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Crystal Spring Trail #17 - 6 members in 24 triplogs have rated this an average 3.7 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jun 29 2019
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 Guides 7
 Routes 160
 Photos 701
 Triplogs 198

39 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Catalina Camp TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Jun 29 2019
ShatteredArmTriplogs 198
Run/Jog22.40 Miles 5,210 AEG
Run/Jog22.40 Miles   8 Hrs   31 Mns   2.63 mph
5,210 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I few months ago I came up with idea of doing a "circumnavigation of Mount Lemmon". I needed some miles, so decided to make an attempt on a late June weekend. Maybe it was a bit brash to try such a route during the summer months.

The goal was to start at Butterfly TH, go down to Crystal Springs trail, up the Oracle Control Road, down Oracle Ridge to Dan Saddle and then down to Catalina Camp, then down to CDO, up to Samaniego Ridge and then Lemmon Trail, then head down to WoR, back across Marshall Saddle, and connect with Sunset to finish the loop. A solid loop if I do say so myself, probably pretty close to a marathon with 6000+ feet of ascent.

The plan held up until Catalina Camp, where it started to get warm, and I really started to question whether I had it in me. This was the last bail-out point, and I took it. Luckily there was a trickle in the creek, so I was able to fill up before heading up Red Ridge (the first time I've had the, let's call it a privilege, of seeing this trail in the uphill direction). Surprisingly, I saw three other people on Catalina Camp and Red Ridge trails. Thought I was the only one stupid enough to be down there in late June.

When I got to Red Ridge, clouds had rolled in, and I was feeling much more alive. So I added a few miles back on by heading up the road to the ski resort, and heading down Aspen Draw (where it even sprinkled a little bit!), before taking a Mint Springs to Marshall Saddle detour.

Ended up a pretty good outing still, even if the whole circumnavigation has to wait until another (possibly cooler) day.
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Jun 05 2019
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 Guides 8
 Routes 12
 Photos 1,317
 Triplogs 491

57 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Jackson, CA
AZT #11b PRW bypass, AZ 
AZT #11b PRW bypass, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2019
toddakTriplogs 491
Hiking22.00 Miles 5,500 AEG
Hiking22.00 Miles   11 Hrs      2.00 mph
5,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Biked down the highway from the top then hiked NOBO from the Gordon H campground. Excellent climb on quality trails that's just as rugged, scenic and enjoyable as the regular passage. Great views throughout and very green at the higher elevations.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Crystal Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
light, clean flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Novio Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
light, clean flow
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1 archive
Sep 04 2016
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 Routes 1
 Photos 900
 Triplogs 65

66 female
 Joined Mar 16 2009
 apache junction,
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 04 2016
sandyfortnerTriplogs 65
Hiking3.60 Miles 780 AEG
Hiking3.60 Miles
780 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Made a last minute decision to go hike some of the Arizona Trail Wilderness Bypass and decided to start with Crystal Springs. The bypass joins several trails together to avoid the Pusch Wilderness and is supposed to be a more suitable option for equestrians. The current state of this portion of the bypass would NOT be conducive to horses! We did this trail SOBO from the Control Rd to the Butterfly and then hiked out to the road. The majority of the trail is choked with overgrowth and in places the tread is non-existent. Due to the heavy foliage, you can't see that the tread is gone and we slipped on the side a couple of times. There are several logs down across the trail. One has enough ground surrounding it that a horse could go around, the rest do not as the mountainside is steep by those deadfall. We did come to one clear spot and found that that section of trail, about 2 meters, was nicely lined on both sides with rocks. Hmm. Aggressive use of a machete would be more helpful on this trail than rock borders, but it was good for a chuckle! Several drainages had a decent trickle coming down and pooling up and there were 2 little pools right by the trail. Since it was Labor Day weekend, we saw quite a few people heading out on the trail as we were hiking towards the road. We did see many butterflies and a hummingbird came to visit during a snack break. All in all, it was a beautiful day!
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:M2C: Goldilocks
Aug 30 2016
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 Guides 187
 Routes 829
 Photos 9,801
 Triplogs 662

