You have to ask yourself, who wants to be hiking for hours out in the hot desert in June? But hey, in Tucson you can leave the hot valley behind, drive up to one of our Sky Islands and hike through cool Ponderosa pine forests, and that’s just what the Green Mountain trail is all about.
Green Mountain trail begins where Bug Spring trail ends, near the Bear Canyon picnic area (and the General Hitchcock campground) on Mt Lemon. With an average elevation of 6500 feet, it is definitely a cooler trail to take in the middle June than ones closer down to Tucson.
On this hike, once I made it up to the saddle I first went East up the Guthrie mountain trail about a half of a mile to get the views from there, then returned to the saddle. Next, I went a short ways up the hill to the West where you can get some great views of the surrounding mountains. Definitely recommended. Then I continued down the 0.4 mile side trail to Maverick spring. While the spring was surrounded by some rather large ferns, for me it wasn’t worth the trek down to it. All in all, this particular hike was 7.2 miles and included about 2000 feet of climbing, though the saddle itself is only about 1100 feet above the trail head.
Here is the Google Earth video of my hike up to the highest point I went to on the Guthrie mountain trail (full GPX file is available here):
And here is the Google Earth elevation profile of the full hike:
And this is the map displayed at the trail head:
Note how the first part of the trail parallels the road that runs into the General Hitchcock campground. I think next time I try this trail, I’ll start in the campground as opposed to the official trail head.
At any rate, here is my iPhone video of the hike, which I took with the help of my new iPole Mini that I just got (after seeing Steve Sherron’s review of it here). Note that where I show both signposts in the video is at the saddle.
And finally, here are the panoramas I took along the way. The first two were taken on the Guthrie Mountain trail segment of my hike, the first one looking Southwest towards Tucson, and the second one to the Northeast.
This last panorama was taken on the hill directly West of the saddle. The only issue with walking through Ponderosa pine forests is that is is more difficult to get expansive panoramic views.
The LocalHikes page for the Green Mountain Trail is here, although it suggests starting the trail from the upper end first.