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Bigelow Trail - 10 members in 39 triplogs have rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 20 2019
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 383
 Photos 3,761
 Triplogs 2,817

44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Catalina Peaks, AZ 
Catalina Peaks, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Jul 20 2019
fricknaley
Run/Jog11.00 Miles 2,356 AEG
Run/Jog11.00 Miles   2 Hrs   37 Mns   4.55 mph
2,356 ft AEG      12 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 
starting from san pedro vista. hit barnum on the way out, then bigelow. ran FSR out to 5 mile mark. came back and hit Bigggie smalls, bigelow again and leopold point. nice to be back up here.
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Jun 23 2018
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 383
 Photos 3,761
 Triplogs 2,817

44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Jun 23 2018
fricknaley
Run/Jog9.75 Miles 2,658 AEG
Run/Jog9.75 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   4.18 mph
2,658 ft AEG      10 Mns Break7 LBS Pack
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
after (yet another) long night at work, got up as early as i could stand to try and beat the heat at least a little.

happy with the effort given the severe lack of sleep. still got warm on the low points but not unbearable. there are little stretches and spots that i rather like on butterfly. the fern jungle is over my head now and i was surprised to see some early flowers.

ran the bigelow segment better than anticipated so that was good
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Jun 14 2018
DixieFlyer
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 Guides 21
 Routes 287
 Photos 3,720
 Triplogs 262

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Butterfly Loop, AZ 
Butterfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2018
DixieFlyer
Hiking9.10 Miles 2,350 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   5 Hrs   4 Mns   2.42 mph
2,350 ft AEG   1 Hour   18 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I was looking for a hike to do in some cooler weather, so I decided to drive down to Tucson and hike on the Butterfly Trail. While the temperatures were cooler than the VOS, it was in the 80's for most of this hike.

This is a tale of 2 hikes:
1) The portion from the Butterfly TH to the towers at the top of Mount Bigelow: 6.1 miles and an elevation gain of 2,200'
2) The portion from the top of Mount Bigelow back to the Butterfly TH: 3.0 miles and 150' of elevation gain

The first portion follows the Butterfly Trail to where it meets up with the Bigelow Trail, about 1/4 mile from the Bigelow Summit. Along the way we made a detour at Novio Spring to see the plane crash. This was somewhat of a strenuous trail -- the trail was narrow and rocky in many places, and had some fairly steep uphill climbs. It was a warm morning and there was a fair amount of sun exposure, so it was not an easy hike.

The second portion initially followed the Bear Wallow/Bigelow Road(Road 34) down from the summit. After going about a mile or so, we took an unmarked trail down to the right. This was a nice trail to hike on -- there were lots of very large trees and no sun exposure at all. We came back down to the Bear Wallow Rd, and this trail crossed the road and continued alongside the road. This trail has a tunnel that goes underneath the road up to Mount Lemmon at mm 22 (at the intersection of Bear Wallow Rd and the road up to Mount Lemmon). We went underneath the tunnel and followed the trail back to the Sunset TH, where Sykes Knob Rd intersects with the General Hitchcock Hwy. From there it is about a 100' walk along the Highway back to the Butterfly TH. This portion of the hike was very easy(it was mostly downhill on some easy-to-hike trails), and was most welcome on a warm day after doing the first portion of this hike.

If I do this hike again, I would do it in the fall. To make it a more strenuous hike, you could hike from the Butterfly TH to Mount Bigelow and back. This would be a hike of right at 12 miles with an elevation gain of 3,600'-3,700'.

Many people seem to do this hike as a one-way hike with a car shuttle, but given how short and easy the second portion of this hike is, I would rather do this loop and not have to hassle with a car shuttle.

There were some nice views on the hike, particularly on the Butterfly Fly on the way to Bigelow, where you could see the mountains off to the east. Once you got near the Bigelow summit, there were some real nice views to the south.

I thought that this hike was OK, although it was nothing really great. If I lived in Tucson I would hike it again...but for me it is a 7.5 hour RT drive to do the hike, which is a bit much for this hike. There are a number of other Tucson area hikes that I like better and that are easier to get to, so I doubt if I will do this one again.
Flora
Flora
New Mexico Locust
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3 archives
May 06 2018
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 8
 Photos 290
 Triplogs 1,021

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Loop, AZ 
Butterfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 06 2018
RedwallNHops
Hiking8.57 Miles 2,471 AEG
Hiking8.57 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   2.40 mph
2,471 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
Nice workout with about 40 lbs
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Apr 28 2018
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 8
 Photos 290
 Triplogs 1,021

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Loop, AZ 
Butterfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 28 2018
RedwallNHops
Hiking8.57 Miles 2,471 AEG
Hiking8.57 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   2.40 mph
2,471 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
Workout with 50lbs ugh
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Sep 17 2017
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 383
 Photos 3,761
 Triplogs 2,817

