Explore the most popular hiking trails in Butterfly Peak Natural Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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!

This is an amazing hike because it takes you through so many different microclimates with different fauna throughout the hike. There are a ton of beautiful young ponderosa groves that are magical to walk through. Key your eyes out for baby horny roads of you go in late summer/ early fall!

It was beautiful, but not well marked on how to loop back around. At the point where the trails meet at the top, I ended up unintentionally taking the Aspen trail which took me all the way to the ski lift and sky center, not back to the Marshall Gulch picnic area where my car was parked. I ended up walking five miles along the road to get back to my car after having finished the hike. I noticed a tiny envelope on my windshield and would have given this a 1 star had it actually been a $80 ticket. I suppose they are no longer doing that and instead are giving folks a postmarked envelope to send in the check for $5, which I think is decent since the place to pay the $5 is nowhere clearly marked while driving in.

First time on this trail and will be back to do it again real soon. It was well paved and absolutely beautiful. Was able to bring my dog and he enjoyed getting out of the 110 degree heat!!! Breath taking views, pine trees, creeks, wildflowers, boulders, birch trees, 74 degrees, squirrels, the list goes on. Definitely one of my favorite hikes around the Tucson area.

Great trail - well marked at the top where trails intersect. I did it counterclockwise so Marshall Gulch first, which is very shaded due to heavy pine forestation. There were 3 creek crossings and water was flowing today when I was there. Temps from 76-80 degrees this afternoon w a little cloud cover so just perfect... Near the top you do see signs of the fire damage. Aspen trail has more exposure, with a mix of beautiful vegetation - ferns, pines, wildflowers and then finally some aspens once you are near Marshall Gulch trailhead. A trail I would love to do again - as another reviewer said, feels more like Colorado than AZ... excited to try other Mt. Lemmon trails now.

Trail is great! You will see amazing views of the canyons and Tucson. It is very peaceful and quiet! Take lots of water and be ready for an amazing hike!

Beautiful, green and cool(ish)- a great escape from the desert heat

One of my favorite trails

Absolutely stunning. There are a few rocks you can climb around halfway through the hike and look out. Also goes through a creek and some different terrain throughout.

Great 4 mile moderate hike. If I can do it, you can do it. Lots of wild flowers

Love this place! We find crystal quartz all over and really love the view. One of my fave hikes!

Looks like Colorado. Shade. Really lovely. High altitude.

Beautiful trail through the forest with nice shaded sections, look outs with some visibility, and a good mix of steep rock inclines and flat path.

nature trips
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful trail with lot's of different zones. Good views of the mountains and of the city. Quite an easy trail. Just a couple of uphill spots that inexperienced hikers MIGHT feel the burn. Other than that it's pretty easy. Great trail to take friends and family that might be visiting from out of town.

Pay the fee at the station next to the bathrooms. There seems to be lot's of people that don't realize you have to pay, despite the posted signs. The box where you pay is kind of easy to miss. It's to the left of the bathrooms. We went on the weekend and seemed to be one of the only cars that paid. Parking was sparse and when we got back there were $80 tickets on lots of cars and plenty of people loudly complaining. It's worth the $5 fee and you're supporting the upkeep of the area.

on Butterfly Trail

hiking
1 month 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
2 months ago

Nice hike. Great view of the Biodome.

There’s a trickling flow and plenty of small pools of clear water along Marshall Gulch right now. Very pleasant even though it’s 107 in Tucson, it’s cool under the canopy on this trail.

It's a good place for the heated time in Tucson.

I’ve done this trail a few times and loving it.. not hard at all. Some view spots are awesome.. no water running this time.. we need rain ASAP!!

Thrilled to be hiking among the trees and ferns!

Beautiful views of Tucson and nice cool air. Mostly dirt trail vs. rocky. Feels like I’m in a different state, more like Colorado.

beautiful!

hiking
2 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!

We hiked the Marshal Gulch/Aspen Trail on a week day in mid-May 2018 and it was a gorgeous escape from life in Tucson. We ran into only a handful of hikers once we left the parking lot. (There are signs re daily fees of $5.00 for parking or no charge with the Senior Park Pass. We did see tickets on a few windshields. There is a parking area before the trailhead and there were no signs re fees for that.) The temps were in the 70s and there was a cool breeze the whole hike. After the Aspen Fire of 2003, plenty pines and Aspens are making a comeback.

The trails are well maintained but there were numerous downed trees to climb over. The trails are largely protected by a canape of tall trees which helps with the sun. Take plenty of water and there is no cell service which I personally love but plan accordingly. Have a ball.

Good Trail up out of the heat of desert heat.

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.

great trail! my GPS tells me this hike is more like 5 miles.

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