Mount Lemmon Hiking
Did you know that residents of Tucson can drive less than an hour to get into snow? If not, this might be your first time hearing of Mount Lemmon— the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains that’s constantly 20-30 degrees cooler than Tucson, and thus cold enough to get snow fall for skiers during the winter. The brisk temperatures and fir trees are a sharp and welcome change from the desert you can see far below from its lookout points.
Of course, this high elevation paradise wouldn’t be complete without trails to enjoy when Tucson is too heated. The best is the Mount Lemmon Lookout Trail located near the aptly named community of Summerhaven. Be sure to be prepared for the thinner air, as this hike is a 9.1 mile loop with over 2300 feet in elevation gain. The difficulty is well worth the reward though, as you’ll get to hike through gorgeous and forested scenery, get a fair number of viewpoints to admire the mountains and desert below, and even get to stop by a waterfall.