|when||Trip Report : September 18, 2022|
This is exploratory hike although that I had hiked majority of the trail. The Butterfly Trail
near the cool summit of Mount Lemmon is an enjoyable walk through a diverse biological
area with beautiful views. Highlights include the radio towers on the summit of Mount
Bigelow, an airplane crash site, raspberry tasting 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 we descend through forest, however, much of the trail will be sunny. Some parts of the trail are overgrown, and we may see running water on the side of the trail. This trail will take us through scenic canyons descending to a low point of 6600' near Novio Spring. A little further along is Novio Falls which may have some water flowing.
Past the falls a short distance off-trail is the wreckage of an F-86 fighter plane that crashed here in 1957. After this the trail will begin an 1800' foot climb through more lush vegetation, with brief flat areas to catch our breath. There are many ripe raspberries along the trail which are eatable. We climb until we reach the Mt. Bigelow radio towers (8500'). We will descend and go through the dispersed camping area. We continue on Sunset Trail for two miles, passing through an underpass below the highway. We will eventually arrive at the Butterfly Trailhead (7700').
Note that rainfall can be likely, so come prepared with rain gear.
• Sturdy hiking boots
• At least 3-4 liters of water
• Rain poncho
• Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
• Lunch or snacks
|EC||+-2300' elevation change|
|on trail||100%— Butterfly Trail #16, Bigelow Trail #520, & Sunset Trail|
|rating||"B" Rate yourself as a hiker.|
|cost||The trailhead requires 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.|
|meet||6:00 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 and not in the Einstein’s common parking area.|
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|updated September 26, 2022||© Copyright 2022, Arizona Trailblazers. All rights reserved.|