Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Butterfly and Sunset Loop Hike
when Saturday April 22, 2023
  Trip Report : August 3, 2019
  Trip Report : June 6, 2009
  Trip Report : August 23, 1997
where Tucson, Santa Catalina Mountains
the hike     The Butterfly Trail near the cool summit of Mount Lemmon is an enjoyable walk through a diverse biological area with beautiful views. Highlights include an airplane crash site, a waterfall, and many varieties of vegetation along the way. We may even see some butterflies!
    We will do this hike as a loop. Starting at the Butterfly Trailhead (7700') we will take the Butterfly Trail will take us through scenic canyons descending to a low point of 6600' near Novio Spring. A short distance off-trail is the wreckage of an F-86 fighter plane that crashed here in 1957. A little further along is Novio Falls which may have some water flowing. After this the trail will begin to climb through more lush vegetation, with brief flat areas to catch our breath. We will eventually arrive at the junction with the Sunset Trail. We will then take the Sunset trail back to the Butterfly Trailhead and our cars.
    Note that rainfall can be likely, so come prepared with rain gear.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Snacks
•  Hiking poles
•  Camera
distance 9.5 miles
time 5 - 6 hours
EC +-2400' elevation change
elevations 6,200' (Novio Spring) to Butterfly Trailhead (7700')
type loop
starting at
Butterfly Trailhead 32.42718200° N,  110.74081400° W  
ending at
Butterfly Trailhead 32.42718200° N,  110.74081400° W  
on trail 100% — Sunset Trail, Butterfly Trail #16
dogs? no
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
cost The trailhead require a $5 per car fee or a National Park pass. Sharing gas expenses with the driver. The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5/non-member.
weather Summerhaven
You must email the leader to confirm. Please include your cell phone number in case we need to contact you on the day of the hike. 
meet 6:00 AM south at Einstein Bros. Bagels 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 and not in the Einstein’s common parking area.

8:00 AM in the parking lot of Safeway at 9125 E. Tanque Verde Road
•  From the carpool location, take I-10 south toward Tucson.
Take exit 256 for Grant Road.
Turn left and follow Grant Road east for 8.5 miles to the junction with Tanque Verde Road. Stop here at Safeway and meet up with the hike leader.
Turn left on Tanque Verde Road and follow it for 3.3 miles to the junction with Catalina Highway.
Take Catalina Highway (Mount Lemmon Highway) for 27 miles to the Butterfly Trailhead on the right side of the road, about 3 miles after the Palisades Ranger Station.
Total driving time from the carpool location to the trailhead is about 2 hours 30 minutes. All roads are paved and suitable for any vehicle.

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updated April 14, 2023 © Copyright 2023, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.