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Mount Lemmon Trail #5

Intermediate

Trail

3.7 mile 5.9 kilometer point to point
75% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 112' 34 m
Descent: -1,900' -579 m
High: 9,082' 2,768 m
Low: 7,295' 2,223 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Chad Dailey

A trail along the west ridge of the Catalina's.

Chad Dailey

Features Views

Wilderness rules apply on the lower parts of the trail (approximately 2.5 miles). Dogs are only permitted on the upper section.

Description

This trail features expansive views, lots of connecting trails and access to the western portion of the Wilderness of Rock, with its immense boulders and picturesque formations characterize this high country trail. The Mt. Lemmon Trail starts out near the summit of the 9,157 foot peak for which it is named, at a parking area about a mile past Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley near the end of Observatory Road.

After following an access road along a buried power-line, it strikes off on a more backcountry course down one of the most prominent ridges that fan out from the mountaintop. Views are big here, encompassing the Wilderness of Rock to the southeast, Romero Canyon to the west and north, and most dramatic of all, Pusch Ridge to the west, stair stepping its sawtooth course toward Tucson.

The route the Mt. Lemmon Trail follows through this rugged, mountainous country and is steep and rocky in a number of places. Most notable of those difficult stretches are the series of switchbacks where the trail drops off the high ridge of the Catalinas toward the Wilderness of Rock, and the section between the Wilderness of Rock Trail #44 and West Fork Trail #24 junctions where trail gradients are as steep as they get in the Santa Catalinas.

The Mt. Lemmon Trail provides access to a number of other trails in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness, including Sutherland #6, Lemmon Rock Lookout #12, Wilderness of Rock #44, Romero #8 and West Fork #24 trails. Many who run this trail leave a second vehicle at one of these other trailheads and use the Mt. Lemmon Trail as part of a long day trip or a segment of a multi-day backpack. Whatever option you choose, chances are good that you’ll be back to try one of the others.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#8

in Mt. Lemmon

#8015

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings

#8

in Mt. Lemmon

#267

in Arizona

#8,015

Overall
58 Views Last Month
1,914 Since Sep 26, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

The Lemmon Rock #12 trailhead near the Fire lookout.
Oct 7, 2019 near Catalina, AZ
The Ravens from Mt Lemmon Trail #5
Dec 9, 2017 near Catalina, AZ
A beautiful spring day on the Meadow Trail as some snow was moving through.
Mar 18, 2018 near Catalina, AZ

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