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Upper Lemmon Canyon & Pools
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mini location map2019-09-13
15 by photographer avatarkingsnake
photographer avatar
 
Upper Lemmon Canyon & PoolsTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 13 2019
kingsnake
Hiking8.51 Miles 1,538 AEG
Hiking8.51 Miles   3 Hrs   58 Mns   2.15 mph
1,538 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
As I discovered on the Potato Patch Loop [ photoset ] , in the Hualapai Mountains, two weeks ago, is that I am out of elevation gain shape. Too many flat hikes spinkled between my neighborhood walks. And Mount Lemmon’s trails are all about elevation gain (AEG). ⛰

After digging around, I hit upon the idea of an out-and-back hike on Marshall Gulch Trail #3 and Wilderness of Rocks Trail #44 to the Upper Lemmon Canyon Pools. There would be decent mountain temps, shade, enough AEG to stretch my current limit, and a nice payoff at the end. (Actually, midway.)

There’s not much parking at the Marshall Gulch trailhead, and when my wife & I arrived at 9:00 a.m. it was already full. (On a Friday!)

As I was waiting for my crappy Garmin 62S to find satellites, another hiker remarked that there were no flies in the pit toilet. I responded, “Because the stench killed them.” 😁

It quite lush lower down on Marshall Gulch Trail #3. Higher up, it starts catching a little more sun, as burnt areas higher up on Mount Lemmon expose the trail as it meanders through fern patches and infant pine trees.

At Marshall Saddle, there is a 5-way trail intersection, but there were enough signs, it was obvious which way to go. (I saw quite a few older folks hiking the Aspen Trail #93 loop.)

Despite being a hair shallower than Marshall Gulch Trail #3, Wilderness of Rocks Trail #44 felt steeper. Besides the huge boulder formations which give the wilderness its name, the surrounding terrain was piney & more open, low to the ground. There were a number of good sitting logs that came in handy on the return trip. 🌲

I thought about scrambling up several formations in Lemmon Canyon, but decided I needed the energy to actually climb back out.

¾ of a mile below the intersection of Lemmon Rock Trail #12, II found a decent size pool that was at least four feet deep, being fed by a very loud pour. There was a reclined scoop on the edge of the pool that I could sit in while dangling my feet in the water. I would have taken a nap there, except lack of overhead cover was frying me quick like. It's a great spot!

After a half hour of relaxation at the pool, I slowly hiked my way back up Lemmon Canyon. Grey clouds were rolling in, but it didn’t start sprinkling until just before I reached Marshall Saddle. Wanting to avoid a possible deluge, I booked it 1.5 miles back to the trailhead in only 37 minutes! 🏎

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
About a dozen species scattered up & down both trails, though primarily Marshall Gulch Trail #3. New Mexico Thistle most common. One large patch of Yellow Columbine in Marshall Gulch.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Lemmon Pools 51-75% full 51-75% full
Can't really assess how full "full" is, but the one I stopped at was a good four feet deep with quite loud flow. Check out the video, above.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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kingsnake's
453 Photosets

  2019-10-08
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