Tackling Mt Lemon was harder than expected but it was a beautiful day.

The Mt. Lemon peak was different. We completed two trails in one hike, one of them completing our 6 hike AZ Hiking Summer Hiking challenge and earning our prize pack. The other adding peak number 5 of 20 for our 20 peak challenge.

The requisite stats: we ticked off 9.2 miles and climbed 2200 feet total on this hike. We started at the Aspen Loop trailhead and made our way up to meet the arm for the up and back portion which took us to the Mt. Lemmon peak (sort of, the actual peak is fenced off by the U of A for research) then we make the return back to the Aspen Loop, Marshall Gulch portion of the trail and looped back to the trailhead.

It got hot. Up to almost 90 degrees today! That made the going a bit tough at times but once we were in shade on the loop trail we cooled off.

The wildflowers were not as plentiful on this hike as on others but there were still a good spattering of them, mostly along the loop.

There were several new species of butterflies, but really more moth like ones, still pretty with unique markings.

There were a lot of variety of fern on this hike and I was very attracted to the orange ones!

There were so many butterflies on the loop part of the trail ! They even fluttered over my head while I humped a fallen tree 😂. We have to have some fun y’all!

These beautiful dragonflies were active around the water on the loop.

There was some fire damage in areas from the Aspen fire in 2003 and burned 84,750 acres. I always do love the textures left behind from the devastation.

This hike was full of sparkling pathways from the quartz in the ground here!

Greg considers Tucson his home. This hike brought him some great memories and views of his old stomping grounds.

Wild raspberries!!! My first! They were a delicious snack on the last leg of the hike as a storm was hot on our heals. I also found this ginormous mushroom!

We made it to the car, got our gear unloaded and hopped in the car just as the first big drops began to fall. The drive back down the mountain with the windows down, cool air and fresh smell of rain made for a very refreshing ride

This blackbird posed for me like a pro.

Our after hike meal landed us randomly at a Mexican spot, Poco and Mom’s. I had the cheese enchiladas, Christmas style, with a pricklie pear margarita and the Mr. had the green chicken chili enchiladas and a mango habanero margarita, this place was fabulous! I will definitely add them to my Arizona map!

The AZ Hikers Summer Hiking challenge was the first challenge we set for ourselves and now the first completed!

We hiked 39.53 miles to complete this challenge and a total of 7,150 feet in elevation gains! (including the Mt. Lemmon portion that was not part of the challenge)