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

Mount Bigelow Trail, AZ

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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,951 feet
Elevation Gain 561 feet
Accumulated Gain 561 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5-1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.67
 Interest Peak
 Backpack Yes & Connecting
unreported if dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
22  2022-04-27
Butterfly Trail Loop
25  2018-06-14
Butterfly Loop
3  2015-08-30 winotron
13  2015-07-11
Butterfly Loop
5  2014-07-13 fricknaley
18  2014-06-15
Novio Spring Falls
12  2013-08-08
Green Mountain to Mount Bigelow
18  2009-11-30 PrestonSands
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,753
Trips 1,909 map ( 10,137 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Tucson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Sep, Aug, May, Jun
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:17am - 7:24pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Bighorn Fire119.5k
🔥 2003 Aspen Fire87.7 mi*
🔥 2002 Bullock46.8 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

where red lights mean go
by PrestonSands

 Likely In-Season!
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 the 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. Turn right onto the service road and continue for 0.1 miles to the fire lookout tower to reach the true summit. A few feet to the east of the fire tower, you will find the USGS benchmark 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.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2008-12-18 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 overview & permits.
    2022 - 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.

    2022 Catalina State Park
    Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
    Individual/bicycle: $3.00

    2022 Sabino Canyon Tram is $15 extra. [ website ]

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

    Paved - Car Okay

    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 direct across the highway from the signed Organization Ridge Road turnoff and is 0.1 miles before the Palisades Visitor Center. (see hike description)
    page created by PrestonSands on Dec 18 2008 12:43 am
     90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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