Thursday, September 5, 2013

Butterfly Trail Mount Lemmon August 24, 2013

                        Vegetation in the Catalina Mountains at 8,000 feet

Directions:To access the Butterfly Trail drive the Catalina Highway (Mt. Lemmon Highway) to a trail head on the right before Soldier Camp. The trail head is five miles northeast of the town of Summer Haven. Mount Lemmon is a nice area to hike during the summer because it is about 30 degrees cooler on the mountain.

Hike Description: During  the first 1.5 the trail descends quickly to the Crystal Spring Trail cutoff. Along the way visitors hike underneath conifers including Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine. The trail in this area is steep so watch your step especially if the ground is wet. The next two miles the trail meanders through a burned area to the Davis Spring Trail cutoff. This part of the trail has the best views to the east. Keep an eye out for wildflowers, today I saw at least five different species. From July to mid September watch for afternoon thunderstorms. Today in the afternoon a nasty rain storm blew into the mountains. Luckily, I had my raincoat and was ready however, I met many other visitors without rain gear who were miserable. Overall, I hiked about 6.5 miles.

                      View looking north

                                    Golden Columbine
                         Nevada on the trail


                                 At the creek near the Davis Spring Trail junction

                               Hackberry Beardtongue (a type of Penstemon)