69 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Catalina Mts Crystal Spring Hike, AZ 
Catalina Mts Crystal Spring Hike, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 30 2016
markthurman53Triplogs 662
Hiking9.90 Miles 2,317 AEG
Hiking9.90 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   2.31 mph
2,317 ft AEG      58 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This is a good Summer hike, leave the heat of the desert and to the coolness of Mount Lemmon. Beautiful scenery and in late spring the flowers are everywhere. Raspberries and strawberries and what I believe are Elder Berries are plentiful in their season. The Butterfly Trail is in in good condition as with the Crystal Spring Trail. The Crystal Spring Trail is a bit overgrown in places though. Water is not an issue on this hike but Rattlesnakes are. Heard 3 along the trail but only saw 1, a bit unnerving. Recommend walking stick to probe the path in some areas.
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Jun 11 2016
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 Routes 30
 Triplogs 186

34 male
 Joined May 15 2015
 Tucson
Crystal Spring to Butterfly, AZ 
Crystal Spring to Butterfly, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2016
jrousoshammondTriplogs 186
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
MSimmons
Posting this a few weeks late. We walked a little ways down Control Road, took #17 to the junction with #16, made a detour to the west and up Butterfly peak, and turned back East to a car that we had left at the Bigelow TH. I think the gain was a bit more, but in solidarity with msimmons I'm using these numbers...

I hadn't been on the Butterfly Trail since I did it East-West as a little kid - it was a lot tougher in this direction than I remembered. Lots of beautiful, lush stretches of trail on this hike. There were a lot of people when we first got on Butterfly, but there were surprisingly few (for a Saturday) as we climbed Bigelow on our way to the trailhead.
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1 archive
Jun 11 2016
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 Photos 4
 Triplogs 62

34 male
 Joined Jan 30 2016
 Tucson, AZ
Crystal Spring to Butterfly, AZ 
Crystal Spring to Butterfly, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 11 2016
MSimmonsTriplogs 62
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.67 mph
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
jrousoshammond
A really pleasant two-car hike, first along Crystal Spring Trail with its lush, dappled thickets, and then through the charming forests of Butterfly Trail. Great views all afternoon of Oracle Ridge, Mt. Bigelow, and the "backside" canyons. I was reminded at moments of the nearby Oracle/Red Ridge Loop, which I'd say is a better workout, but not as beautiful.

We also made a quick side trip up and over to Butterfly Peak, which wasn't all that much for views but did make for a nice little workout. I was planning to bushwhack along the ridge out to the peak, but, happily, there was a perfectly good trail.

And we saw bear tracks in the mud on Crystal Spring Trail, which I thought was preeeeeetty cool.
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Oct 23 2014
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 Photos 88
 Triplogs 338

male
 Joined Feb 10 2012
 Arizona
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 23 2014
whaTriplogs 338
Hiking6.30 Miles 1,553 AEG
Hiking6.30 Miles   5 Hrs   10 Mns   2.00 mph
1,553 ft AEG   2 Hrs   1 Min Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked out to the Keebler tree from the Control Road TH and had lunch. On the way back I cut out some of the worst downfall that wasn't too big, or possibly dangerous for one person. Still a lot left, but at least they are easier to step or clamber over.
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Oct 12 2014
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 Photos 88
 Triplogs 338

male
 Joined Feb 10 2012
 Arizona
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2014
whaTriplogs 338
Hiking7.20 Miles 1,615 AEG
Hiking7.20 Miles   4 Hrs   54 Mns   1.61 mph
1,615 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been on the Crystal Spring trail at both ends, but this is the first time hiked it end to end. Started at the TH on Control Road, up and back, so I've done it twice now.

The first mile is in good shape. And the last mile before the Butterfly Trail junction. The middle mile and half is not so good. Overgrown in some spots, and a lot of down trees. Three that were a good 20 inches, and quite a few smaller ones. Most can be stepped or clambered over, but a few were more difficult. Broke off branches on a few to get through easier. There's also a spot where about 6 feet of the trail has collapsed.

