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Grand Canyon Landmarks Tour by Airplane
"Set off from Grand Canyon National Park Airport on your morning or afternoon airplane tour of Grand Canyon landmarks. As you ride aboard a comfortable Vistaliner plane with panoramic windows listen to narration about the geologic forces that helped create the dramatic canyon and surrounding terrain and the various peoples who have lived there. Keep your camera ready as you fly over Zuni Point — one of the few lookouts on the South Ri a popular vista point on the South Rim and glimpse the gorgeous colors of the Painted Desert in the distance. See the remote North Rim including its highest viewpoint Point Imperial. Admire the Kaibab Plateau and dense greenery of the Kaibab National Forest before returning to Grand Canyon National Park Airport at the conclusion of your 40-minute aerial tour."""
From $150.00
 
H1 Hummer Adventure from Phoenix
"There’s a reason that the U.S. Army outfits its fleets with Humvees: They’re bold they’re versatile and they’re badass. The M998 Humvee is military-grade only but the Hummer H1 is the closest a civilian can get. This off-road vehicle is perfect for the rough-and-tumble tourist who prefers an up close and personal experience. Mud dirt water rocks—it’s all the same for the Hummer H1. Coast along desert trails high above the ground
From $163.00
 
Grand Canyon Helicopter and Ground Tour From Phoenix
"After being picked up by luxury van from the Phoenix metro area your first stop is the famous Red Rocks of Sedona. During the brief stop you can stretch your legs take photos of the Red Rocks while your guide will pick up your lunch at a Sedona restaurant to take as a picnic to the Grand Canyon. Continuing on your scenic drive though Oak Creek Canyon one of the USA's most scenic drives you'll experience dramatic elevation changes as you wind through 2000 vertical feet (600 meters) of red walled canyon before emerging into a ponderosa forest. Once at the Grand Canyon South Rim board a state-of-the-art helicopter for a 50-minute flight over the Grand Canyon. You’ll fly towards the eastern end of the canyon following the Colorado River
From $400.00

Mt. Lemmon Tips (15)

Mt Lemmon - amazing views

We were staying at a hotel on the east side of Tucson, and I just saw on the Tuscon To-do magazine the word Mt Lemmon, saying that it offered great views of the city. So, I added Mt Lemmon to my navigation system and saw this road on the map which seemed to go up a mountain...and sure it was :) Just a few minutes driving from our hotel and we were going up the mountain and enjoying amazing view stops with Tucson below....It would take about an hour going up to the very end which is the area of Summerhaven (which we did not reach because just staying at the viewpoints was already awesome, haha)....Besides, when we go up Mt Lemmon again, we would go up and see Summerhaven next....we reached up to 6000 ft and Mt Lemmon boasts of being up to 9000ft :)

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!

I just made a short video of our climb up the highest point Mt Lemmon among the mountain ranges of Tucson. Hope you like our video:

MT LEMMON in Tucson and the JUMPING FAMILY

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jumpingnorman
Mar 11, 2013

Great Hiking Trails and Views

Mount Lemmon is located within the Coronado National Forest covering a vast portion of the National Forest. When you first start traveling to Mount Lemmon, the landscape is so dry and unfriendly until you gain height to about 5000 feet and then the environment of these ranges is a total departure from what you'll find on the low lands: total change from dry dusty brown lands to green pines, hills and a combination of undulating hills. Temperatures are far lower up here and water is relatively abundant, and the wildlife, fauna and flora are largely what you'd expect to find high in the Rocky Mountains.

Coronado National Forest protects the twelve "sky islands of Southwestern Arizona which are the real treasure houses of the region. I decided to go hiking all by myself this morning. I made some coffee, backed my hiking pack with water and Gatorade, picked my pink hat and headed off to the Catalina highway. Along the highway, I decided to count how many hiking trail heads were along the highway 'that should be fun I thought?', well did not succeed in coming up with a definite number because I was snapping pictures as I drove up and gained elevation with each turn. The Trailheads are as many as the Vista points, what is challenging is how winding the road is and how fast some people drive on what is clearly marked 25 and 35 speed limits. By the time I left Tucson it was a little over 92 degrees, I could not wait to get up there. Did I mention the views from up there are spectacular and you can literally experience all four seasons during a single day's journey, spending the morning wandering among giant saguaros and colorful wildflowers, having a picnic lunch under the brilliant golden leaves of a cottonwood tree, and playing in the snow later in the afternoon (well this is common in the earlier part of the year and later in the year).

