Mint Spring Trail

Snow on the Mint Spring Trail! December 2013.
Snow on the Mint Spring Trail! December 2013.
Left: Summer green surrounding the Mint Spring Trail. September 2014.
Right: Snow on the Mint Spring Trail! December 2013.

Overview

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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.

Hike Stats

  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Hiking Distance: 3.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 850'
  • Elevation Loss: 850'
  • Highest Elevation: 8,050'
  • Lowest Elevation: 7,850'

Location

Drive

  • Driving Distance from Speedway Campbell: 39.4 miles
  • Driving Time from Speedway Campbell: 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Vehicle Access: Paved Roads/Passenger Car (Mountain Road - be careful of weather conditions!)

Details

Mint Spring Trail Elevation Profile

Mint Spring Trail Elevation Profile
A Geranium on the Mint Spring Trail. September 2014.
A Geranium on the Mint Spring Trail. September 2014.
Left: Aspens on the Mint Spring Trail. April 2014.
Right: A Geranium on the Mint Spring Trail. September 2014.

Driving Directions

Google Maps Directions from the Speedway and Campbell intersection in Tucson to Mint Spring 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 into Summerhaven on Sabino Canyon Parkway (0.3 miles)
  • Right on Carter Canyon Road (there is a brown sign for Mint Spring which should help you find the turn) (0.5 miles)
  • The paved road ends at the parking area and the road becomes a private driveway.

Trail Notes

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]

Mint growing at the spring. April 2014.
Mint growing at the spring. April 2014.
Left: Mint Spring. December 2013.
Right: Mint growing at the spring. April 2014.
A sea of ferns along the Mint Spring Trail. July 2012.
A sea of ferns along the Mint Spring Trail. July 2012.
Left: The large trail sign nearly covered in green. October 2013.
Right: A sea of ferns along the Mint Spring Trail. July 2012.

Pleasing Fungus Beetle Larvae. July 2012.Pleasing Fungus Beetle Larvae. July 2012.

Pictures

2014 September Mint Spring, Wilderness of Rock, Aspen, Aspen Draw

2014 April Mint Spring and Blackett’s Ridge

2014 April Mint Spring, Marshall Gulch, Aspen Trail

2013 December Mint Spring and Aspen Trail

2012 July Mint Sprint Trail and Aspen LoopThe requested photo source cannot be loaded at this time. Photoset not found

Update Notes

  • 2017/8/20 – Img Srcset update, spring picture included
  • 2017/8/15 – HikeLemmon posts added to resources
  • 2017/8/8 – Description and directions updated, typos fixed
  • 2014/9/13 – Added more (summer) pictures.
  • 2014/6/27 – Format Updates, tweaked description, waypoints changed to DEM elevation
  • 2014/5/9 – Initial page