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A diverse section of the AZT.


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Map Key

22.6

Miles

36.3

KM

Point to Point

7,957' 2,425 m

High

4,427' 1,349 m

Low

4,022' 1,226 m

Up

5,661' 1,725 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

53%

Max Grade (28°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Section Of

Need to Know

Be current on water conditions and fire restrictions.

Description

The climb from Romero Pass, at the Junction of the AZT - Passage 11 - Santa Catalina Mountains and Romero Canyon Trail, to the Wilderness of Rock Trail #44 is very steep. Be ready to scramble a bit, and note that you'll have consistent southern exposure which is taxing year round in AZ. Make sure you have enough water. Hutch's Pool if traveling north, and Summerhaven if heading south, are the most reliable water sources on either side.

Upon making the ridge, you'll be rewarded with fantastic views of Cathedral Rock to the south, Romero Canyon to the west, and the entire Pusch Ridge Wilderness to the east. Don't be fooled, however. There is quite a bit more elevation to gain before summiting Lemmon. There are a few great campsites just as you make the ridge which see a little less use than those within the The Wilderness of the Rocks. Be mindful of fire restrictions which frequently affect the area.

The Wilderness of the Rocks is a suspended basin, littered with large, sculptural boulders deposited from the massive upheavals that crown Mount Lemmon. The trail follows collection streams carved by runoff. At various times in the year, depending on snow melt or precipitation, water can be found quite abundantly. Even in the summer, spring-fed trickles can be found the closer you get to Marshall Gulch Trail #3.

A map (or the Hiking Project mobile app) is helpful to navigate the network of trails at the top of Lemmon. Day-tripping and bear activity increase near the top. From the Marshall Gulch Trail #3 head, the AZT leads right through Summerhaven, where one can procure supplies, water, a burger, etc... There are also alternate routes which bypass the town's center.

From Summerhaven, the trail follows Catalina Hwy for 0.4 miles then uses Mount Lemmon Rd. to access Trail #1, Oracle Ridge Trailhead. This trail runs the entire length of Oracle Ridge, 12.5 miles, to Oracle State Park in the north. It is a fantastic stretch, best experienced heading north (downhill). Following a winding, narrow ridgeline with views of Lemmon's impressive north side and the Reef of Rock, the trail rolls with glimpses of sections to come. A number of solid campsites of various sizes can be found north of Dan Saddle. Water caches are sometimes present, but enough water for the entire duration from the top until the park should be carried as there are no reliable natural sources.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brad Baxley

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 7 votes

#12

in Tucson

#14864

Overall
  3.7 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
43%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#12

in Tucson

#499

in Arizona

#14,864

Overall
13 Views Last Month
1,506 Since Mar 3, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
29%
14%
57%
0%

Photos

Sunset in the Wilderness of the Rocks.
May 22, 2019 near Oro Valley, AZ
Looking back down Romero Canyon from the top of the pass
Dec 1, 2019 near Oro Valley, AZ
The American Flag Trailhead on AZT passage 12
Sep 30, 2019 near Oracle, AZ
The tank at mile 194.6 on AZT passage 12. The water in the trough was green but there was water dripping from the tank itself.
Sep 30, 2019 near Oracle, AZ
Sandie by rock formations
May 25, 2018 near Oro Valley, AZ
Rock formations near upper pools. Sandie pushing the rock.
May 25, 2018 near Oro Valley, AZ

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 25, 2023
DD Demers
From fire station ~1.8 mi northbound
Apr 15, 2023
Eric Jackson
CSP trailhead, up Romero to Mt Lemmon #5, #5a, down road to ski area 15.3mi — 9h 44m
Dec 11, 2021
Ryan Whiteside
A bit disappointing scenery for the Catalinas. Quite a bit of uninteresting mountains and the long hike to Rice Peak didn't change anything
Sep 21, 2019
Semi Feral
Beautiful views but there was quite a bit of 4x4 traffic on the road walk section. 13.6mi
Mar 28, 2019
Wade Baird
2mi — 1h 30m
Dec 15, 2018
Eric Jackson
Connected from Romero Saddle to Mt Lemmon #5 1.8mi — 2h 00m
May 4, 2017
Brenda Hartz
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