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.

Tucson, Arizona (approximately 2,400 feet above sea level) is just 60 miles north of the Mexico border and about 150 miles south of the capital city, Phoenix- and about 500 miles east of Los Angeles and the ocean). Tucson is one of the last of the wild frontiers, being the oldest inhabited city in North America (inhabited first by the Hohokam Indians around 100AD). The valley is home to a half million people who dwell in this Southwestern U.S. desert environment. Visit the Tucson Home Page with maps, history, current events and home pages for dozens of groups and businesses.

NEXT: Tour Up Mount Lemmon

Mt. Lemmon
Information Phone Numbers:

All Area Codes Are "520"

Free Mt. Lemmon/Tucson Road Information (from Tucson): 741-4991

Mt. Lemmon
Snow Report, Ski Valley:
576-1400

Mt. Lemmon Highway Reconstruction Hotline: 749-3329

Pima County Sheriff's Office Road Information Line: 741-4991

U.S. Forest Service: 749-8700

Fees to Use Facilities: The U.S. Forest Service charges a fee for those who plan to travel up the mountain. Residents and employees on the mountain are exempt from the new fee. This fee is expected to help improve and preserve some of the area, according to U.S. Forest Service reports. Mt. Lemon passes are $5 per day per vehicle. The annual pass is $20.

Squeezing the Lemmon II
...more juice than ever:

A rock climber's guide to
the Mt. Lemmon Highway,
Tucson, Arizona

by Eric Fazio-Rhicard

Ski Touring Arizona

By Dougald Bremner

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