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Green Mountain Trail #21, AZ

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Guide 83 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson N
3.7 of 5 by 14
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 4.45 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,277 feet
Elevation Gain -1,440 feet
Accumulated Gain 636 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.57
Backpack Yes
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3  2019-06-05
AZT #11b PRW bypass
15  2018-08-16 kingsnake
7  2017-07-19 Pivo
4  2017-07-16
Guthrie Mountain
15  2016-09-28 Tortoise_Hiker
10  2016-05-20
Guthrie Mountain
10  2016-03-04
Green Mountain Summit
112  2016-02-27
Green Mountain Summit
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Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 383
Photos 3,724
Trips 2,746 map ( 18,187 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Early Winter
Sun  6:11am - 6:20pm
Official Route
4 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Ridiculous vegetation
by fricknaley

Out-n-back stats
9.0mi | 2,760aeg

This is a very pleasant hike to escape the heat in Tucson and to take in some very nice forestry as well. There are some areas that were affected by the Aspen Fire here, but overall not much and all things considered the abundance of vegetation on this hike is still great. This hike swings around the eastern slops of the Catalinas and the way out is the descent (making the way back the climb).

There is a relatively new trailhead, so don't head for the San Pedro overlook, rather start from the new signed small parking area for the Green Mountain trail. It quickly climbs up and away from the trailhead over a ridge. Now you start switchbacking down Green Mountain. Immediately there are great views to your left and very nice pine forest. Very quickly you come to a junction for the Brush Corrals trail - hang right at signed intersection.

You gradually wind down the mountain, enjoying nice views. Enjoy the trees and groundcover including an adunbance of brilliant green ferns. You also trek out and around a couple of nice ridges offering huge views of the San Pedro River valley and the Galiuro Mts. After about 1.25 miles or so you will come to another signed trail intersection for Brush Corrals Shortcut trail (a loop possibility exists here). Again follow the way of Green Mt to the General Hitchcock campground, which is the final destination.

Continue winding along the easy to follow trail until you come to a signed intersection for a spur trail to Maverick spring. Keep on going scrambling along some boulders and washes until you ultimately come to a signed intersection at a nice saddle (Bear Saddle I believe). Another spur trail leads off to Mt Guthrie, but that's for another day. Hang a right over the ridge/saddle and start a more pronounced descent. Here the hike takes on a slightly different feel as you start down the uppermost reaches of Bear Canyon. Very pleasant part of the hike here. The trail reaches and follows the canyon down for a waysm, crossing over the wash then sort of scrambling cross country. Sometimes the trail is a little faint, but cairns are abundant and if you pay attention you'll be fine.

Finally you again reach a more pronounced descent then reach the canyon bottom again, crisscrossing over the sandy wash. There is ridiculous vegetation here, probably my favorite part of the hike. You basically are now at the General Hitchcock campground and soon enough you'll see some tables and stuff. I not sure that this site is currently open, but I saw nobody today..other than a ton of birds singing and rummaging about. Hammer your lunch and get ready for that climb back up and out.

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2005-06-03 fricknaley
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    Coronado Pass

Coronado FS Details
The Green Mountain Trail leads from a trailhead at the San Pedro Vista on the Catalina Highway to the General Hitchcock Campground. Good views start as soon as you step out of your car here where the Galiuro Mountains, Mount Graham and the wide San Pedro River Valley are framed by the pines and firs that cling to the slope below the overlook.

The trail is located on the east side of the parking area behind a metal trailhead sign. Finding it can be a bit tough due to the large number of well-worn pathways that radiate from the parking area, but if you follow a line of rough rock steps up the slope you'll find that all the routes rejoin in a short distance into a well defined trail that turns toward the panorama. Good views continue for some time as the trail bends around an exposed point.

