Passage #11 - Santa Catalina Mountains

View from the trail Location:  Gordon Hirabayashi Campground to Romero Pass

Length:  11.7 miles

Southern Trailhead:  Gordon Hirabayashi Campground
- GPS Coordinates:  32.33581° N, 110.71972° W
- Access: Follow Tanque Verde Road east from Tucson and turn left (north) on the Catalina Highway. Drive about 9 miles and pass Molino Basin Campground. Continue 1.7 miles beyond the campground and take the left (west) turn to Gordon Hirabayashi Campground. Drive 0.3 miles to a parking area. Follow a trail out of the south end of the parking lot for 40 yards to reach a T intersection with the AZT.

Northern Trailhead:  Romero Pass
- GPS Coordinates:  32.39936° N, 110.83027° W  
- Access: Even though the passage ends at Romero Pass, the closest vehicle access from Tucson is at the Marshall Gulch Picnic Area. 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 Marshall Gulch Trailhead. The trail begins on the west side of the parking area. The Marshall Gulch Trail connects to the Wilderness of Rocks Trail, reaching Romero Pass in about 7 miles.

Trail Route Description:  From the Gordon Hirabayashi Trailhead the trail heads west on a dirt road, becomes a trail then reaches the wilderness boundary. Now on the Sycamore Reservoir Trail (#39), the route passes the reservoir and continues along Sycamore Canyon. It crosses the canyon and then drops down to and follows the East Fork of Sabino Canyon. The trail crosses Box Camp Canyon and then begins the long uphill along the West Fork of Sabino Canyon. It passes Hutch's Pool and the Cathedral Rock Trail (#26). The passage end is reached at Romero Pass.

Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult

Season(s):  All year. Snow can be present at higher elevations after winter storms and lower elevations can be quite warm in summer (current weather forecast)

Trail north of Hutch's Pool Water:  Water can sometimes be found at Sycamore Reservoir and usually at Hutch's Pool.


  • All water along this passage should be purified prior to use.
  • There is a large, deep swimming hole on this passage at Hutch's Pool.


  • USGS Topographic Maps: Agua Caliente Hill, Sabino Canyon and Mount Lemmon.
  • Coronado National Forest map.
  • BLM Information Center maps.

For more information, contact:

Current Trail Information:

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