Mt. Lemmon, AZ
Mt. Lemmon is a rare jewel in the Arizona desert.
Jutting up 9,000 feet above sea level, this magnificent mountain peak stands amidst the pale backdrop of the sparse desert sand and cactus.
The foothills of the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson begins the hour long journey to the top of the hill known as Mt. Lemmon (also spelt as Mt. Lemon, Mount Lemmon and Mount Lemon).
As your car crawls, often only 25 miles per hour on the winding two lane road, you are transported into a geological time warp.
Mt. Lemmon is probably the one of the most popular getaways for Tucsonans and visitors, especially during the hot summer when temperatures in the valley often remain over 100 degrees F. for several months.
Winter months provides a blanket of snow at the top of the mountain and a period of time for skiing and playing in the snow.
It's no wonder that probably everyone who has lived or stayed in the area has been to Mt. Lemmon at one time or another. To some, it is a regular pilgrimage several times a year.
From the base of the mountain range, all the desert plant and wildlife co-exist among the ever creeping metropolitan city limits. Saguaro cactus abounds standing tall against the backdrop of the enormous mountain range.
As you drive up the winding road, now under construction for enlargement, you gain a sense of awe as you watch the desert slowly turn into brush, then into an array of windblown rock formations and finally into the midst of a deep forest of pine and fir. If you visit in the winter, be sure to bring your ski equipment or snow tires.
The busiest times to visit Mt. Lemmon are weekends (of course) between 11am and 4pm. The earlier you arrive, the better parking and picnic areas your find. Less travelled days are weekend mornings and many weekdays.
NEXT: Tour Up Mount Lemmon