Location

  • Marshall Gulch Trailhead to American Flag Ranch Trailhead

Length

  • 15.5 miles

Southern Trailhead: Marshall Gulch Trailhead

Access

Take Catalina Highway into the Santa Catalina Mountains. Near the top of the mountain range, bear left to the community of Summerhaven. Continue 1.5 miles south to the end of the road at the Marshall Gulch Trailhead. The trailhead is on the west side of the parking area.


Northern Trailhead: American Flag Ranch Trailhead

  • GPS Coordinates: 32.58090° N, 110.72039° W
  • NOTE: This trailhead is not visible from Mt. Lemmon Road. There is a sign directing you to the trailhead, which is a dead end.

Access

From Oracle, turn south at the eastern intersection of AZ 77 and East American Avenue, drive 1.5 miles on American Avenue, and then turn right onto Mount Lemmon Road. Continue 4.0 miles to American Flag Ranch Road, and turn right (west) to reach the trailheads on both sides of the road, including parking areas near the historic American Flag Ranch. The trail on the left (east) side of the road is the start of Passage 13; Passage 12 arrives from the west (right).


Trail Route Description

Passage 12 includes a short road walk and resupply opportunity in the mountaintop community of Summerhaven, followed by a long descent down Oracle Ridge to the historic American Flag Ranch. 

This section begins in Summerhaven, passes by an active mining area, and drops into ranching country. The trail rolls across loose, rocky terrain, and although the trail descends more than 3,000 feet, prepare for a few short, steep climbs along the way. Temperatures increase as the trail lowers in elevation and there is little shade and water on this exposed ridgeline. But, as the trail descends the north side of the Santa Catalinas it features expansive views in all directions, making it just as beautiful as it is challenging. 

The AZT passes by two historical sites: High Jinx Ranch, which was once owned by Buffalo Bill Cody and is currently open to visitors, and American Flag Ranch, which is known for being the oldest standing territorial post office building in the state.


Difficulty

  • Moderate to Difficult

Season(s)

All year. Snow can be present at higher elevations after winter storms (current weather forecast)


Water

Water is available in Summerhaven and at High Jinks Ranch.  Check the online Arizona Trail Water Report for current information at https://aztrail.org/explore/water-sources/.


Notes/Warnings

  • All natural sources of water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • Signing consists of flexible fiberglass signposts with the Arizona Trail decal.

Resources

  • Map of Passage 12
  • USGS Topographic Maps: Mount Lemmon, Mount Bigelow, Oracle and Campo Bonito.
  • Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Ranger District.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information


Current Passage Info