Left on Wilmot and continue on Tanque Verde (4.3 miles)
Left on Catalina Highway (16.1 miles)
Signs will help you find the turn into this trailhead - it is located across from the Chihuahua Pine Picnic Area (up-mountain from the Middle Bear Picnic Area and down-mountain from the General Hitchcock Campground).
Left: A relatively rare section of smooth/flat trail... June 2012. Right: A summer storm on the Green Mountain Trail. September 2012.
The mileages and elevations below are approximate (don't expect the values below to match your GPS exactly).
0.0 miles, 5900′: Start at the Lower Green Mountain Trailhead – this is the lower end of the Green Mountain Trail and the upper end of the Bug Spring Trail [Waypoint LGM TH]. This is a fairly small parking area and there is no fee to park here – but if the parking area is full note that all of the nearby picnic areas in Bear Canyon are fee areas… The trail starts at a large trailhead sign/map and stays near the highway for the first 0.25 miles.
0.5 miles, 6000′: Near an old campsite a metal sign helps you either stay on the Green Mountain Trail or head into the General Hitchcock Campground [Waypoint J GM GHCG]. From here the trail rambles along Bear Canyon – at about 0.9 miles the trail begins to climb towards Bear Saddle.
2.3 miles, 6900′: Bear Saddle has great views and is a lovely spot for a break. There are two metal trail signs here – one points to Guthrie Mountain and the other gives mileages to various junctions/destinations along the Green Mountain Trail [Waypoint J GM GuM]. From the saddle the trail descends.
2.8 miles, 6600′: Stay left at a signed junction with the Brush Corral Shortcut Trail [Waypoint J GM BCS]. From here the trail begins to climb again.
3.9 miles, 7150′: Signed junction – marked with both a ‘modern’ metal sign and a beautiful old sign – with the Upper Brush Corral Trail [Waypoint J GM BC].
4.0 miles, 7250′: Unsigned junction past an obvious social trail to the right out to large rock formation. At the junction the trail to the left/uphill takes you up to a small saddle and down to the Upper Green Mountain Trailhead – continue straight to reach the San Pedro Vista. [Waypoint J GM UGMTH]
Looking towards Guthrie Mountain from the Green Mountain Trail. July 2014.
One of the things I appreciate about the Green Mountain Trail is the number of different destinations or side trips that it offers:
Guthrie Mountain: From Bear Saddle it is a 1.8 miles round-trip to the top of Guthrie Mountain – burned in the 2017 Burro Fire the summit no longer offers any shade but has great views of Burro Creek, the Redington Pass area and down into the San Pedro River Valley.
Maverick Spring Trail: From the signed junction it is a 0.8 mile round-trip on the Maverick Spring Trail to the spring where there is sometimes water in an old tank or in the canyon below – the impact of the 2002 Bullock Fire can still be seen here. This is far from the most spectacular destination, but the are some nice details and it is a fairly short trip off the Green Mountain Trail.
Brush Corral Shortcut Trail down, Upper Brush Corral Trail back to the Green Mountain Trail: Take the Brush Corral Shortcut Trail down and at a signed junction take the Upper Brush Corral Trail back up to the Green Mountain Trail – these trails have short stretches in canyons still shaded by trees missed by the Bullock Fire and interesting views into the relatively rarely used east side of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Brush Corral Trails loose and gain a significant amount of elevation – which, depending on the day, might be a great reason to do – or avoid doing- this combination!