About a third of a mile from the trailhead, the Brush Corral Trail #19 branches off on its 3,200 foot dive down the mountain's east side. The Green Mountain Trail drops gradually through thick forests out and around a major ridge to a junction with the Shortcut Trail, which provides a little used and hard to follow connecting route to the Brush Corral Trail. From this point the Green Mountain Trail climbs up and over Bear Saddle at the head of Bear Canyon, but not before passing another junction with another side trail, the Maverick Spring Trail, which leads less than half a mile to a picturesque natural seep. This spring usually has water in it and is located in an area that is quite lush.

From Bear Saddle, the trail drops down into Bear Canyon through forests of ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir and Arizona cypress. After crossing usually dry Bear Creek a number of times, it ends in the General Hitchcock campground at the parking lot.

Views of wide valleys and distant mountains
East side trail
Connecting trails
Campground access
Scenic trailhead

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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Green Mountain Trail #21
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i had to go see this for myself.

this is a special hike and place for me for a multitude of reasons.

lower green mountain from the bug springs TH to the first saddle beyond hitchcock is fine. beyond this to bear saddle it seems the trail was used as a fireline and there is some moderate burn, and some more heavily charred areas. in the lower creek beds the trail can now be hard to follow. sometimes it's burned to the east of the trail and fine on the west.

from bear saddle out to guthrie it gets progressively more heavily burned. Guthrie is charred, black and dead. that sucked to see.

i expected what i saw today because i followed the fire perimeter maps VERY closely. could have been worse for sure. guthrie probably couldn't have though. sad for me to see for a peak that has given me so much
Green Mountain Trail #21
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In an attempt to escape the heat and get a bit of training in I have done the Green Mountain (from the upper trailhead), Brush Corral and Brush Corral Shortcut Trail loop several times in the past few weeks. The Brush Corral Trail from Green Mountain to the Shortcut junction is beautiful and green right now - definitely the highlight! Easy enough to add more mileage as needed (trip to Maverick Spring, start from the bottom...) - and Point 6828 is pretty close to the trail and has a great tree to rest under just beyond the top!

Green Mountain Trail #21
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Met friends at the Lower Green Mountain Trailhead for a run/hike up to San Pedro Vista and back. Lovely as usual, only a little water in Bear Canyon near the trail - but the real treat was the snow!!! I thought the snow from the storm the previous weekend would be completely gone - nope, there was still a fun/pleasant amount on the trail - what a joy to run in the snow!

Also note that if you are in this area the metal trail signs have been recently replaced and now include the AZT logo/'Wilderness Bypass' - it was great to see the new signs!

Green Mountain Trail #21
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My first time on the Brush Corral and Brush Corral Shortcut trails! The Brush Corral/Shortcut loop had very good trail, and the top of the Brush Corral Trail below the Shortcut junction was easy to follow - but worth noting that the short amount of trail that I got to walk on the burned/open ridge was more difficult to follow (but with fairly open terrain it didn't matter all that much)...

If you have not visited this trail I would highly recommend it - the section along the open ridge is simply gorgeous!! Looking forward to getting back and doing the entire trail.

Pictures: ... 403781518/
Green Mountain Trail #21
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I started at the Lower Green Mountain Trailhead and went to Maverick Spring - only the 2nd time I have been to this area and quite different than in September 2012 in a thunderstorm (fun comparison of the crossing just before the spring - Sept 2012:, March 2013:

There was a little flow from the spring - I enjoyed the views from the nearby hill (great!) and the trickle of water coming down the canyon. After Maverick Spring I went back to Bear Saddle and over to Guthrie Mountain - the trail out to Guthrie is always nice and there was plenty of wind to keep things cool.

After hitting the 'usual' Guthrie summit I headed along the ridge to the east (towards the second summit shown on the SAHC map/described in the Cowgill/Glendening guide), for awhile this was very fun but wow did it get prickly and ugly fast going up to Point 7162! (Is the pipe - - on the top of Point 7162 from firefighting?)

I ran out of enthusiasm for the ridge after topping out on 7162 (oh well, guess I have to go back again and do the whole ridge, what a good excuse to get out to this area again!) and decided to call it a day and head back the way I came.

Green Mountain Trail #21
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Pretty much as described. When you reach Mudd Spring there is a large down tree blocking the trail. Over or under neither is exactly "convenient", but if you proceed you'll likely have the rest of the trail to yourself. The trail stays more or less level and relatively easy to follow for the next "while", but as you begin downslope into the East Fork drainage it becomes progressively brushier (grassy actually) and harder to discern. That said, it's still very "do-able", but pay close attention (not easily accomplished with such great views in every direction...!). As advertised, there are cairns, but not always where most needed. Still, we only lost the trail briefly on two occasions. If you do lose it entirely it could prove labyrinthine picking your way through the various minor cliff bands. Gaiters are recommended as the grass (Love Grass, methinks) has a little needle-like seed (?) that has an affinity for socks.

We originally intended to make a loop out of this incorporating the East Fork Trail and Box Canyon, but were disappointed by not finding any water when we hit the EF (it was supposedly "the wettest September on record"...). We turned the opposite direction on the EF trail and intersected the Bear Canyon/Sycamore Canyon/East Fork saddle whereupon we descended into the Sycamore drainage and hit a magnificent (by Catalina standards) flowing stream. We rejoiced at not being forced into a dry camp (we were OUT of H2O at this juncture). We tanked up and continued on toward the Prison Camp area to spend the night. We slept soundly on solid rock at "The Marryin' Place" above the popular Prion Camp climbing area, Jailhouse Rock.

The next morning we started to repay the debt we incurred by hiking downhill all day on Saturday. Not sure exactly what the cumulative elevation gain was, but I'd be surprised if it weren't in excess of 5,000 feet. The Bug Spring trail was HOT until we descended into the lovely little riparian area that connects it to the Bear Canyon Picnic Area. From there we continued on the Green Mountain Trail to the San Pedro Overlook then by road (2.5 miles more or less) back to the Pallisades Trailhead. It was quite the tour taking in a LOT of what Lemmon has to offer.

Note: Mileages and elevations are VERY rough estimates.
Green Mountain Trail #21
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An unforgettable snow hike in the Catalinas today. Took off from the lower Green Mountain trailhead and wandered through amazing snow, at times nearly knee deep. There was flowing water everywhere and more waterfalls than I could count. Made it to Bear Saddle then simply lost the trail in the snow. It's hard to imaging I'll ever see this trail like this again. What a treat!
Green Mountain Trail #21
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Out for my longest hike since hitting the trails again. The amount of regrowth along this trail since my first time out here is nice to see. The total elevation gain for this hike from Green Mountain trailhead to General Hitchcock campground and back is about 2100 ft.

Hot here in Tucson today. Is there anything better than the scent of pine on a warm mountain breeze? :)
Green Mountain Trail #21
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I hiked from the lower trailhead to Maverick Spring and back. AEG is just over 1600 feet.

The hike would be really cool Feb-Apr with a recent rain. Otherwise I'd stick to the higher elevation trails May through Oct.

The vegetation isn't affected much from the highway up to Bear Saddle. The Bullock Fire wiped out large sections on the flip side.

The trail only follows about 50% of what's plotted on the old USGS topo maps.
Green Mountain Trail #21
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This last minute outing on Friday turned out to be a good day hike. There is enough pretty views, tree cover, vegetation color and variety, and ups and downs to rate this an above average hike. Traveled down to the General Hitchcock campground first and then back up to the trailhead. This is a tough moderate hike if you go both ways in the same day. The trip back to the trailhead is rougher so save some energy while on the way to the campground. Saw only 3 other hikers all day.

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 in Tucson up into the Catalinas. At roughly milepost 18 there is a new separate and signed trailhead for the Green Mountain Trail on your right. It's that easy.

The lower General Hitchcock Trailhead is just before milepost 12.
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