Birding Hotspots Where to Go Birding

Mount Lemmon–Soldier Canyon

Coronado National Forest
Mount Lemmon, Arizona 85619
Soldier Trail webpage

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Pima County

Mt. Lemmon–Soldier Canyon
Coordinates: 32.3128333, -110.7418174
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Birding in Arizona

About Soldier Trail
This trail follows the route of an old road and power line from the Catalina Highway to the site of a now-abandoned prison camp beside the Highway. The camp has been razed and the power line removed, while the road has been closed and is being allowed to return to a natural condition. The trail follows portions of this old route and provides access to an excellent example of Sonoran desert habitat that is conveniently close to Tucson. As the trail winds up the mountain, it visits a few ridge tops that provide good views back toward the city before dropping into Soldier Canyon, where there are some picturesque waterfalls when the stream is running. The boulder-strewn cascades over which those falls tumble are pleasant to spend a few moments by even when they are dry. The trail’s rating is moderate, as is its length, and it is relatively easy to follow from beginning to end. In a few places, however, spur paths that lead to overlooks or other off-trail places of interest have developed through repeated use and could prove a bit confusing. The trail ends at the western limit the old prison camp, from which it is a short walk on the road to a closed gate that marks the trailhead.

Upper trailhead–Drive up the Catalina Highway to the turnoff into the old prison camp beyond milepost 7. Turn left and follow the road to a closed gate that marks the trailhead. Lower trailhead–This trailhead is located on the north side of the Catalina Highway about a mile from the bottom of the mountain.
From Soldier Trail 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