Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catalina Highway,
Mount Lemmon

Santa Catalina Mountains,

This wasn't a hike but a drive up the Catalina Highway to the top of Mt. Lemmon. This road starts in Tucson and climbs up over 7,000 feet to the summit near Summerhaven. The scenery along the road to the top is incredible, and there are many hiking trails off the road. I took some short scrambles off the road but didn't do any trail routes. When we started at the bottom it was in the 70's, and on the top it was in the upper 40's or low 50's with snow. We had a 4x4 and had intended on taking the jeep road down, but it was closed presumably because of the snow.

At the beginning of a hike near the beginning, with all the Saguaros.
Overlooking Tucson from the beginning of the climb.
Me at the Rock Formations near Windy Point.
Me at the top near a granite dome.
Me again on top of a rock formation.
Me at Windy Point
Rock formation at Windy Point

On a cliffside at Windy Point
View of Tucson with the Tucson Mountains
Forest on top near Summerhaven. Looking northeast.
Burned out area near the top from a forest fire.
Snow at the top near Summerhaven.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed your wonderful photos! Thanks for taking me back to revisit my nostalic memories of a solo road trip I made through Arizona in the early 70's. I was just going to be going through Tuscon, but a native told me to be sure & take the scenic drive up to Mount Lemmon. I'll never forget what a beautiful & breathtaking drive that was up to the Mount, and then the gorgeous "pull-offs" all along the drive. All of this then culminated with the appearance of a light snow & Inn at the top! (The Inn was there in the early 70's) And, as I now see so many other travelers have commented on various pages about the drive up to Mount Lemmon themselves: What a delightful surprise it is to discover as you make the climb, in a car, or on foot, or however, that you feel as if you have been transported to another world; as the terrain becomes lush forests & the climate changes with the temperature dropping at least 30 degress up on the Mount! It was such a treat for me because I had known nothing about Mount Lemmon at the time. Just a young woman in the 70's who decided to spontaneously take a road trip on her own, & who just as impulsively decides to check out the very hip & cool city of Tuscon. And because I did, I got to discover this beautiful place that is truly one of my most special memories. I need to put traveling there again on my "bucket" list!