Santa Catalina Mountains, Bighorn Fire

Mark Stevenson hikes along the Bug Spring Trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Coronado National Forest opened a select few trails, vistas, picnic and day-use areas at the beginning of the month.

Some areas along Catalina Highway on Mount Lemmon opened again Tuesday, Sept. 1, Forest Service officials said. 

Most recreation areas between Tucson and Summerhaven were closed earlier this summer after the devastating Bighorn Fire due to concerns about the potential for post-fire flooding and runoff issues. 

The Coronado National Forest updated the safety closure Tuesday. The updated closure order will be in effect until Nov. 1 or until it's rescinded, the forest service said. 

People will be allowed to recreate in the newly opened areas but restrooms and trash service will not be available. Forest service officials ask that visitors clean up after themselves. 

The following areas along the Catalina Highway are open again:

• Soldier Trail

• Baad Do’ag Trail and Vista

• AZ Trail East of Catalina Highway

• Molino Canyon Vista

• Molino Basin Day Use

• Gordon Hirabayashi Day Use

• Bug Spring Trail

• Thimble Rock Vista

• Seven Cataracts Vista

• Cypress Picnic Area

• Chihuahua Pine Picnic Area

• Middle Bear Picnic Area

• General Hitchcock Campground

• Windy Point Vista

• Geology Vista

• Hoodoo Vista

• San Pedro Vista

• Sycamore Vista

• Aspen Vista

• Box Elder Picnic Area

• Inspiration Rock Picnic Area

• Alder Picnic Area

• Loma Linda Picnic Area

Restrooms and trash services will resume at four recreation sites on Thursday, Sept. 3:

• General Hitchcock Campground

• Inspiration Rock Picnic Area

• Alder Picnic Area

• Box Elder Picnic Area

Forest officials are regularly assessing the order and some recreation areas, including Sabino Canyon, will remain closed, the forest service said. 

Closures and opened areas can be found on the U.S. Forest Service's interactive map or call the Santa Catalina Ranger District office at 520-749-8700 for more information.


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Contact reporter Stephanie Casanova at scasanova@tucson.com. On Twitter: @CasanovaReports