Soldier Trail is a 5.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, AZ that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Beatiful canyons, challenging hike This trail follows the route of an old road and power line from the Catalina Highway to the site of a now-abandoned prison camp. The camp is gone and the power line poles cut down. The trail follows portions of this old route and provides access to an excellent example of Sonoran desert habitat. As the trail winds up the mountain, it visits a few ridge tops that provide good views back toward the city before dropping into Soldier Canyon, where there are some picturesque waterfalls when the stream is running. The boulder-strewn cascades over which those falls tumble are pleasant to spend a few moments by even when they are dry.
Beautiful little trail which takes you up into the Catalinas, through a small "valley" with a creek and some tall grass, then up and over a ridge to the nestled prison camp. near the camp ground, the trail splits; taking the left fork brings you through some beautiful slot canyons and nice climbs- go hang out with the climbers at the crags!
This trail is gnarly the first mile up, but the views are spectacular.
I LOVE this trail!! It is my go to if I need to clear my mind, don't have a lot of time, it's leg day, you name it. It's one of the first trails as you head up Mt Lemmon and by far it is not for the faint hearted.
I would rate the first mile as difficult, the rest of the way is a walk in the park. That first mile is almost entirely uphill with large rocks. You've texted about 1 1/4 mi when you get to the vista overlooking the canyon.
This can be a point to point however I usually hike it in and out. Also can make this a 3 mi if you continue from the vista and turn around once you've gone down to where you would begin trekking to some campgrounds to the East.
Plus this isn't heavily frequented, I like to take my pups and let them explore. This is also the ONLY trail I've been on that I've seen a Gila monster
Really good late Afternoon hike. Hit trail at 430 and was back in car at sunset at 730 nice and cool. Dog friendly but I'd say only for bigger heartier dog; this can be a beast hike for smaller dogs. Pretty steep and a lot of loose rock - kind of a pain for the first third of a mile but then the trail kicks in. Nice elevation makes good work out. Actually a good trainer for rim to rim since the elevation pitches are about the same (though nowhere near as long or far). Just a really good short workout hike with great views and low low traffic (at least on a weeknight).
Hard initially but worth the effort
I did this trail in October. Even though the first section is quite steep, it doesn't last long and the rest of the trail is more moderate difficulty. Prior writer about the grass over the trail is true, which would feel lovely in the winter without fear of snakes. At the end, we explored the prison area, which had an excellent display explaining the history. We also went a little extra (took a left up the wash) to a nice saddle where we had lunch and views to the west.
Stairway to heaven....without the stairs. Steep elevation starts through saguaros and transitions over and through a creek to a rock edge overlooking the bubbling stream and small water fall before climbing up through a grassy meadow like path to alpine heaven. Lots of water today in Jan., and snow and some ice, if you go early be cautious.
I did the hike on October 20th. Pretty cool trail! It gets pretty brushy/overgrown in some parts though and you can't see where you're stepping, which was a problem because I did run into a rattlesnake and nearly stepped on him because I couldn't see the trail very well. Be very snake aware while hiking this trail! Especially if you are alone, like I was.
I just hiked this last week and had a blast! I really liked that it is at the base of Mt. Lemmon so you don't have to do too much driving to get there. When people say the first 3/4 of a mile are tough it's the truth! I am in good shape and kept a very good pace but I was definitely puffing. That part is steep going uphill and quite rocky so bring good shoes.
The views are breathtaking and once you get probably about 1 mile to 1 1/2 mi there's a canyon that's also spectacular. We got to the camp site in about 2 hours or so, a little slower due to some of the other hikers but we made good time. We turned around at that point and made it back to our start which took less time.
There wasn't any water but we had amazing views and even ran into a Gila monster. Now one of my favorite trails! Go for it!!
LOVED this trail...the first 1-1.5 miles are pretty tough! Gorgeous views of Tucson and then when you get further down the trail there is great overlook of quite a few canyons. I saw people rock climbing which was awesome. I suggest this trail but be prepared for a tough hike
Great trail... gets you breathing hard from the get-go. A mile in is spectacular with cottonwoods and meandering creek.