It's worth the effort though. Good views out Alder Canyon. Some nice 'park' like areas good for a lunch break or maybe camping. With the recent rain many of the drainages were running. Didn't go down to the spring but I imagine it was running as well.

Only saw 3 people, 3 guys on bikes on the way back. We played leap frog for a while, but then I left them behind and didn't see them again until I was driving away. I think they got bogged down in the middle section.
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Sep 07 2014
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 Triplogs 348

29 male
 Joined Oct 13 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 07 2014
iborregoTriplogs 348
Hiking7.30 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking7.30 Miles
900 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Jun 26 2014
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 Guides 11
 Routes 110
 Photos 769
 Triplogs 240

59 male
 Joined Jul 14 2011
 Tucson, AZ
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2014
Mountain_RatTriplogs 240
Hiking3.56 Miles 781 AEG
Hiking3.56 Miles   2 Hrs   18 Mns   1.96 mph
781 ft AEG      29 Mns Break11 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did this one as a cool down from yesterday's hike. I like this trail. Very foresty. The first 2-1/2 miles were fields of fern. Though I saw only a tiny pool of water, the plant life is thriving here. Saw 1 deer, lots of chipmunks, and a pair of playful ravens who seemed to have made me their toy.

Both AZT signs suggest this trail to be 3.6 mi. My GeePuS agrees at 3.56. one way. If an actual, clean route is needed as an official one, here it be.

I caught some very early pics of the San Juan fire ( taken about the time it was first reported) and a few more within an hour that show its incredible acceleration.
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Don't Poke At The Badger!!!
Apr 16 2014
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 Triplogs 108

48 male
 Joined Feb 19 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2014
camilesTriplogs 108
Hiking10.50 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking10.50 Miles   3 Hrs   54 Mns   2.69 mph
2,100 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Started on the Butterfly trail and did an out and back on Crystal Spring - I really love the first mile or so of the Crystal Spring Trail from the junction with Butterfly - such lovely places to linger in the trees and then at the Keebler tree!

Some of the drainages were dry but Alder Canyon and some of the later drainages had water including the lovely fall/pools before the Control Road.

Most of the trail was brown, but a few spots are already getting a little lost in the Green - such a contrast to the last time I was on the trail and it was an absolute riot of green growth!

Pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/sets/72157644083031534/
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Nov 05 2013
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 Guides 4
 Routes 29
 Photos 1,654
 Triplogs 460

male
 Joined Sep 08 2002
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Volunteer avatar Nov 05 2013
SredfieldTriplogs 460
Volunteer3.00 Miles
Volunteer3.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Tom’s Sawyers continued clearing trails and installing the new Wilderness Bypass signs on Mt Lemmon today. As always, the group convened at Tom’s at 7:00, this time including a strong northern contingent who, lured by rumors of a monstrous log blocking the trail, all got up way before breakfast and made the drive in the dark.

Tools were quickly loaded and everyone headed up the mountain. The trail of choice this day was the new Arizona Trail Wilderness Bypass route on the Coronado Crystal Springs trail, with a sign to be installed where it meets the Control Road. Tom made quick work of that while everyone else was loading packs with saws, loppers, gloves, jackets, water, etc. for the one-and-one-half-mile hike and saw trip. The group left the trailhead at 8:00 AM sharp, and headed south. Several smaller deadfall were quickly dispatched, as were a few more serious trees that took some thought and several minutes to clear safely.

The group reached the main event at precisely 10:00 AM—a 36 inch behemoth blocking the trail and extending a considerable distance on either side. Fred had scouted this log and after seeing the group’s enthusiasm was concerned he may have over-sold it. No chance! The bugger was huge!

