Explore Tucson Area - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Trail is hard to stay on towards the top. Tall grass and erosion makes the trail a little sketchy. Phone recorded 3920 elevation gain. It’s worth the workout. Springs are running now too. Not great for newbies, kids, or solo hikers.

19 days ago

Beautiful scenery, very loose rock trial. Make sure to have ankle support.

My 1st desert hike since I was a kid....great trail with nice elevation changes with even trails mixed in!

trail running
1 month ago

My first time visiting Mt Lemmon area. Butterfly Trail has great views of the desert below to the east, and a healthy amount of elevation gain. I recommend tacking on Mt Bigelow. Minus one star for the overgrown trail making it hard to run.

Giving this trail 5 for brutal!! Awesome trail but kinda hard areas... sometimes hard to follow trail but we found it back easy!! Saw javelinas and mama deer and baby!! Started at 6am but coming back down got pretty hot!! Will do again for sure!!

The views at the top are AMAZING!!!! If you do only one hike on Mt. Lemmon do this one! I would definitely say this one is not for those who aren’t in shape or are scared of heights though as a lot of it is straight up—I would do this one again & again!! Love it!!

2 months ago

Love this trail! Someone did remove the signs to get to the airplane reck, so just know that it’s 3 1/2 miles in! Bring extra water!

hiking
3 months ago

What an awesome trail, definitely a hard trail.. great views. Lots of birds to see!! Glad I got to finish it this time and no rain!! Lots of shaded areas during the trail!! A must do again and add some of the side trails along the trail!!

Make sure to stay hydrated... this trail ain’t for beginners !!!

nature trips
4 months ago

Bajas muchísimo y así como lo bajas lo tienes que volver a subir. El regreso es intenso. Un buen ejercicio

on Butterfly Trail

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail with great views. The trail was dusty. I got home with very dirty feet, not a complaint though, just a heads up. We went a little further than the plane crash and came back. 6 miles total. The ascent on the way back is a good leg workout. Pretty decent coverage from the sun too.

hiking
4 months ago

ended up going almost 9 miles. very pretty, uphill battle at some points

my dog did great

will do again

hiking
4 months ago

Shortest hike ever, thanks to Mother Nature amazing rain,, started lighting and thundering so that’s why I turned around,, scary!! Will come back and finish this trail soon!!

beautiful!

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this trail recently for my birthday. The weather is always fantastic on Mt. Lemmon this time a year and it was awesome to escape the heat. While this trail might be awesome for some, I wasn’t a huge fan. I don’t like trails that descend on the way out and ascend on the way back. Really wears me out! I may choose to do this trail from the trailhead on the other side so I can go UP first before I go down!

Fun trail, beginning has plenty of shade in the forest. Went off-trail and hiked a peak (dunno the name), was so windy my hat nearly flew off. Running down, almost stepped on a big snake, perpendicular across the trail and perfectly camouflaged. I be rating 1/1 for snakesssss

Amazing views and great change of pace for the the desert. Key notes.

* Great trail for changeup. All sorts of terrain
* Constantly going up or down. Not real flat at any point.
* Cross dry Creek beds a few times. May and no rain in weeks so this may change.
* Really green and good amount of shade.
* Mostly moderate but with difficult spots. Especially when coming back down. Slippery rock

Definitely one of the best hikes on
Mt. Lemmon! The first part of the trail is a piece of cake, and walking through the pines was beautiful. Very shady and mostly flat. The turnoff to Sabino Creek is marked by a small Cairn, and a painted rock. From here the trail is still pretty easy, until you reach a primitive campsite and begin descending towards the springs. From here, the trail takes you down to a small stream bed which was dry when I was there. The trail is very spotty and sometimes non-existent past this point, but following the stream bed will get you to the springs. Look for Cairns along the way to guide you along. The trail definitely isn't maintained anymore, wear pants to keep from getting scratched up by thorns. Once you reach the creek, you can either continue upstream and enjoy the water, or go downstream about 1000 feet to see some really beautiful rock formations. There is even small cave downstream with a waterfall inside of it. It was really amazing and was a great spot to sit and cool down.

