Most maps of the Santa Catalina Mountains show the Brush Corral Trail #19 plunging down the eastern slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, passing a junction with the Evans Mountain Trail and ending at the Brush Corral Trailhead. For several miles – until the junction with the Brush Corral Shortcut Trail – the map matches reality, the trail is rugged but easy to follow. After the junction the trail is overgrown and criss-crossed by fallen trees but it is still navigable until lower on the trail, at a ridge with great views of the terrain below, it fades away – cairns, faint paths and sections of the original track sometimes emerge from the landscape – but fire and time have caused the middle section of the trail to disappear. The journey down to the Brush Corral Trailhead is now just another obscure off-trail route.
This description covers the upper section of the Brush Corral Trail down to the point where the off-trail route begins.
- Out and back
- 5.1 miles
- 1,900' Elevation Gain
- 1,900' Elevation Loss
- Highest Elevation: 7,400'
- Lowest Elevation: 6,100'
- Fee: No
- Dogs: Yes
- Bikes: Yes
- The Brush Corral Trail no longer exists as shown on most maps! The 'middle' of the trail has disappeared back into the landscape...
- 31.1 miles from Speedway and Campbell
- 1 hour from Speedway and Campbell
- Vehicle Access: Paved Roads/Passenger Car (Mountain Road - be careful of weather conditions!)
- Drive East on Speedway (5.0 miles)
- Left on Wilmot and continue on Tanque Verde (4.3 miles)
- Left on Catalina Highway (21.7 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, 7300′: Park at the Upper Green Mountain Trailhead [Waypoint thugm].
- Take the Green Mountain Trail up to a small saddle and then down the other side (careful of the social trails/routes at the saddle).
- 0.2 miles, 7300′: At an unsigned junction near a large/prominent rock formation take a right (a left will take you to San Pedro Vista) [Waypoint gm-ugmc].
- 0.3 miles, 7200′: At the signed (both old and new style signs!) junction with the Brush Corral Trail take a left onto the Upper Brush Corral Trail [Waypoint gm-bc].
- The trail descends steeply.
- 0.75 miles, 6650′: Cross two small streams at [Waypoint bc01] – after the crossing the trail begins to climb.
- 1.0 miles, 6800′: There is a short section of trail on the top of the ridge before the trail begins to descend again near [Waypoint bc02].
- 1.7 miles, 6100′: The trail crosses a stream [Waypoint bc03].
- 2.0 miles, 6200′: Signed junction with the Brush Corral Shortcut Trail at [Waypoint bc-bcs] – a left will keep you on the Brush Corral Trail.
- 2.1 miles, 6200′: Watch for the old phoneline crossing the trail [Waypoint bc04]. This phoneline once ran up from Tucson (you cross the phoneline coming up from Tucson on the Palisade Trail) and down to the Brush Corral Ranger Station.
- 2.2 miles, 6200′: Enter an area burned in the 2017 Burro Fire [Waypoint bc05].
- 2.5 miles, 6200′: On the top of a ridge with great views down the trail deteriorates quickly into an off-trail route – below this point you can occasionally find cairns, trail markers and sections of the original track, but in my opinion below this point there is not a ‘trail’. Experienced and adventurous hikers might continue down off-trail (take care, this area is as remote as you can get in the Santa Catalina Mountains – don’t underestimate the ruggedness of the terrain because there was once a trail here!) – but this is the end of the trail and with great views it is a nice spot for a break before heading back up the mountain.
- (Printed Map) Green Trails - Recreation Map - Santa Catalina Mountains.
- (Printed Map) Southern Arizona Hiking Club Maps
- Sirena’s Wanderings – One of the few great trip reports available about this trail – for many years this post and Scott Morris’s post (below) were the only good online information on this trail!
- Diary of Scott Morris – A 2004 post on the Brush Corral Trail.
- HikeLemmon – Brush Corral – 4/23/2017 – A full hike of the trail and some historic information related to the trail
- Coronado National Forest and HikeArizona.com – these links describe the trail as if it still exists as a trail, that is – in my opinion – a mistake.
2017 July Upper Brush Corral and Brush Corral Shortcut Loop
2015 July Brush Corral Loop
2014 July Brush Corral Loop
2014 July Brush Corral and 6828
2013 September A bit of Brush Corral
- 2017/8/17 – Add HikeLemmon posts to resources
- 2017/8/8 – Page Created