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Tucson, Arizona 2016

Sunset Trail Hike to Marshall Gulch - part 1

Our Crazy Post Retirement Wanderings Hiking and Triking

Sunset Trail Hike to Marshall Gulch - part 1

This is a very pleasant short hike down the upper reaches of a beautiful canyon. This is an out and back hike. We parked at the Butterfly Peak upper trailhead. Overall the trail wasn't too hard to find and it is a beautiful canyon hike.

We found quite a bit of information about this trail on, It's the Arizona trails website, and it's a great resource for people who are looking for a hiking trail, especially near Tucson, Az. provides lots of very useful information, including distance, elevation, AEG, elevation gain, average duration time of hike, pictures along the trail and a write up of what to expect.

The main idea always is to get fresh air, good exercise and interesting pictures, and that constitutes a good experience and is good for my health, and is a pleasant pastime.

The weather on that day was absolutely perfect. Cloudy most of the day, and about 65F at the upper elevations. There was a nice breeze, and the canyon wall shielded us from the morning sun for the short periods when the sun did come out from behind the clouds. I only brought along 2 liters, and it was plenty because the day was cloudy.

One thing to remember about hiking this trail in the summer is that it's located in the desert southwest, and it's really too hot for this much exercise self heating in the summer without getting a heatstroke. But it is probably mostly be ok to great from about November to April. The summer wildlife such as rattlesnakes, gila monsters, tarantulas, scorpions, and other things come out in the summer.

This trail should NOT be hiked when the trail is covered with snow and ice. It is dangerous when slippery. There is a significant length of trail that goes along a ledge that at times is uneven and sloped towards the ledge.

From Marshall Gulch on to Aspen trail, there was significant snow and ice cover, enough to make the trail impassible. We had hoped to hike onwards to the Aspen trail, but after we saw the conditions on the Aspen trail, we cancelled. The snow depth was between 12 and 24 inches.

I would recommend this trail to anyone. It's not overly challenging but, but the panoramas are very nice.

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