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Marble Peak
Mountain/Rock

Marble Peak

 
Marble Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Arizona, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 32.47080°N / 110.7425°W

Object Title: Marble Peak

County: Pima

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 7654 ft / 2333 m

 

Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Mar 31, 2014 / Mar 31, 2014

Object ID: 891994

Hits: 522 

Page Score: 79.28%  - 11 Votes 

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Overview

Approaching from the south
Approaching from the south

Marble Peak manages to stand gracefully in the Santa Catalina Mountains of southern Arizona despite being criss-crossed by mining roads and riddled with underground copper tunnels. Deeply furrowed by drainages, this double-topped peak sits due-north of the cabin communities of Loma Linda and Summerhaven high on the slopes of the Catalinas not far from the top of Mount Lemmon. Much of the Oracle Ridge area was heavily impacted by the 2006 Aspen Fire, though Marble Mountain was thankfully spared.  Views from the top include the summit of Mountain Lemmon, including the Mount Lemmon ski area, Mount Bigelow and the Oracle Ridge Highpoint.

Rank: Unranked
Prominence: 234 feet
Planning Map: Green Trails Maps Santa Catalina Mountains #2886S

Rank & Prominence: Lists of John

Getting There

Summit register
Summit register

This peak can be accessed by trail or service road from at least three different directions, though most visitors would be content to gain the summit from the General Hitchcock Highway, also known as the Catalina Highway or the Mount Lemmon Highway. The Oracle Ridge Trailhead, near mile marker 25, can be reached within an hour of downtown Tucson. Take Tanque Verde (often pronounced “TANKy VURdy" by the locals) diagonally across the northeast edge of town to East Catalina Highway. Follow East Catalina Highway North for about 4.5 miles to the Forest Service boundary. Here the road becomes the General Hitchcock Highway…or the Catalina Highway…or the Mount Lemmon Highway.

Note that the highway is paved, but longer vehicles (22 feet or greater) or those towing a trailer may have difficulty negotiating tight curves.

Summit Pano
Summit Pano

Route

Along Oracle Ridge
Along Oracle Ridge

I will post a simple route via the Oracle Ridge Trail, including Summerhaven Benchmark, shortly. I encourage other SummitPost members to attach routes they have used to the summit of this peak.

Red Tape

Use of the Mount Lemmon area, including the Catalina Highway, is subject to a $5 vehicle / use fee.

Visit this National Forest webpage for detailed regulations governing use of this area.

Note that the area immediately surrounding Marble Peak is marked on the map as private property. The Oracle Ridge Trail provides a public right of way through this area. While the mountain appears to have at one time been mined for – not surprisingly – marble, the more recent venture was copper mining at the Oracle Ridge Mine. While production stopped in 1996, efforts are underway to re-start small-scale, underground mining of copper below/within Marble Peak.

East from the summit
East from the summit

Toward the summit marker
Toward the summit marker

Rubbly summit
Rubbly summit


Weather and Seasons

Blazing Arizona Sun
Blazing Arizona Sun


Marble Peak is a year round mountain. Predictably, spring and fall would be delightful times to visit this peak. In the summer, the heat blasting up from Tucson could make it hard to escape the heat, but at more than 7,600 feet above sea level, the peak offers some escape from the heat. Winter should typically be sunny and pleasant, but can be cold, windy and snowy. Occasional snowstorms slamming the Santa Catalina Mountains might close the “highway with many names,” or at least encourage the Forest Service to put a “4x4 or chains only” rule in effect.

Before planning a trip to Marble Peak, I suggest checking the weather both for Tucson, Arizona, as well as for Mount Lemmon or Summerhaven, as the road to the peak will cover both extremes and everything in between.




Mount Lemmon, Arizona -CLIMATE

Source: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az5732

Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary

Period of Record : 9/13/1958 to 1/31/2010

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual

Average Max. Temperature (F)

49.2

48.3

52.9

60.8

69.1

76.4

76.5

73.6

70.4

61.7

56.3

50.6

62.2

Average Min. Temperature (F)

22.8

21.8

25.7

31.7

36.6

44.4

49.8

49.8

45.1

36.4

29.7

24.3

34.8

Average Total Precipitation (in.)

3.15

1.69

1.17

0.50

0.25

0.62

4.41

6.99

3.39

3.05

1.75

2.60

29.56

Average Total SnowFall (in.)

16.5

20.4

6.8

2.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

2.0

6.2

11.0

64.9

Average Snow Depth (in.)

3

7

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

Damage from the Aspen Fire
Damage from the Aspen Fire


Camping

Approaching Marble Peak
Approaching Marble Peak
Summerhaven Benchmark
Summerhaven Benchmark

The Santa Catalina Ranger District operates several campgrounds along the Santa Catalina Highway to Mount Lemmon. These are (in distance up the highway from the valley):

• Molino Campground
• General Hitchcock Campground
• Rose Canyon Lake

External Links

Please share with me any trip reports or other valuable external information via Additions & Corrections.

Oracle Ridge HP
Oracle Ridge HP

Images

Approaching from the southDamage from the Aspen FireMarble PeakEast from the summitOracle Ridge HPApproaching Marble PeakSummit register
Rubbly summitToward the summit markerSummerhaven BenchmarkSummit PanoAlong Oracle RidgeBlazing Arizona Sun