Oracle Ridge Trail: Trudges Through History

The Desert Leaf

by Bill Norman

Hikers on Oracle Ridge Trail No.1 are stepping back through Arizona frontier history 130 years old. Unlike the smoothly paved expanse of Catalina Highway that today offers easy access to Mt. Lemmon from the south, only very rough trails—at best—were available in the early 1880s for hardy travelers wanting to crest out atop the rugged Santa Catalina Mountains. Oracle Ridge Trail, which is now part of the popular Arizona Scenic Trail, was one if not the only route travelers followed up the north face of the Catalinas.

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