This trail was a butt kicker of a Moderate trail. As you get higher up in the canyon the trailer gets rockier and harder to find. The steepest section is climbing from the end of the canyon up to Pima saddle and then over to kimball Peak. The sign at the bottom of the trail says 7 miles to Kimball Peak. I believe it’s 7 miles in and 7 miles out for a 14 mile round-trip. Very scenic hike walking amongst blooming ocotillo’s and Saguaros. Many wildflowers were in bloom there was some water at the bottom of the canyon. Nice views from the top. You can see both sides of the Catalinas.

This is a great hike. Compared to other moderate trails (i.e. Romero Pools) this is definitely much harder. About 4 miles in it gets pretty rocky.
But there are multiple places with great vistas. Make sure you walk all the way to the end of the summit for an amazing view.

hiking
8 months ago

Great Hike

hiking
8 months ago

My favorite hike of all time! I love bringing people here from in and out of town! You forget you’re even in AZ!!!

Very pretty trail, nice walk through the trees and trail was completely empty. Beware- trail isn’t the best marked, particularly as you get to the dry stream beds. I lost the trail at the very end at the last stream crossing, but luckily I was right by the road so I just walked down 1/6 of a mile to my car.

hiking
10 months ago

I connected this hike with Romero Canyon, making a one way trip from Mount Lemmon to Catalina State Park. The views are fantastic and you with experience basically every biome Tucson has to offer! A word of warning: portions of the path may be tough to find and there are some steep switchbacks. I would mark this in my book as "hard" rather than "moderate". Worth it!

This hike surprised me as to how beautiful the views and many waterfalls there were. I went in late March and there was a good amount of water, hiking a majority of the way alongside the creek. If you're looking for an extra challenge, continue up the Mount Lemmon Trail leading you to Mt. Lemmon Trail #5. Incredibly rewarding, however, I would suggest planning on someone picking you up at the top or camping a night before heading back down!

Great trail! Maverick spring was full and the trail is went maintained. If you have the extra time I was suggest to head up Guthrie Mountain. The views were simply amazing!

My favorite Tucson area trail to date. I went from the bottom to the top so I could have an easy way back. This is a tough one with lots of prolonged climbing, especially as you make your way up to Bear Saddle, and my knees were definitely sore the next day. If you're used to the desert like I am, the forest and mountain views are stunning and invigorating, and the slight drop in temperature is very nice as well. Saw lots of wildlife on this trail, too: one coati, a squirrel, tons of birds, and five wild turkeys.

There is a sign and a parking lot for the Green Mountain and Bug Spring trails about 1/2 mile before the General Hitchcock campground. I parked here and began the trail from this point, which is the little red dot just to the southwest of the trailhead marked here. It's a very pretty little piece of trail and I recommend adding it to the trip if you can handle it.

As others mention there are many intersecting trails and social trails. I would have had a hard time staying on the trail if I hadn't had GPS on my phone. (And actually, I still ended up missing the junction to my trailhead on the way back and ended up exiting at General Hitchcock campground and walking down the street to my car.)

Also, your mileage may vary, but I definitely wished I had brought an entire gallon of water with me on this hike even though it wasn't hot. Lotta mouth breathing going up that mountain.

Actually 14.4 miles round-trip. Excellent, varied, challenging hike. Lots of time in the woods after passing Romero Pools. Rocky: the hiking is rarely smooth and easy.

I picked #5 up after leaving Romero Saddle. Amazing views!

on Butterfly Trail

hiking
11 months ago

Nice but not a lot of great views. There was a great campsite less than a mile into the trail (north trailhead). A side-trail led up to Butterfly Peak. Otherwise, not too exciting. A lot of shade as it's a northern exposure. I only went 2 miles in then turned around.

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