Marshall Gulch Trail

AZ Trail Sign at the start of the Marshall Gulch Trail. June 2014.
AZ Trail Sign at the start of the Marshall Gulch Trail. June 2014.
Left: Green and water along the Marshall Gulch Trail on a lovely summer day. June 2014.
Right: AZ Trail Sign at the start of the Marshall Gulch Trail. June 2014.

Overview

Hot summer day in Tucson? What about a scenic drive to the top of the mountain, a snack in Summerhaven and a hike under the trees in Marshall Gulch – the only downside is that there is no way you are the only one with this idea… The Marshall Gulch Trail #3 is – understandably – a very popular trail offering not only great hiking and scenery but also access to the trail system at the top of the mountain including the Aspen Trail, Mint Spring Trail and Wilderness of Rock Trail!

Hike Stats

  • Out and Back
  • 2.7 miles
  • 550' Elevation Gain
  • 550' Elevation Loss
  • Highest Elevation: 8,000'
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,450'

Location

Details

Drive

  • 39.9 miles from Speedway and Campbell
  • 1 hour and 25 minutes from Speedway and Campbell
  • Vehicle Access: Paved Roads/Passenger Car (Mountain Road - be careful of weather conditions!). Last 0.5 miles is closed to motor vehicles in winter (December 15 to March 1 - dates subject to change depending on weather/conditions).

Marshall Gulch Trail Elevation Profile

Marshall Gulch Trail Elevation Profile

Driving Directions

Google Maps Directions from the Speedway and Campbell intersection in Tucson to Marshall Gulch Trailhead.

Quick version:

  • Drive East on Speedway (5.0 miles)
  • Left on Wilmot and continue on Tanque Verde (4.3 miles)
  • Left on Catalina Highway (29.3 miles)
  • Continue thru Summerhaven on Sabino Canyon Parkway - most of the year you can drive 1.2 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road. In winter (December 15 to March 1 depending on the weather) the final 0.5 miles of the drive (Marshall Gulch Road) will often be closed to vehicles, there is limited parking off the road near the gate. In winter the road is still open to foot traffic and the trailhead is open.
  • Regardless of the time of year parking can be a challenge on popular holidays/weekends.

Trees along the Marshall Gulch Trail. April 2014.
Trees along the Marshall Gulch Trail. April 2014.

Trail Notes

The mileages and elevations below are approximate (don't expect the values below to match your GPS exactly).

  • 0.0 miles, 8000′: In the Marshall Gulch Trailhead area the start of the trail is just north of the restrooms – there is a sign at the start of the trail [Waypoint MG TH].
  • 0.4 miles, 7700′: The trail crosses Marshall Gulch and then merges with a well worn lower trail back to the bathrooms (continue up canyon). [Waypoint MG01]
  • 1.0 miles, 7850′: A side trail comes in from the north – for a number of years there have been several rain gauges here. [Waypoint MG02]
  • 1.35 miles, 8000′: The trail ends at a junction with the Aspen Trail, Mint Spring Trail and Wilderness of Rock Trail. From here there are a number of ways to enjoy the top of the mountain – one popular choice is to return to the Marshall Gulch Trailhead via the Aspen Trail. [Waypoint J MG AP MS WR]

Green Ferns in Marshall Gulch. June 2014.
Green Ferns in Marshall Gulch. June 2014.

 

A summer storm on the Marshall Gulch Trail. July 2012.
A summer storm on the Marshall Gulch Trail. July 2012.

 

Pictures

2014 April Mint Spring and Blackett’s Ridge

2014 June Sunset and Marshall Gulch

Update Notes

  • 2017/8/18 – Img Srcset update
  • 2017/8/15 – Add HikeLemmon posts to resources
  • 2017/8/8 – Update top description, fix a typo in the hike description
  • 2014/6/28 – Initial page