Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Aspen Loop / Wilderness of Rocks Day Hike
when Saturday, May 2, 2020
where Santa Catalina Mountains, Tucson
the hike     Although the Aspen Loop Trail is one of the most scenic trails on Mt. Lemmon, surprisingly, we have not done this hike since I last led it for the Motorola Hiking Club way back in October, 2000. At least, not according to our trip reports archives.
    One reason may be the time required to drive to the trailhead, but the 30-mile drive up the spectacular and breathtaking Catalina Highway is one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in all of Arizona. In this case the journey is as much of a factor as the destination itself and something to be savored and enjoyed as much as the hike.
    From the Marshall Gulch Trailhead, we’ll start out on the Marshall Gulch Trail and hike that for 1.2 miles to the junction with the Aspen Trail and Wilderness of Rocks Trail.
    Continue straight ahead and hike the Wilderness of Rocks Trail for 1.7 miles to the junction with the Lemmon Rock Lookout Trail. From there we will backtrack to the Aspen Trail Junction, hang a right, and continue on the Aspen Trail for 2.5 miles back to the Marshall Gulch Trailhead. Total hiking distance: 7.1 miles.
    This hike offers everything from thick stands of quaking aspen to towering Ponderosa pines and Douglas firs to lush riparian areas to cool and shady canyons to soaring granite walls and unusual and sometimes bizarre rock formations to scenic and breathtaking overlooks.
Required:
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
Recommended:
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 7.1 miles
time 4 hours
EC +-500' elevation change
elevations 7,500' at the trailhead to 8,000' at the Wilderness of Rocks Trail junction
type lollipop loop
starting at Marshall Gulch Trailhead
on trail 100% — Marshall Gulch, Wilderness of Rocks, and Aspen Trails
rating "C"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost $10 per vehicle for Catalina Highway Passes. Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Tucson
leader    You must email the leader to confirm.
meet 7:00 AM in the parking lot south of Einstein Bros. Bagels on the SE corner of 48th Street & Ray Road, west of I-10. For those leaving their cars behind, please park up against the west curb of the parking lot, not in the Einstein’s common parking area.
drive
•  Continue on I-10 southeast toward Tucson.
•  Exit the freeway eastbound at Speedway Blvd.
•  Continue eastbound on Speedway for about 5 miles to Wilmot Road.
•  Make a left onto Wilmot Road and go north.
Shortly after the turn, Wilmot Road curves to the northeast and then east, becoming Tanque Verde Road.
•  Continue east on Tanque Verde Road for about 2 miles to Catalina Highway.
Make a left turn onto Catalina Highway and follow that for 30 miles to the top of Mt. Lemmon (several miles up the road we will stop at a pay station).
Stay left at the Summerhaven-Ski Valley junction. Drive through the town of Summerhaven and follow the signs to the Marshall Gulch Picnic Area, where the road dead ends, and look for a parking space.

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updated February 10, 2020 © Copyright 2020, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.