot. I'll admit, I was a tiny bit nervous about hiking alone with three dogs, but they were all on their best behavior and we had a lovely day together. :)
Aspen Trail #93
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@John9L put together a nice loop for my first time up on Lemmon and I came away with a great first impression of the area. We took a lot of breaks because in accordance with National Dog Day we were hiking with three dogs and it did get a little warm for stretches. Although, apparently not everyone was observing National Dog Day, as someone chose to mumble their opinion about dogs to us as we passed him early on. Luckily for him, we passed him on the trail two more times, but I am not sure we won him over on either of those encounters either.

All of the trails on the loop were in pretty good shape in my opinion. The initial climb was a tad warm, but its a pretty quick and easy climb, so none were too affected by it. It was a little busy on top and the high point is not much to write home about, but Lemmon Lookout was a worthy detour. The hike through Wilderness of Rocks was great and there was ample water for dogs and skinny dipping apparently, as another group was partaking in that. We bumped into @arizona_water in the WOR and chatted a bit, nice to finally meet him. We finished to a crowded traihead area and played a little musical car parking spots to get out and let others in. We finished up at the Tucson Hop Shop, had a couple of beers and ate curry from a food truck, when in Tucson I guess....

National Dog Day

Every day is National Dog Day in my house and I do realize its just a silly hashtag driven holiday. However, I could not help but get a little sentimental reflecting on how much my dogs mean to me. In particular, how much Cupcake means to me. She helped me get "normal" after a tough year in Iraq and then waited for me when I left her again to go to Afghanistan. She turns 13 in December, but is still one of the toughest dogs I know, she has been hit by a car and nearly drowned in the Blue Range, but she still persists and knocks out miles and eats chicken treats with the zeal of a five year old dog. She has been the most consistent entity in my life for most of my adult years and I really can't imagine life without her and Mr. Blanco...
Aspen Trail #93
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Sunset-Aspen-Marshall Loop
My son, visiting from Boston, wanted a Tucson fix. So it was lunch at El Guero Canelo and (for him only) a watermelon Eegee's.

Then up Mt. Lemmon for some cooler temps and exercise. I borrowed DarthStiller's idea to combine the Sunset Trail and Aspen/Marshall Loop and it was a good choice. No parking problems at Sunset Trailhead and we avoided the zoo at Marshall Gulch.

The trails themselves are enjoyable and scenic and were very uncrowded. Mt. Lemmon delivered with 74deg temps though the uphills were still plenty sweaty for the sweaty guys.

After the hike we headed to the Summerhaven General Store for ice cream and it started sprinkling. By the time we passed our trailhead on the way out it was pouring and continued pouring down the mountain and til we left north Tucson. Nice to finally see some rain...can't wait for some at my house in Phoenix.
Aspen Trail #93
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Mt Lemmon Figure 8
linda and whitney had planned to hike this figure 8 on mt. lemmon
got an invite from linda to tag along :)
i've done the marshall gulch - aspen loop before, but the rest of the trails would be new to me
not quite three hours from the pecos park & ride, putting some miles on the new tundra
got going around 8:00 up aspen trail
continued on aspen up to the mt. lemmon summit area, and followed preston's track to the top
interesting stuff up there, with the pima county high point as a bonus
continued on meadow trail, then backtracked a bit to lemmon rock lookout
this was a neat little spot, with great views and a fun approach to the building
should have talked whitney into coming with us, and taking a snack break there
dropped down the mount lemmon trail through forest, with good views to the west
started seeing some of the more bouldery terrain near the intersection with wilderness of rocks
loved this trail winding through the rocks :)
a steady climb back up to the saddle
found a little bit of running water, with columbines nearby, then some shady areas up higher
passed by primus wall, where i climbed with johnr1 a few years ago
easy stroll down marshall gulch to finish
not many people out by this point
scenic drive down the catalina highway, slow going across tucson, then back to the valley
i have really enjoyed the sky island terrain recently and this hike was a nice sampler of the available trails up high
highlights included wilderness of rocks trail, mt. lemmon summit, and lemmon rock lookout
nice to meet and hike with whitney and another good hike with linda
in fact, eight of my twelve new peaks so far this year have been with linda
thanks for including me on this one :)
Aspen Trail #93
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Mt Lemmon Torture Fest
big day up on lemmon. i parked at the mt lemmon trailhead. went down aspen draw, upper sabino riparian to summerhaven and back. loaded up the pack then hit mt lemmon, wilderness of rocks, marshall gulch to TH and back, then died up radio ridge on the aspen trail back to my car.

i've recently highlited the post winter conditions of some of these trails. new reports:

Aspen Draw: from the top of radio ridge to the upper sabino riparian juntion is clear. there is a nuisance tree down on the spur to ski valley parking lot

upper sabino riparian: a couple of big down trees that are surprisingly tough to get over/around depending on the route you take (these are on the singletrack, not the nearby wider roadbed.

