Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,220.00 ft (676.66 m)
Trail type
8.66 mi (13.94 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Bug Springs Trail is a fairly strenuous hike located off the Catalina Highway near Tucson, Arizona. This hike explores the rugged Santa Catalina Mountains. Travel through multiple ecological zones as you gain 2,200 feet of elevation over 8.6 miles. This out-and-back trail features a wide variety of different flora.

This hike starts at the Lower Bug Springs Trailhead and begins with 0.1 miles on Bug Spring Trail. Here, you will reach a junction with Bug Springs Connector Trail. Head left to stay on Bug Spring Trail. Immediately after the junction, the trail switches back up the side of a hill before gaining a ridge.

The trail continues steadily climbing along the ridgeline before switching back and climbing up to another ridgeline.  Along the way, you will be treated to great views of Airmen Peak and the Rincon Mountains in the distance. You will also encounter hoodoos on this section of trail.

After 2.4 miles of total hiking, there will be a short downhill section. The trail then continues uphill for 1.3 miles as you reach the highest point of the hike. During this section, you will start hiking in a forest. You then hike downhill for 0.4 miles before reaching the Bear Canyon Picnic Area and the end of Bug Springs Trail. There are picnic tables and bathrooms here. From here, turn around and hike back to Lower Bug Springs Trailhead.

Bug Springs Trail is open year-round and has no associated fees. Dogs are allowed on this trail as long as they are on a leash. This trail is moderately popular and is also used for mountain biking. This scenic hike provides hikers with breathtaking views of mountains and the surrounding wilderness. Bug Springs Trail is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Mountain views.


Sun exposure.

Trailhead Elevation

4,969.00 ft (1,514.55 m)

Highest point

6,267.00 ft (1,910.18 m)


Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required




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