44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2017
fricknaley
Hiking9.72 Miles 2,658 AEG
Hiking9.72 Miles   2 Hrs   49 Mns   3.47 mph
2,658 ft AEG      1 Min Break5 LBS Pack
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
wanted to get up and do this before summer was over. went CCW

temps felt like fall though it's a late summer jungle on trail! flowers all over the place and some mildly overgrown parts of butterfly. really nice day.
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Apr 15 2017
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 383
 Photos 3,761
 Triplogs 2,817

44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Catalina Peaks, AZ 
Catalina Peaks, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Apr 15 2017
fricknaley
Run/Jog11.10 Miles 2,536 AEG
Run/Jog11.10 Miles   2 Hrs   56 Mns   4.01 mph
2,536 ft AEG      10 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 
took AZT bypass to incinerator ridge, then kellogg mountain and bigelow trails to the bigelow FSR. ran that down to the observatory then down and around the white tail campground. came back and banged out some peaks: unnamed 8400 tower peak, mount bigelow, leopold point (took a stupid way down :? ) and barnum rock!

this is a very fun route. nice and cool up there early then fairly mild all things considered. was done before noon.
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Jun 18 2016
sel227
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 Triplogs 4

30 male
 Joined Mar 31 2016
 Tucson, Arizona
Bigelow TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 18 2016
sel227
Hiking2.00 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   1.26 mph
640 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My family came to town for the weekend from the Midwest. Wanting to beat the heat, I decided to take them up to Mt. Lemmon. I wanted to go on a hike where we could beat the heat, see the beauty of Arizona, and would not be too strenuous. I found this hike using the MapDEX feature on this site and it fit all the criteria. After a very pleasant day in Summerhaven, we drove down the mountain a little to get to the trailhead. Although there was a little bit of initial confusion when the trail hit its first split, this hike proved to be perfect for what I had in mind. The cooler temperatures, shade, and views from the Mountain top were fantastic. My family loved it. I hadn't gone on a hike in a while due to the extreme heat, but now I definitely have to find one I can do. They're just too enjoyable.
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Jun 05 2016
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 383
 Photos 3,761
 Triplogs 2,817

44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Catalina Peaks, AZ 
Catalina Peaks, AZ
 
Run/Jog avatar Jun 05 2016
fricknaley
Run/Jog10.00 Miles 2,218 AEG
Run/Jog10.00 Miles   2 Hrs   50 Mns   3.64 mph
2,218 ft AEG      5 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 
Partners none no partners
i was on call yesterday and last night so i paid the price on this one. started later than i wanted and was exhausted before i even got out of the car :lol:

hit Barnum rock for the first time in years. also hit Bigelow and some of the high peaks off the main Bigelow FSR. turned around at the observatory. lot of big nice open mountain views. too hot though. brutally hot today. last couple miles just killed me
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Jun 04 2016
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 8
 Photos 290
 Triplogs 1,021

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Loop, AZ 
Butterfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2016
RedwallNHops
Hiking8.57 Miles 2,471 AEG
Hiking8.57 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   2.40 mph
2,471 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
hot even at this elevation. Saw my first bear in the catalinas.
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Oct 27 2015
Sredfield
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 Guides 3
 Routes 27
 Photos 1,457
 Triplogs 424

male
 Joined Sep 08 2002
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2015
Sredfield
Hiking5.05 Miles 1,797 AEG
Hiking5.05 Miles
1,797 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
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Hiked from the Bigelow TH down to about a quarter mile past the Brush Corral junction with the Sawyers to cut out logs. Seemed like forever to get down there and then twice forever to get back up. Good day of fresh air and exercise, and we cut out or muscled off 60 +/- blocking and impinging logs.
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The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.
Oct 10 2015
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 8
 Photos 290
 Triplogs 1,021

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Loop, AZ 
Butterfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2015
RedwallNHops
Hiking8.57 Miles 2,471 AEG
Hiking8.57 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   2.40 mph
2,471 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
Nice workout hike. Temps in the high 60s
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Aug 30 2015
winotron
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 Guides 2
 Routes 6
 Photos 1,167
 Triplogs 298

37 male
 Joined Nov 12 2013
 Phoenix, AZ
Bigelow TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 30 2015
winotron
Hiking2.50 Miles 640 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   2 Hrs      1.67 mph
640 ft AEG      30 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took a day trip to Mt Lemmon with my sister and her fiance to escape the heat. They had never been, and they had a lot of fun. This was our first short hike of the day. My first time on this trail. It was a good little workout (especially since I'm a little out of shape from not hiking much this summer) on the way up. Awesome views from the summit...We could see some storm clouds rolling in that would hit us pretty soon. The TH was pretty full but we only saw a few people on the trail.

After the hike we drove to Marshall Gulch and had lunch. It started raining on us on the way there. As we were eating lunch thunder started crashing directly overhead and the rain really started to pour. We hid out in the car, waiting for the storm to pass, and it actually hailed on us for several minutes. Fun!
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Aug 29 2015
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 383
 Photos 3,761
 Triplogs 2,817

44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Sunset Trail #90 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Aug 29 2015
fricknaley
Run/Jog17.25 Miles 3,373 AEG
Run/Jog17.25 Miles   4 Hrs   22 Mns   4.03 mph
3,373 ft AEG      5 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
Partners none no partners
big one today. up bigelow to the summit. then bigelow/bear wallow FSRs to sunset. took that to marshall gulch and then aspen up to summit of radio ridge then came back the same way and hit bigelow again. great weather. one storm looked ugly towards the end but luckily blew through. the wildflowers on the upper aspen trail are insane!

did better with nutrition and hydration this time :)

the last descent off the summit of bigelow was crazy painful :lol:
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Jul 11 2015
Pivo
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 Guides 2
 Routes 342
 Photos 4,110
 Triplogs 3,272

63 male
 Joined Mar 01 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Loop, AZ 
Butterfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2015
Pivo
Hiking8.57 Miles 2,471 AEG
Hiking8.57 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   2.40 mph
2,471 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
Baja Arizona Hiking
GrottoGirl
MyJoseph
RedwallNHops
Nice hike with the group. Really mild temps today.
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Jul 11 2015
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 8
 Photos 290
 Triplogs 1,021

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Loop, AZ 
Butterfly Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2015
RedwallNHops
Hiking8.57 Miles 2,471 AEG
Hiking8.57 Miles   5 Hrs   5 Mns   2.40 mph
2,471 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
Partners partners
Baja Arizona Hiking
GrottoGirl
MyJoseph
Pivo
Good times
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Jul 04 2015
azdesertfather
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 Guides 12
 Routes 59
 Photos 1,194
 Triplogs 798

46 male
 Joined Apr 30 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Palisade Trail #99Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2015
azdesertfather
Hiking16.02 Miles 4,715 AEG
Hiking16.02 Miles   6 Hrs   6 Mns   2.79 mph
4,715 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Nice morning. Started early (5:40am). Lot of monsoon activity going around, but except for a little sprinkle when hiking between Palisade Trail & Bigelow Trail, I was dry all morning.

Started at the Palisade Trailhead, hiked down to East Fork Trail and back up. Then hiked Organization Ridge Road to the Bigelow Trailhead and looked around up top there before heading back. Pretty quiet on Palisade, only 1 couple all morning. Bigelow had quite a bit more.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mud Spring Dripping Dripping
the corral was full, and the trail was wet, muddy & covered with ferns where it has continued to run.
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"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
Jul 02 2015
wha
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 Photos 88
 Triplogs 338

male
 Joined Feb 10 2012
 Arizona
Bigelow TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2015
wha
Hiking3.15 Miles 693 AEG
Hiking3.15 Miles   2 Hrs   46 Mns   1.99 mph
693 ft AEG   1 Hour   11 Mns Break11.5 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
First real hike since my spinal surgery 4 months ago. My surgeon was amazed at how much I've improved. And how quickly. Now she tells me her measure of success was me not ending up paralysed, so she's quite pleased with how much function I've regained.

I went up Bigelow trail then took the Incinerator Ridge trail almost to Leopold Point. There are some shady spots on the high points on the ridge that are a nice place to stop for a break/lunch before heading back. This was a regular summer hike for me and my dog a couple years ago. He was getting pretty old but still loved getting out and could still manage this. I thought it would be a nice first hike. A lot tougher than I remember. Guess I have a ways to go yet, but it was great to be out on a trail again.
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Jun 21 2015
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
 Routes 383
 Photos 3,761
 Triplogs 2,817

44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Butterfly Trail #16 - CatalinaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Jun 21 2015
fricknaley
Run/Jog9.81 Miles 2,725 AEG
Run/Jog9.81 Miles   3 Hrs   8 Mns   3.33 mph
2,725 ft AEG      11 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
jogged what i could but a lot is just for hiking. nice to be out on this one after about 5 years. the fern jungle lives!

really was draggin pretty hard after 12 hour shift the evening before
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Oct 06 2014
PrestonSands
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 Guides 168
 Routes 149
 Photos 5,534
 Triplogs 1,323

42 male
 Joined Apr 12 2004
 Oro Valley, AZ
Bigelow TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2014
PrestonSands
Hiking7.74 Miles 1,328 AEG
Hiking7.74 Miles
1,328 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Started at San Pedro Vista. Up Incinerator Ridge Trail and then on to Mount Bigelow summit by dark. Followed Mount Bigelow road in the moonlight down to the observatory, and then walked back on the highway to my truck. Beautiful night, slightly chilly, and a number of summer wildflowers still around. Had dinner in the bed of my truck, looking out over the San Pedro River valley in the moonlight. I love a good night hike.
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Wildflowers Observation Light
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"I'm going for a coffee, but you never know when a hike might break out." -Jim Gaffigan
average hiking speed 2.23 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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