Birding Hotspots Where to Go Birding

Mount Lemmon–Marshall Gulch

Coronado National Forest
Mount Lemmon, Arizona 85619
Marshall Gulch Picnic Area webpage
Marshall Gulch Trails webpage
Marshall Gulch Trails map

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Pima County

Mt. Lemmon–Marshall Gulch
Coordinates: 32.4280212, -110.7556783
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Birding in Arizona

About Marshall Gulch Picnic Area
Marshall Gulch Picnic Area is located in the forest south of Summerhaven, on the upper slopes of Mt. Lemmon. Large outcrops of granitic rock, almost white against the background of a pine-needle-covered forest floor, are crisscrossed with dikes of even whiter pegmatite. Sabino Creek wanders through the picnic area as it begins its drop into the upper reaches of Sabino Canyon, one of the most beautiful canyons in the Southwest. With all that scenery conveniently close-by, a good way to add spice to your lunch is to hike along one of the trails that start at this picnic area. Both Marshall Gulch Trail and the Aspen Trail provide access from the picnic area to the Santa Catalina Natural Area, where they connect to a broader network of trails on the southwestern slopes and canyons of the mountain range. Accessible to persons with disabilities. A large area of Pusch Ridge Wilderness is closed to dogs for the protection of desert bighorn sheep. Check with the Santa Catalina Ranger District for more information.
From Marshall Gulch Picnic Area webpage

About Marshall Gulch Trails
The loop formed by these two trails is one of the most heavily used upper elevation routes into the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. This moderate hike leads through an area of diverse habitats that include excellent examples of Canadian Zone riparian areas and ponderosa pine forests. If you’re a bit of an amateur naturalist, you might want to bring a guide to Arizona’s trees as well. You’ll see quite a few different species along this trail which changes aspect and life zones as it loops around a false summit of Marshall Peak. You’ll find aspens here, of course, but you’ll also pass by Douglas-fir and white fir, Gambel and silverleaf oak, madrone and more. Notable sights along this view-rich trail include the bare granite walls of the uppermost reaches of Sabino Canyon, through which the first half mile or so of the Aspen Trail passes. Along this part of the route the pathway literally sparkles with flakes of mica and quartz. After taking in the wide angle overlooks at Lunch Ledge and Marshall Saddle, both of which include overlooks of the Wilderness of Rock area, towering Lemmon Rock, and Romero Pass, take the Marshall Gulch Trail back to your starting point. It leads down a cool, shady canyon which is usually well stocked with wildflowers and pleasant little pools.

Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary and continue 26 miles through Summerhaven to the Marshall Gulch Picnic Area. All roads are paved, but chains or 4-wheel drive may be required in winter because of snow. The trailhead is at the end of the road. You’ll have to walk the last couple hundred yards in winter when the road into the picnic area is closed.
From Marshall Gulch Trails webpage

Tips for birding Mount Lemmon
Take Catalina Highway northeast from Tanque Verde Road. For desert and mountain species, stop at picnic and campgrounds (Molina Basin, Bear Canyon, Rose Canyon Lake and others) as you drive the narrow, winding road to high elevations.
From Tucson Audubon Society