Mt lemmon: totally clear to WOR from my recollection. awesome of course

Wilderness of Rocks: clear from my recollection. love love love this trail. not much water in upper lemmon creek but definitely some

heading into the beastly final climb up aspen trail to radio ridge nearly killed me today. Wow

cold at the start (upper 30's at 9000 feet)

killer route
Aspen Trail #93
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Sunset Rumble
went for a big run up on lemmon. got my pumpkin handed to me on call yesterday so i wasn't expecting much but i figured i'd go to my happy place and see what happens.

route: sunset-marshall gulch-aspen to radio ridge-aspen-sunset-drainage trail and bear wallow to the FSRs up to Little Bigs (my name for it) and back.

sunset: wide open and no issues, other than awesome views
marshall gulch: wide open, no issues. there is some water currently
upper aspen to radio ridge: counted about 10 downed trees a couple of which are a nuisance to get over due to where they fell
lower aspen from saddle to marshall TH: counted about 10 more downed trees, one or two were nuisance.

good weather with a helpful breeze. happy with the effort given the low gas tank heading into it
Aspen Trail #93
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Aspen/WoR loop
Hiked Mt. Lemmon from Marshall Gulch via the Aspen Trail with a few others, then continued down on my own to return via Wilderness of Rocks. It was nice to do some of these trails in the opposite direction from what I'm used to.

Perfect weather (~70) and not very busy for a Saturday, but I did not bring enough water/food for a hike of this size. 2 L and a solitary scone did not cut it, so the drive down wasn't fun. There was running water in WoR, so bringing the LifeStraw would've probably left me in good shape. Still felt good to do a substantial hike for the first time in over a month.
Aspen Trail #93
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pretty big run up high. super humid. A lot of excellent trail work has recently been done on the upper aspen trail and its in great shape! one of my better efforts up radio ridge. came back then ran up to one of the summits off bigelow fsr that i rather like.

in theory i would have liked to add a couple miles but since i was post call, i figured shut up and be happy with this :lol:
Aspen Trail #93
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In an attempt to escape the heat, Frank and I headed up to Mt. Lemmon. The plan was to get a little exercise in the relative cool temps, and explore a few new climbing crags. We planned to do some bushwhacking around Rappel Rock, The Fortress, Avalon Rock and Raven Rock, which are spectacular crags to the SW of the Lemmon Rock Lookout and just off Mt. Lemmon #5 trail, near the water pumphouse. Starting at Marshall Gulch, we proceeded up the Aspen Trail, which we hadn't been on for a long time and spotted The Havens (a frequent climbing stop near Inspiration Pt.), Raycreation, and Ireland Crags across Upper Sabino Canyon. The many stops along with a detour across the thorn and Locust infested Marshall Peak caused us to arrive at Marshall Saddle at 10:30 am.

Looking up at the crags mentioned above (which we planned to access off Lemmon Rock Lookout Tr.), and up at the clouds with some rain in them, we abandoned our original plan and decided on a hike on up Aspen to Radio Ridge and down the road across the ridge toward Summerhaven. Going down this steep rocky trail to the water tank and down to near the Aspen TH put us on the Carter Canyon Road. We walked down the road to Marshall Gulch to retreive our car. All in all, the overcast sky and nice breeze helped us but the humidity was definitely higher. Wouldn't recommend our 1-mile+ trek down the paved road to Marshall Gulch. We didn't see a lot of people once we got off Aspen. Ran into some nice rain on lower Catalina Hwy. Good day.
Aspen Trail #93
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upper sabino riparian out and back, then up aspen draw, down aspen, back on marshall gulch, mint springs, up radio ridge via the powerline road and back down aspen draw

i was post call and figured this would be rough since i wouldn't be starting very early, plus the record heat forecast. i ran the first half, shuffled marshall gulch and mint spring and took a savage beating on the powerline road. too hot and exposed. it was over 90 degrees above 8000 feet still :o

it's a beautiful high country route on mt lemmon

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 Marshall Gulch Trailhead
From Tucson, at the intersection of Tanque Verde and Catalina Highway, go North on the Catalina Highway just over 30 miles. You will pass the small community of Summerhaven. The road ends at Marshall Gulch picnic area. You really can't miss it, it's all the way to the end. The parking is limited so come early!

Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary and continue 26 miles through Summerhaven to the Marshall Gulch Picnic Area. All roads are paved, but chains or 4-wheel drive may be required in winter because of snow. The trailhead is at the end of the road. You'll have to walk the last couple of hundred yards in winter when the road into the picnic area is gated closed.
128 GB Flash Drive... $14
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