Mount Lemmon was a cool destination on a day in April 2019 that was forecast to reach a scorching 96 degrees in Tucson. We had been wanting to make the 29 mile drive up 9,000 feet to the peak of the tallest mountain in the Santa Catalina Mountain Range and this seemed like the perfect day to do it!
As part of the “Sky Islands,” Mount Lemmon rises high above the desert floor of Tucson. “Sky islands are isolated mountains surrounded by radically different lowland environments.”
Among the new sights along the way were Hoodoos – which are basically tall towers of rock. There were lots of beautiful pullover spots along the scenic byway where we could stop and take in all the amazing views. Before we began this day-trip we had downloaded the Mount Lemmon app. Created by the University of Arizona, the app is full of information about the history and science relating to Mount Lemmon. We were able to listen to the app’s hour-long “pod-cast” as we drove up the mountain. It was timed to point out and educate about specific sights along the way.
As we climbed higher, at each elevation we were introduced to new and different plants and wildlife. We started out surrounded by desert and Saguaro cactus and by the time we reached the top…
there was snow and evergreen trees.
We also visited the little town of Summerhaven located at the top of the mountain. It is a cute little touristy town and it is the starting point for several hiking trails.
We enjoyed our cool little trip to Mount Lemmon. We see why it is a popular destination in the extreme heat of the Tucson summer. Our next adventure will be heading east! We are prepping Old Glory for her next big trip. We’ll post again soon as we say good-bye to Arizona.