Mount Lemmon: A Scenic Drive Through Arizona’s Sky Island

Mount Lemmon
Mount Lemmon

In the Santa Catalina Mountains in southern Arizona, there is a magnificent mountain pass called Mount Lemmon. It is a well-liked vacation spot for those who enjoy driving, the outdoors, and adventure. The pass, which reaches a height of 9,157 feet (2791 meters), provides breathtaking views of the arid surroundings.

Where is Mount Lemmon?

Just to the north of Tucson, Arizona, in the Coronado National Forest, is where you can find Mount Lemmon. The Catalina Highway, a beautiful drive that makes its way up the mountain and provides breathtaking views of the surroundings, provides access to the pass. Both visitors and residents use the road which is especially busy in the summer when the valley may reach temperatures of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37°C).

If you want to drive some other cool roads in Arizona Antelope Pass for exemple.

The map below shows where this road is located:

Enlarge the map

Information about Mount Lemmon:

The 27-mile-long (43 km) Catalina Highway, also called the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway, rises more than 6,000 feet (1800 meters) from the desert bottom to Mount Lemmon’s summit. For drivers who appreciate picturesque roads, the road’s frequent hairpin twists and steep inclines make it demanding but rewarding. Visitors can pause at a number of picturesque viewpoints along the route to enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Windy Point Vista, is one of the most well-liked sites along the Catalina Highway, with expansive views of the surroundings. The Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, a ski resort that provides skiing and snowboarding during the winter, is another well-liked destination. Along with these, the resort provides hiking, mountain biking, and disc golf throughout the summer.

Mount Lemmon is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation, but it is also a haven for various types of species. Black bears, mountain lions, and numerous bird species, such as the Mexican spotted owl and the peregrine falcon, can be found in the area.

History of Mount Lemmon:

Prospectors looking for gold and silver in the region in the late 19th century first discovered Mount Lemmon, which has a long history. Sara Plummer Lemmon, a botanist, was the first woman to reach the mountain’s peak in 1881, and her name was given to the pass. Since then, the pass has grown in popularity as a tourist and local destination and has been highlighted in a number of movies and television programs.

Road preview:

Watching this YouTube video that displays a portion of the road will give you a preview of the journey:

How to get to this road?

To reach Mount Lemmon, take the Catalina Highway (also known as the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway) from Tucson. The highway begins at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. And, winds its way up to the summit of Mount Lemmon. The drive takes approximately one hour and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Another dope road in the U.S. is the Monarch Pass.

You can obviously visualize how to get there on this approximative map of the drive:

Is Mount Lemmon open?

The Catalina Highway is typically open year-round, although snow and ice during the winter months may result in temporary closures. It is recommended to check local weather and road conditions before making travel arrangements.

In conclusion, Mount Lemmon is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to southern Arizona. Its stunning views, challenging but rewarding drive, and numerous outdoor activities offer something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, a driving enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and memorable experience, Mount Lemmon is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Picture credit: midwinter on

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