June Art Hike Recap - Marshall Gulch, Mt Lemmon, AZ

Read about May's Art Hike here

For June's Art Hike with The Kula Academy we headed back up Mt Lemmon to one of my favorite trails: Marshall Gulch. We got incredibly lucky with some cloud cover that morning because this trail can get warm in the sun.

The trail follows a little creek down a gulch (hence the name). Thanks to a good start to monsoon season the creek had a nice amount of water flowing. The trail crosses the little creek a couple times but crossing was very easy with a couple rock hops.


We had another great group come out to hike and paint, some new faces and some who joined us last month. I always love meeting new folks and sharing the outdoors with other curious people who enjoy being out in nature.

We all bonded over sniffing ponderosa pine bark, searching for the sweet/vanilla/butterscotch scent. We found the key is the deeper the crack the better the scent. We also found that south facing cracks had sweeter scents! Not sure if that's just a fluke or if that's true for most ponderosa pines.

We saw several wildflowers on trail including Scarlet Monkeyflower (above), Golden Columbine (below), and Beardtongue Penstemon (below). 



The trail was so green! I love seeing how the mountain has come back to life after the 2020 Bighorn Fire. To see what the trail looked like six months after the fire check out this blog post

We hiked to Marshall Saddle and set up on some flat rocks to paint and draw for about an hour. For some people it was their first time painting plein air! Like last time, I enjoyed see what everyone created and the variety of styles and subjects people chose to create. I just love helping create these special moments for people to explore their creativity in nature!



With the clouds threatening rain, we packed up and started our hike back. Luckily we timed it just right because the rain didn't start until we made it back to the parking lot.

The Marshall Gulch trail is a tiny part of the 800 mile Arizona Trail that stretches from the border with Mexico all the way to Utah. I think it's fun to hike Marshall Gulch trail and think about how it stretches on for hundreds more miles.

I snapped some more photos of wildflowers on our hike out, I couldn't get over how bountiful they were on the trail. Thank you monsoon rains!



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Marshall Gulch Trail, Mount Lemmon, AZ

Date hiked: June 25, 2022

Total miles: 2.6 mile out and back

Elevation gain: +/- 534 feet

Total time: 3 hours

Land acknowledgement: Ancestral lands of the Tohono O'odham and Yaqui

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