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Sunset Trail to Marshall Gulch, AZ
mini location map2014-03-29
24 by photographer avatarwinotron
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Sunset Trail to Marshall Gulch, AZ 
Sunset Trail to Marshall Gulch, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2014
Hiking6.40 Miles 930 AEG
Hiking6.40 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   2.74 mph
930 ft AEG      10 Mns Break3 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
We were in Tucson for the weekend, so I decided to take my first trip to Mt Lemmon. We spent the whole day hiking and exploring, stopping at several of the vistas and enjoying the sights, and wishing we had something like this in Phoenix. :cry: The high was supposed to be 55 or so, but in the sun it felt more like 70. Perfect hiking weather.

We started from the Sunset Trailhead and hiked into Marshall Gulch. The trailhead parking was completely empty. We meant to do the Aspen/Marshall Loop, but ended up going to just about the end of the Marshall Gulch Trail and turning around and doubling back. The GPS on my phone had way over-reported our mileage so I thought we had missed the junction with the Aspen Trail somehow. We were planning on doing another hike after this one so we didn't want to tire ourselves out too much and turned around. After uploading my GPS route later, I realized we turned around about .1 mile from the junction. :x This trip convinced me that I need to get a real GPS.

Oh well, it was a great hike anyways. The Sunset Trail was especially nice. We saw just a couple other people on this trail. Spectacular views of the canyon opened up about half a mile in...maybe my favorite spot of the day. As we got closer to Marshall Gulch we could see the creek running below, with a small waterfall. Climbed down the rocks a bit to feel the ice cold water. The Marshall Gulch parking lot was overflowing and lots of folks were hanging around having a picnic. Definitely a nice spot though despite the crowd.

The Marshall Gulch Trail was a little more populated, but not crowded. Nice stroll through a really forested area with the creek running alongside you a lot of the way. The trail criss-crosses the creek a few times at the beginning. There are moderate ups and downs along the way that keep you on your toes.

Coming back on the Sunset Trail was a good little climb in elevation, and we saw the small Sunset parking lot had filled up while we were out. Despite not finishing the loop as intended this was still a really nice hike. This is a beautiful area, and I will definitely have to come back and try the Aspen Trail and more.
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