I can almost guarantee that when people think of fall foliage changing from green leaves to vibrant yellows and oranges, they don’t think of visiting Tucson. In Arizona, the most popular trail for autumn viewing is the Lockett Meadow to Inner Basin hike in Flagstaff. But because it’s the most popular trail, this year’s hikers have had to deal with traffic jams and crowds. Lucky for us Tucsonians, we have Mount Lemmon.
Mount Lemmon has several great trails for viewing fall leaves: Aspen Trail #93, Butterfly Trail, the Marshall Gulch area, Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, and what we consider the best of Mount Lemmon for this: Bear Wallow Trail and the trails around the Summit Trailhead.
We drove to the very top of Mount Lemmon, past the Ski Valley until we could drive no further to the Mount Lemmon Recreation Site parking (also near the Summit Trailhead).
Look at all that gold!
After getting our fill of yellow topped aspens, we headed to the Bear Wallow Trail just down the road.
Summit Trailhead Overview
- Coordinates: 32.44066111 -110.78591287
- Fees: FREE (signs indicating $5/day use fee are irrelevant & will be taken down according to Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch)
- Difficulty: Easy
- Usage: Light
- Pets allowed: Yes