Left: Summer green surrounding the Mint Spring Trail. September 2014. Right: Snow on the Mint Spring Trail! December 2013.
The Mint Spring Trail #20 is an excellent was to enjoy, or start, a day on the top of the mountain. While the Mint Spring Trailhead is far from obscure it tends to attract less traffic than the Marshall Gulch Trailhead, potentially a more peaceful start to your hike… The area near the Mint Spring Trail was heavily impacted by the Aspen Fire in 2003 – the large trees that once surrounded this trail are largely gone, but you will find interesting views, passageways thru the Aspens and short shaded sections under the remaining trees.
Out and Back
850' Elevation Gain
850' Elevation Loss
Highest Elevation: 8,050'
Lowest Elevation: 7,850'
This hike is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona.
Left: Aspens on the Mint Spring Trail. April 2014. Right: A Geranium on the Mint Spring Trail. September 2014.
The mileages and elevations below are approximate (don't expect the values below to match your GPS exactly).
0.0 miles, 7950′: From the Mint Spring Trailhead find the start of the trail just past the parking area on the road – the trail crosses the drainage by the road and almost immediately reaches a small metal trail sign and large map trail sign. The start of the trail is reasonably obvious in Winter, but can be quite overgrown in other seasons. [Waypoint TH MS]
The trail climbs – pass a stand of Aspens, take in the interesting views into Summerhaven
0.5 miles, 8100′: The highest point on the trail.
1.1 miles, 7900′: Mint Spring is just off the trail, look for a sign and a small wooden spring box – an excellent spot to stop and take a break. [Waypoint JMSprg]
1.75 miles, 8000′: Signed junctions with the Marshall Gulch, Aspen Trail and Wilderness of Rock Trail. This could be a turn around point for a short day – or use the other trails to make a longer hike. [Waypoint J MG AP MS WR]
Left: Mint Spring. December 2013. Right: Mint growing at the spring. April 2014.