Marshall Gulch - Kamloops Trails

Marshall Gulch – Kamloops Trails

Doug Smith  April 8, 2020 at 4:05 pm

We hiked the Sonoran Desert canyons and ridges, all below the treeline.   Tall saguaros, various types of  cacti,  and prickly shrubs covered the hills and the only trees we encountered were in riparian zones in stream valleys.   One day we drove up the road to Mt. Lemmon, an alpine village destination for a summer get-away and a ski hill in winter.   We climbed to over 8000 feet to hike in the forest.   We chose the Marshall Gulch Trail, a section of the Arizona Trail.   We started at a parking area next to Sabino Creek, then followed a forested stream valley northwest up to a ridge

A good trail wound through the pine forest between two ridges.

The trail broke into open terrain where a forest fire had opened the forest canopy to shrubby growth.   Some snow lingered on the north-facing slopes and in sheltered areas.

On the northern ridges, there were wide views into the Santa Catalina Range.   We could see across the Wilderness of Rocks and into Sabino Canyon below (which we hiked into a few days earlier).

We followed open ridges below Marshall Peak to 8170 feet. then started a descent down ridges under barren deciduous trees.

The final section of the trail passed through aspen trees, returning back to the trailhead.

This area is a popular summer hiking area when the desert canyons below become too hot to hike.   When we hiked the trail, the 8000 foot forest terrain was still recovering from winter.   There are many trails which start off the Mt. Lemmon Road, some of which we hope to hike on a return visit.



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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

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