With seven sawyers there was ample opportunity to rotate the two men on the saw. The log laid at the perfect height for cutting, which made for good progress. The leviathan required two cuts, but it laid well and the sawyers had good cutting positions. The wedges were pounded in as soon as the blade allowed, ample application of bug juice (WD40) kept the saw slippery, and the sawdust piled up on either side. In 40 minutes the first cut was through; the log cracked and creaked, but did not move when the saw went through. With careful setting and prep the second cut was underway. When the saw went out the bottom the huge block held steady. Now was the time to be extra careful-there would be no “little” accidents with this heavyweight.

The guys set blocks to keep the log from rolling where it wasn’t intended. As the center block was moved ever so slightly it was clear the high side log was unstable, so that one went first. With great care everyone assembled on the high side and pushed; and the log rolled down across the trail and settled in the low spot below with a delicious thud. The center block quickly followed, coming to rest a good ways off the trail.

Self-congratulations all around, followed by a quick snack and the walk back to the trucks, then lunch at the Sawmill in Summerhaven. Another satisfying and rewarding day on the Arizona Trail! Thanks to Tom, Fred, Joe, John, Lee and David.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Trail Maintenance
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
The aspen are gone, but the plants along the trail had a lovely autumn scent with tiny patches of color here and there.
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Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
Sep 01 2013
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 Triplogs 108

48 male
 Joined Feb 19 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2013
camilesTriplogs 108
Hiking6.00 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
640 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
We started at the Upper Butterfly parking and after a nice but uneventful hike turned onto the Crystal Spring Trail - compared to previous visits the trail was amazingly grown over with brush! The trail was still fairly easy to follow - but it felt like for half of the hike we were pushing thru the brush! Great to see the trail like this.

Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/set ... 349586402/
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Mar 30 2013
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 Triplogs 108

48 male
 Joined Feb 19 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2013
camilesTriplogs 108
Hiking7.37 Miles 1,800 AEG
Hiking7.37 Miles
1,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
We started at the Butterfly Trailhead/Upper end of the Butterfly Trail and hiked down to the junction with Crystal Spring - overcast day and actually a touch chilly, the young pine trees that are growing really add some brilliant green to the area! Crystal Spring is a delight - views, beautiful little spots to stop, water coming down the canyons!! We turned around at the Alder Canyon crossing (plenty of water) and on the way back spotted a band of Coati!!! There were 20+ of them, when we first saw them a few of them headed up into nearby trees on the rather dense hillside they were on - we stayed still and they came down and kept moving, but when we moved again we startled them again, this time with 10+ of them ending up in a single larger tree, we stayed still again and they slowly came down and moved away. Eventually only a single Coati was left in the tree - we guessed maybe this was an older male with the group, could have been our imagination (and we are certainly not Coati experts!!!) but the look/posture we were getting seemed more warning than fear... Eventually the last individual came down and moved away too. Amazing!!!

This is only the 2nd time I have seen a band of Coati and it was pretty special. Worth noting that Wes Noonan reports seeing a large band last year in this area (see his picture/description here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wesnoonan/7771319330/).

(The first time I saw a band was off-trail in Pine Canyon above where the Palisades Trail meets the canyon - picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/3881418582/in/set-72157622090753893)

Pictures of this hike - http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/sets/72157633133275416/ - including a few shots of the Coati (oh how I wish I had a longer lens and more time to try to get a picture!!).

I would love to here about other sightings in the Catalinas!
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Feb 03 2013
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 Photos 149
 Triplogs 9

62 male
 Joined Sep 17 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2013
OldNslowTriplogs 9
Hiking5.05 Miles 1,797 AEG
Hiking5.05 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   1.12 mph
1,797 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
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Crystal, Britni, and I wanted to take a short hike and try out snowshoes in an easy situation. We hoped there would still be enough snow to at least try them out. We chose the Butterfly Trail because it is mostly on the north aspect and should retain snow the longest. We parked at the Butterfly Trailhead across from Soldier camp and there was almost no snow there. We hiked about a quarter mile and began to get into some snow on the trail. There turned out to be just enough snow on the trail to allow us to at least give them a try and get comfortable with them. Most of the hike they traveled strapped to our packs.

