Bug Springs Trail

HARD 54 reviews

Bug Springs Trail is a 8.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Lemmon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.3 miles
1955 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


mountain biking

trail running


wild flowers


no shade

Forest, seasonal creek and snow, great city views This is a popular trail that was recently reopened. The trail starts in the rugged desert terrain of the Catalina Foothills, switchbacks up to rock forest spires and formations, drops into a secluded pine forest with multiple creek crossings, and then drops steeply down to Bear Canyon Picnic Area. The Picnic Area has restrooms and tables. For the return, it's back the way you came.

Hiked from upper Bug Spring to the campground over the weekend. We had 4 in our party and 2 dogs. Gorgeous views were an early reward and the dogs thoroughly enjoyed playing in the water along the trail. It does not deserve a difficult rating as it was easy to follow and had good footing. None of the stretches were overly strenuous for any of us, including our dad who is in his late 50s.

4 days ago

definitely more of a moderate, just for length! beautiful views

1 month ago

Definitely agree in that it should be ranked moderate for hikers rather than hard so don’t be intimidated by this trail!! While it does move through some wooded areas, most of the trail is through shrubby ridges and is exposed so plan your day accordingly because the sun is brutal. Also, most of the trail is very loose gravel and dust so be prepared to slip and slide around

1 month ago

Wouldn't consider it to be hard for hikers. Mountain bikers would probably find it to be hard due to the rocky and steep parts of the trail. Decent views and beautiful weather.

1 month ago

I took my Golden Retriever here this morning. It was a nice hike and fortunately, beautiful weather. The trail is very smooth and I would not classify it as a "hard" hike. It's a very slow incline or in some areas, stairs to hike down or up. Definitely not strenuous. It is very picturesque! The rook formations are beautiful and great views. There was a little water in the stream bed. Most of it stagnant. Great trail for dogs. If there is a negative, I would probably say the number of mountain bikers sneaking up on you. I probably won't do this trail again on a weekend.

3 months ago

Nice trail but is more suitable for bikes and just long walks.. few hiking areas otherwise I was just walking, the views are awesome, I'll give it that! Not sure I'll do this trail again!!

3 months ago

I started this hike at about 7:30 today with the wife and pup. The views are absolutely stunning between the first and second mile facing southwest. We turned back around the 3.5 mile marker just before the second peak through the pine area (after a quick sandwich and beer break, of course). It was definitely a hotter trek back and the pup had to take a few shady breaks. Otherwise, a fun day hike with interesting environmental changes throughout. The stream running will make it all that much more enjoyable when we receive some rain. I can't wait to do this one again.

mountain biking
9 months ago

The initial hike and bike is hard, but the view and downhill section in worth it. Technical drops and awesome views.

11 months ago

We didn't see another soul on this trail. Not as scenic ad some of the other trails, but still worth the effort.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Only went about half way to the rock formations. Saw a number of MTN bikers so keep an ear out and and be ready to move to the side of the trail! The part I did was smooth terrain so it was easy on the knees and feet. I'll be back to finish it for sure!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

It was difficult! But worth it.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Man this was a super tough hike. I only went about two miles up. But great at building endurance if you're into backpacking!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Well maintained. Phenomenal views.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Nice weather nice trail great scenery

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Very pretty worth the walk

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Great workout-hike. Eat whatever you want for dinner after this one; your going to burn a ton of calories! Nice scenery, but views of a small rock/gravel quary for the first couple miles or so. Nice rock formations for photos. Unfortunately the spring was completely dry.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cool with strong breezes and few insects at this time of year. Cacti are in bloom. Initial incline warmed me up quickly. Gorgeous views. Lots of fun to find out what views there'll be on the top of each hill.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

This trail has a little bit of everything. Some steep uphill climbs, areas of moderate up and down hiking, desert areas, forest areas and streams. A very enjoyable hike.

Monday, January 25, 2016

I started from the trail head near Gordon Hirobayashi. The first mile was a series of uphill switchbacks that gets you warmed up quickly. Right at the start of the second mile was a great little stream running through a rocky area that my dog just went crazy for. The second and third mile were a mix of pleasant uphill and downhill sections that slowly change from desert terrain (rocks, manzanita, low shrubs) to pine forest. It was great today because there were large patches of snow in the higher altitude portions of the trail. Again, my dog was pretty pumped about that. I turned around at the 3 mile mark (GPS) and hiked back. The return trip was slightly faster as it was mostly downhill. Everyone raves about Phoneline Trail at Sabino Canyon for the views, especially for out-of-town folks, but I ran that trail yesterday and really enjoyed this trail much more.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

It was ok a little warm

mountain biking
Friday, September 25, 2015

A prime mountain bike trail. Starts with a 15 minute hike-a-bike and descends into a pine/oak/madrone forest. This section has a stream right after storms. Then it's another stair climb and a ridge to the hoodoos where many take a break for the views. More ridge and a descent to Prison Camp. Beautiful, fun trail, tech. Most will ride on to Molino Basin and some continue on harder Milagrosa Trail.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Great little trail, a good mix of up and down! Really enjoyed how the trail ran through both the desert and the pines. Absolutely beautiful scenery starting out, especially since the monsoon gave plenty of rain and the Catalinas were covered in green!
The trail was not too hard on the feet, since it is also used as a mountain biking trail.
While the trail is not necessarily hard, it does get quite steep on the way back once you reach the finish.
Dogs allowed!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Gorgeous hike. Nice climb along colossal rock formations followed by a drop into Pines and a creek to cool off the feet.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good trail, very steep in some sections but my mini poodle could handle it alright. There are some nice rock formations and vistas around halfway in that make for a good lunch/rest spot. Saw both hikers and bikers on the trail.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Went up on the fourth thinking we would be out for hours, we went about 3/4 the way and then turned around all in all it took about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
I loved that you start in the desert and end in the forest. It is quite a challenging trail, really gets the heart rate pumping and legs burning.
I will definitely be back to finish the trail,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

nice trail

good half day

half desert half forest

bit of a roller coaster steepest up when you do the turn and head down hill

careful it is much cooler up here than in town

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Great hike today. Weather was chilly but sunny! A little snow and ice along the trail towards upper end... Great out and back day!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

one of the best trails I have done .Starts out cactus and desert , ends up in trees and snow.

Friday, February 15, 2013

This was a very cool hike. We took two dogs with us, one a chihuahua, so the trail isn't as difficult as it's rated. We did encounter a few people on the trail, some hiking and some biking. There was still some snow at the higher elevations, but not nearly enough to require boots or any winter gear. Towards the end of the trail we started to wonder whether we were still on the correct trail, but at the high point there were markers other hikers had left and a row of dead wood blocking a fork in the trail so we knew we were headed the right direction. This was an awesome hike with some nice views, I'd recommend it for anyone that can walk.

mountain biking
Sunday, December 18, 2011

One of the most fun mountain bike trails in Tucson. Best ridden by shuttling, but can also be ridden as an out and back or up the road. This trail is not for beginners as there are several technical sections and a significant amount of exposure.

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