Friday, July 6, 2012

Escape the Summer Heat in Tucson on Mt Lemmon

It's seems that so far this summer the heat has been even hotter than usual in Tucson.  I don't remember the temperatures being over 105 so consistently in June before.  Where there's a problem there is always a solution.  Thank fully Mt. Lemmon never fails to deliver a nice escape from the heat of the desert summer.

At the summit Mt. Lemmon towers over 9,000 feet in elevation.  About 7,000 feet higher that Tucson temperatures are usually about 25 degrees cooler at the top.  From the drive, hiking trails and shops in Summerhaven there are endless activities for everyone.

One of my favorite parts of the trip is the drive up Catalina Highway.  Also known as General Hitchcock highway Catalina Highway climbs over 6000 ft from the desert to forest over 27 miles.  An endless route of panoramic views from highway pull offs you can see the entire area without much effort.  The road itself is in great condition, has wide bike lanes and plenty of pull offs for slower vehicles.  For those of you who like a twisty road Catalina Highway is somewhat of a holy grail.  I haven't found a road more fun to take the Porsche on anywhere near Tucson.

There are numerous hiking trails the entire way up.  From desert hikes covered with Saguaro cacti to Pine covered trails there is always a perfect trail regardless of the weather in the valley.  Here are some of our favorite hiking trails on Mt. Lemmon:

Marshall GulchEasy1.2 miles600ft gain
Aspen TrailModerate2.5 miles1800ft gain
Upper/Lower Green MountainModerateVaries
Rose Canyon LakeModerateVaries

Quick Mt Lemmon Hiking Video

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