Red Ridge Trail – Top Section

Reef Of Rocks from the Red Ridge Trail

The Red Ridge trail makes a steep descent down the north side of the Santa Catalina mountains. The trailhead is a small parking area/pull thru on the right hand side of the road just after Red Ridge Road (private), a large Forest Service sign describing the trail is visible from the road if you look carefully. After a very short hike up and out of the parking area the trail wanders thru a landscape of large burned trees, some standing – some fallen, that are an impressive reminder of the fire that burned thru this area several years ago. In many burned sections there is beautiful new growth, including wildflowers, and incredible views. Most of the trail is easy to follow – but some spots require a bit of searching where the trail is overgrown (pants may be a good idea to protect your legs from some of the more vicious undergrowth). As you wind your way towards the East Fork and the junction with several other trails you will see fewer burned areas – we were delighted to see Doubting Mariposa Lilies, a Black Rattlesnake and a number of different birds and lizards. For this hike we stopped at the East Fork to enjoy the flowing water and watch the spiders hunting above the water and on the rocks. From the trail junction there are a number of possibilities for longer adventures, but we were looking for some steep hiking and 2000+ feet of elevation gain to get in shape for an upcoming trip – so we headed back up Red Ridge. Map.


1 thought on “Red Ridge Trail – Top Section

  1. Ken

    As of Friday Sept 28, 2008, after several months of trail maintenance, the Red Ridge Trail is completely clear and well marked from the trailhead on Mt. Lemmon down to the stream at Catalina Camp.


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