This popular hiking and mountain biking trail runs between the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site area and Bear Canyon.
- Hike Type: Out and Back
- Hiking Distance: 9.3 miles
- Elevation Gain: 2,000'
- Elevation Loss: 2,000'
- Highest Elevation: 6,275'
- Lowest Elevation: 4,950'
- Location: This hike is in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona.
- Start/End: Bug Spring Trailhead (Lower Highway Hikes)
- Driving Distance from Speedway Campbell: 21.6 miles
- Driving Time from Speedway Campbell: 45 Minutes
- Vehicle Access: Paved Roads/Passenger Car (Mountain Road - be careful of weather conditions!)
- Fee: No
- Dogs: Yes
- Bikes: Yes
- Part of the Arizona Trail Pusch Ridge Wilderness Bypass
- Drive East on Speedway (5.0 miles)
- Left on Wilmot and continue on Tanque Verde (4.3 miles)
- Left on Catalina Highway (12.2 miles)
- Signs will help you find the turn into this trailhead.
The mileages and elevations below are approximate (don't expect the values below to match your GPS exactly).
- 0.0 miles, 4950′: Park at the Bug Spring Trailhead (Alternative: There is a connecter trail that leaves the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site near the upper parking area at a large Forest Service Trail Sign).
- 0.05 miles, 4950′: Signed junction of the Bug Spring Trail and the connecter trail to the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Site – this connecter is part of the Arizona Trail Wilderness Bypass.
- 1.3 miles, 5500′: The trail crosses a canyon, there is a small waterfall/drop down canyon that is visible from the highway [Waypoint BST01].
- 2.4 miles, 5950′: The trail leaves the ridge and descends north into the canyon [Waypoint BST02].
- 2.7 miles, 5800′: Trail arrives at the bottom of the canyon east of Bear Canyon – the trail runs along stream (seasonal) crossing several times [Waypoint BST03].
- 3.5 miles, 5900′: The trail switchbacks up from the canyon bottom and then continues along the hillside of the canyon [Waypoint BST04]
- 4.0 miles, 6275′: The highpoint of the trail along the ridge east of Bear Canyon – from here the trail descends into Bear Canyon [Waypoint BST05].
- 4.5 miles, 5900′: Arrive at the Lower Green Mountain (Upper Bug Spring) Trailhead. There are not any services at this trailhead but there are bathrooms at the picnic area down the highway.
- Trail Talk – Summit Hut Blog
- Tucson Hikes – Bug Spring Trail
- Tucson Trail Runners – Green Bug Run
- Sonoran Desert Mountain Bikers
- Ineo Mons
- The Santa Catalina Mountains, A Guide to the Trails and Routes – Note that the trail description in this book mentions sections of the trail being “poor to non-existant”, this trail has received quite a bit of attention since that description and now is an easy to follow, well established trail.
- (Printed Map) Green Trails - Recreation Map - Santa Catalina Mountains.
- (Printed Map) Southern Arizona Hiking Club Maps – Note this map indicates much of this trail as a route, but it is currently a well maintained trail.
- 2017/8/15 – HikeLemmon posts added to Resources
- 2017/7/31 – Img Srcset update, fix two typos in picture captions
- 2017/4/28 – Broken links removed
- 2014/3/27 – improved the GPX and map notes, improved hiking notes, added pictures
- 2014/3/2 – Updated format and converted to WordPress