Marion Springs

Sunflower, Arizona

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A good day hike in the southeast corner of the Mazatzal Wilderness that can be combined with the Squaw Flat hike to make a much longer day hike or overnight backpack trip. The trail starts from the Cross F Trailhead, one of the few that is reached from a paved road. The Little Saddle Trail starts on the west side of the highway, and can be difficult to locate. It crosses under the power lines and then heads west up an unnamed tributary of Sycamore Creek. It follows this tributary as it turns north and enters a canyon. The trail turns northwest and climbs through a low saddle to meet an old jeep trail at 2.6 miles, which it follows to the northwest along a ridge. At the point where the Little Saddle Trail turns northeast and starts to traverse the slopes south of Potato Patch, turn left and hike the short spur northwest to Marion Spring, the goal for this hike.

Marion Springs Professional Review and Guide

"A good day hike in the southeast corner of the Mazatzal Wilderness that can be combined with the Squaw Flat hike to make a much longer day hike or overnight backpack trip. The trail starts from the Cross F Trailhead, one of the few that is reached from a paved road.

The Little Saddle Trail starts on the west side of the highway, and can be difficult to locate. It crosses under the power lines and then heads west up an unnamed tributary of Sycamore Creek. It follows this tributary as it turns north and enters a canyon. The trail turns northwest and climbs through a low saddle to meet an old jeep trail at 2.6 miles, which it follows to the northwest along a ridge. At the point where the Little Saddle Trail turns northeast and starts to traverse the slopes south of Potato Patch, turn left and hike the short spur northwest to Marion Spring, the goal for this hike."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Sunflower
Distance: 6.8
Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best October to April
Trailhead Elevation: 3,800 feet
Top Elevation: 5,000 feet
Local Contacts: Mesa Ranger District, Tonto National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Reno Pass, Lion Mountain; USDAFS Mazatzal Wilderness, Tonto National Forest map
Driving Directions: Directions to Marion Springs

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May 2018