We turned onto the Crystal Springs Trail and went about a mile and turned around. On the way back we saw some turkeys near the trail junction. They didn't seem very concerned about us and went on feeding as we walked by.

We are hoping Mt Lemmon will get another good snow so we can go back and really use the shoes.

We also found a set of new Honda keys in the snow. That had to suck.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Wild Turkey
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Jul 15 2012
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 Triplogs 108

48 male
 Joined Feb 19 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2012
camilesTriplogs 108
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,300 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
2,300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Took the upper part of the Butterfly Trail and then turned onto the Crystal Spring Trail. The Crystal Spring trail is easy to follow and only has a few trees across it. Nice water flow at Alder Canyon - great spot to take a break on a hot day! Went to the Control Road Trailhead and then headed back. Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiles/sets/72157630596478574/
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1 archive
Jul 27 2011
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 Guides 34
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,197
 Triplogs 592

36 male
 Joined Aug 16 2006
 Portland, OR
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Jul 27 2011
keepmovingTriplogs 592
Run/Jog10.00 Miles 2,273 AEG
Run/Jog10.00 Miles   2 Hrs   39 Mns   53 Secs3.75 mph
2,273 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Started at the upper trailhead, followed Butterfly Trail down the first 1.4 miles, then turned left and followed Crystal Springs out to the Mt Lemmon Control road and returned the same way. It has been a very long time since I have visited either trail and I was surprised by how green the forest looked. There were several sections along Crystal Springs where the furns & bushes were starting to obscure the trail, but the trail was still very easy to follow.
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1 archive
Aug 28 2010
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 Guides 2
 Routes 452
 Photos 4,984
 Triplogs 3,829

66 male
 Joined Mar 01 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Crystal Butterfly Loop, AZ 
Crystal Butterfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 28 2010
PivoTriplogs 3,829
Hiking10.00 Miles 2,700 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles   7 Hrs      1.43 mph
2,700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
Baja Arizona Hiking
GrottoGirl
RedwallNHops
Tropical conditions today, humid and dense growth on the trail.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Lookin’ back on the track, gonna do it my way, Lookin’ back.... ahhhhhhhh
Jun 27 2010
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 Guides 93
 Routes 389
 Photos 4,131
 Triplogs 3,390

47 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2010
fricknaleyTriplogs 3,390
Hiking9.30 Miles 3,677 AEG
Hiking9.30 Miles   4 Hrs      2.33 mph
3,677 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally made it out to hike the entirety of the Crystal Spring trail from the Butterfly trailhead. the forest service has done some chainsaw work on the crystal spring trail and the tons of downed trees. the forest is already claiming back the middle section via ferns and various massive weeds. aside from that, though, the trail is in pretty good shape (for the backside of the catalinas). the only sketchy section would be about 1 mile or so in the middle, but otherwise quite doable. there is some nice forest along the way, then a section of recovering burn. the middle stretch is loaded with poison ivy in 2 very short stretches.

the views are nice, of oracle ridge on the way out, and especially looking back at Mt. Bigelow on the return, with sweet views down Alder Canyon too. flowers are starting up along crystal springs, less so on butterfly thought the fern patch on the flank of butterfly peak was already sporting some huge fern over my head.

from the butterfly trailhead to control road and back is a nice, fairly tough hike on this backside trail. come on all you tucson/catalina lurkers...go out and hike crystal spring before it grows over again. :y:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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hi
May 11 2009
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 Guides 34
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,197
 Triplogs 592

36 male
 Joined Aug 16 2006
 Portland, OR
Crystal Spring Trail #17Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 11 2009
keepmovingTriplogs 592
Hiking4.00 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs      2.00 mph
640 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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michellancholy
Fun little hike, I was surprised by the amount of water we encountered for how dry it has been lately. I am almost certain we must have passed the Crystal Springs, but didn't notice. Are they marked?
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3 archives
average hiking speed 1.98 mph
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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.

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