We wanted to try a different way to top of Mount Lemmon so decided to hike Soldier Trail near the bottom of Catalina Highway. Starting about 630 we headed up the very steep first 1.5 miles before it levels out. Eventually it hits the junction of Arizona Trail just west of Hirabayashi Campground. Headed west on AZT over Shreve Saddle and down to Sycamore Reservoir. Took a few minutes to check out the reservoir before continuing on to junction of Bear Canyon Trail. Once past that junction we headed down into Sabino on East Fork trail. Plenty of water in this part of the canyon as we passed the Sabino Canyon Trail junction.
The next section of trail is probably the nicest up West Fork Sabino past Hutch’s Pool and several other pools. The uphill also kicked in as we headed up to Romero Pass. The grade isn’t particularly steep but it’s seems to drag a bit. On Romero Pass we took a break before heading up the steepest part of the ascent. Eventually we passed the WOR junction but continued on the Mount Lemmon trail to the Sutherland junction. At this point we were done with most of the elevation gain for day and none too soon as the temps were around 40 and winds howling. One last uphill through the Meadow Trail before the parking lot and our pick up from some friends that were nice enough to pick us up!