Aspen Trail and Marshall Gulch Loop Trail

MODERATE 272 reviews

Aspen Trail and Marshall Gulch Loop Trail is a 4.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mount Lemmon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
866 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Tucson: Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary and continue 26 miles through Summerhaven to the Marshall Gulch Picnic Area. The trailhead is at the end of the road. You'll have to walk the last couple of hundred yards in winter when the road into the picnic area is closed.

hiking
10 days ago

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!

hiking
11 days ago

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.

13 days ago

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.

14 days ago

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.

hiking
20 days ago

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!

21 days ago

Beautiful

hiking
27 days ago

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

1 month ago

One of my favorite trails

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

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.

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.

2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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!!

2 months ago

Thrilled to be hiking among the trees and ferns!

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

Good Trail up out of the heat of desert heat.

4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

Our first >2mi hike with our 6 year old, who handled it pretty well. This was a really enjoyable walk through the woods, with some good views once you start approaching Marshall Peak.

We came pretty close to forgetting that we live in a desert while doing this hike. We will come back and do this one again.

4 months ago

No longer muddy or wet. Best views are on the Aspen trail side of the loop.

hiking
5 months ago

A good loop trail. Boots required and a pole (or two) is handy. We followed the advice of returning hikers and began at the Marshall Gulch trailhead to the right of the bathrooms (marker reads "Marshall Gulch #3"). After a gradual shady ascent on a mica laden trail, you reach the trail intersection. Turn left onto the Aspen Trail. Big views of the basin and range emerge ahead, along with some steep down hill sections before returning to the picnic area parking lot. Parking is limited.

hiking
5 months ago

A little snow but mostly dry trails. I was hoping for more views but it was a great hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Great little loop. Not too long and not too short for a morning hike with the dogs. There was just a little bit of snow, a lot has melted which made the trail pretty muddy and slippery in some areas but overall the trail was great and easy to follow.

hiking
6 months ago

Really nice to get out of the desert and into the forest. The hike is definitely moderate and not difficult. I took my dog and she loved running in the spring. She was a little freaked out walking on ice in parts where the stream froze over. Amazing views over the city in a couple of different places. The trail was well marked and easy to navigate. The smell of the forest was refreshing.

hiking
9 months ago

We love this hike. Beautiful fall colors right now. Feels like you are far away from the desert. Pretty easy. Great to being your dog and family along.

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