Week 795 - Mt. Lemmon, Tucson Arizona - 11-07-2021
Mt. Lemmon, Tucson Arizona
Mt. Lemmon is North of Tucson. In just one hour you can leave your golf course and pickleball court and enjoy the snow at Ski Valley. You rise from the Tucson desert floor of 2,388 feet to the summit at 9,617. Mt. Lemmon is the highest peak of the Santa Catalina mountain range. Skiing is generally open from mid-December to the beginning of April.
The road to the top looks like a good scooter trip.
At 82 degrees in Tucson, the weather was perfect to start the trip. Off we go, leaving our gated resort, Far Horizons.
Stopping at QuikTrip for fuel and drinks. Then to Jersey Mike's to pick up the Giant Big Kahuna sandwich for lunch at the mountain peak.
In a few miles we reach the Coronado National Forest and the beginning of our 28 mile trip to ascend 6,000 feet in just one hour.
There are multiple information plaques, at the outlooks, that describe your travel. As you rise you encounter the terrains that you would experience as if you drove from Mexico to Banff, Alberta, Canada.
You begin with desert foliage and will end up with, oh, you'll see. At this level the saguaro cactus are prevalent.
This view is near Babad Do'ag Vista trail head. You can hike the 5.2 mile trail starting at 3,550 feet and rising to 4,700. The cactus are still in the landscape here.
Further up at 5,300 elevation the cactus are gone, replaced by rock and greenery.
This overlook presents a nice view of the distant mountains.
The rock outcroppings are very unique as you move along.
This view is from the Manzanita Vista overlook and near the General Hitchcock Campground. There are three dry-camping areas for RVs, 22' and shorter. Many more are available for tent camping.
Use your imagination to envision what this rock statue looks like ...
and this one.
At Mile 14 is Geology Vista Point.
These Hoodoos are very artistic.
This aerial view is not from a drone, but from Ellen on the back of the ScooterShip.
Now at 6,800 feet, you see why we like to scoot our way in areas like this. The majority of these photos are taken without having to stop for pics.
These rock piles were viewed on our travel upward.
This is the same area as seen on our return trip.
Does this look like the helmet of a knight in armor, or is that just Pete?
This rock monolith is right above the road. Look out below.
These rival some of the rocks in Utah.
At 7,000 feet the terrain has definitely changed. From this outlook you can see New Mexico in the distance.
At 8,000 feet, now you have conifer forest.
The town of Summerhaven, population 41, is chock full of vacation homes. And you can have a meal at the Saw Mill Restaurant.
At the peak the views are great and this tree is fun! We guess God can grow trees anyway He wants.
We should have done this trip a few weeks earlier before the Aspen trees dropped all their leaves.
The trail to the top.
We unpacked our sandwich and drinks for lunch. A shady picnic table was available. However, with a breeze and at 54 degrees we chose to sit on our lunch log.
Coming back down, there are tons of views of the Tucson plain.
It would be fun to see a huge waterfall here during a monsoon storm.
Great trip. We took 3 1/2 hours as we stopped at every overlook. The road was made for the scooter with dozens of switchbacks and hairpin turns. Truly, we are blessed.
With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy
Photos from November 2021