“This section of the AZT is a beautiful challenge.”
— Chad Dailey
River/Creek · Views
Starting from Gordon Hirabayashi campground, this passage starts by ascending Bug Springs
. In this section, it begins fairly exposed and switchbacks up a couple hills before traversing the ridge where you can see the Mt. Lemmon Highway to your west. As you gain elevation, the trail eventually dips and flows through some wooded creek beds. Once you reach the high point of Bug Springs
, you'll quickly descend to the upper Bug Springs
lower Green Mountain Trail
. Beware of the cyclists enjoying the screaming downhill.
Green Mountain heading north is primarily uphill with just a couple reprieves. It's a steady run, and the further up you get, the less maintained the trail is but it is still pretty easy to follow. Expect fallen trees particularly in winter and spring months. At this elevation during the winter, you may encounter white powder if there was recent precipitation.
After Green Mountain Trail
, you'll ascend Incinerator Ridge Trail #18A
which provides some excellent views including Rose Canyon Lake. This is another popular biking trail so it isn't recommended to use ear-buds especially on the tight switchbacks. Incinerator connects to Kellogg Trail #45
which is a little more mellow but still a climb to the top of the Bigelow radio towers. From there, you'll take the Butterfly Trail
which is quite the down and up section, keep a watchful eye for your exit on the right to head north on the trail toward Crystal Spring Trail before joining the Old Mt Lemmon Road.