Butterfly Trail

Tucson, Arizona

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A hike on the cool, northeast slopes of Mount Bigelow, in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The north-facing slopes along the Butterfly Trail are mostly covered with a lush green pine–fir forest. As the trail crosses slopes with slightly different aspects, you can clearly see the effect of microclimates. West- and south-facing slopes are drier and warmer, and the tall trees give way to chaparral.

Butterfly Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A hike on the cool, northeast slopes of Mount Bigelow, in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The north-facing slopes along the Butterfly Trail are mostly covered with a lush green pine–fir forest.

As the trail crosses slopes with slightly different aspects, you can clearly see the effect of microclimates. West- and south-facing slopes are drier and warmer, and the tall trees give way to chaparral."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Tucson
Distance: 5.2
Elevation Gain: 1,700 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best May to October
Trailhead Elevation: 7,900 feet
Top Elevation: 8,300 feet
Local Contacts: Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Ranger District
Local Maps: USGS Mount Bigelow; USFS Pusch Ridge Wilderness
Driving Directions: Directions to Butterfly Trail

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May 2018