Colorful autumn leaves are putting on a fall finale high in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson.

Many trees have passed their peak of color, but others are flashing brilliant hues of red and yellow in early November.

One place to see some late-season color is along the Marshall Gulch Trail south of the mountain village of Summerhaven.

Maple trees are among the standouts along the trail and elsewhere in the Catalinas. Some maples were still wearing a full coat of leaves this week — some deep red and others yellowish.

Other maples, aspens and additional mountain plants have shed their leaves, but it has brought its own beauty to the forest. Segments of the Marshall Gulch Trail and other mountain paths are carpeted with colorful fallen leaves.

More subtle signs of the season include once-emerald-green ferns that have faded to amber hues with the coming of fall.

“Beautiful!” said a hiker trekking past some of the best maple color along the trail, with another hiker amplifying the comment: “Absolutely beautiful!”


To reach the Marshall Gulch Trail, take Tanque Verde Road to the Catalina Highway northeast of Tucson. Follow the highway to the base of the Catalinas and continue 25 miles to the mountain village of Summerhaven. Then drive south out of the village to a parking area and trailhead at the end of the road. The 1.2-mile Marshall Gulch Trail can be linked with the 2.5-mile Aspen Trail.

Information on other trails is available at the Palisades Visitor Center near mile marker 20 on the Catalina Highway.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz