Mount Lemmon

Mount Lemmon

Mount Lemmon is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 2.792m (9,159ft) above the sea level, located in the Santa Catalina Mountains, in Arizona, United States. This favorite of Arizona cyclists is known for its hill climb. It's one of the highest mountain roads of Arizona.

The peak is located within the Coronado National Forest, north of Tucson. Located in Pima County, the road to the summit is asphalted, but pretty steep. It’s called Catalina Highway, General Hitchcock Highway, Sky Island Scenic Byway, Mount Lemmon Highway and Arizona Forest Highway 39. It’s 27 mi (43 km) long and was built in 1933. This road is usually open all year. The peak receives 200 inches (508 cm) of snow annually. When the snow falls - which it does in the winter – things get tough and slippery. The summit of the mountain is approximately twenty degrees cooler than the base. Therefore, large amounts of snow falls during the winter months, making it a cool escape and popular tourist attraction for Tucson and Phoenix habitants.

It’s a difficult road, with uncountable turns and twists. Remember this is is a mountainous area, climbing up a high mountain, At the summit there’s an astronomical observatory which was formerly the site of a USAF radar base of the Air Defense Command. The drive is definitely worth it. It’s a hors categorie climb that provides a rare combination of sustained climbing, excellent road surface, spectacular vistas, and importantly, an escape from the 100+ summer temps in Tucson. Paved and suitable for most vehicles. Very large motor homes, trailers over 22' and buses may have trouble negotiating steep grades and sharp turns. Places to turn around are few.