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Africancrab
Aug 12, 2012

Mt Lemmon Ski Valley

The southernmost Ski resort in the USA is located at Mt Lemmon. Who would have thought you can ski just outside of Tucson? We visited in the fall, so there was no snow. You can take the ski lifts up to visit the Catalina mtns and beautiful views of Tucson area. In the winter there are 21 different ski runs.

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AVG2319
Jul 16, 2008

Summerhaven

Summerhaven is a tiny little town at the top of Mt Lemmon. A great retreat for people to escape the summer desert heat. There are only a few shops and restaurants up here. So much was destroyed in the Aspen fire in the summer of 2003, still 5 years later you can see the damage to the forest.

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AVG2319
Jul 16, 2008
 
 
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Drive to the top

Going through this drive is like going from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada in one hour. You start going through the residential areas of Tucson, then go through the desert passing large saguaros. Slowly, as the elevation increases you'll notice some trees. By the end of the drive you'll be surrounded by dark green trees more reminicent of the Rockies and if it's winter you'll see snow. The road up Mt. Lemmon is long (about 25 miles) but well worth the drive. Along the way there are dozens of stops, each giving you a unique view at various elevations. The mountain itself is over 9000 ft. Near the top is the town of Summerhaven, which doesn't really have too much, but is a nice break. If you want to hike to the top of the mountain (or ski - yes you could ski near Tuscon), turn right off the road near Summerhaven. Unless you're visiting Summerhaven, you'll need to pay a $5 entrance fee.

One strange sight on this trip was dozens of people shoveling snow on top of their cars near the top.

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leplaya
May 25, 2008

Mt Lemmon Observatory

While camping at Mt Lemmon we were fortunate enough to be able to tour the observatory that is located there. The kids enjoyed being able to look through the enormous telescopes to view the night sky. The hike up to the observatory has beautiful views of Tucson in the distance.

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AVG2319
May 17, 2008

Camping at Mt Lemmon

Mt Lemmon is a winding drive with panoramic views! A little gem tucked away in the Catalina mountains, with an elevation of over 9,000 feet there is enough snow up here in the winter to go skiing. A wonderful spot to camp, which is exactly what we did here. Nice and cool, pretty views, and a wooded camp site that I didn't even know existed until last year. There are plenty of places to hike and just enjoy nature. If you drive a little furthur north you will hit Summerhaven which is a really small town mostly "summer homes".

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AVG2319
May 17, 2008

Drive Up Mt. Lemmon

It took a long time to get up and down Mt. Lemmon, but I would say it was worth it. It's a little cooler at the top (9,000 feet), and there are some tourist shops and other things to do up there. Not too long before we were there, a fire had burned a lot of the trees, and we could still see the consequences of that fire. There were several places to stop and take pictures.

jnadler
Aug 11, 2006
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Basaic

"Basaic Tucson Page"
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matcrazy1

"Capitol of southern Arizona"
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Yaqui

"~Tucson ~"
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lamentforicarus

"A Modern City in the Old Pueblo"
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bocmaxima

"a great place to visit, a quirky place to live"
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the incomparable sky islands (cont'd)

In the higher areas, there are four campgrounds: General Hitchcock, Showers Point, Spencer Canyon and Rose Canyon, all of which are right on the main road. These all close in October though, when it begins to get too cold. Lower campgrounds (Peppersauce and Molino Basin) are open year-round. All require a $10/site fee.
If you don't mind roughing it though, there are several areas where you can just park your car and pitch your tent. Just off of the main road, Mount Bigelow Road leads a little further into the wilderness. Camping is free here, but the road is closed off sometime in the late fall. There are also often fire restrictions in place that prohibit campfires outside of campgrounds.
Allot for about two hours driving from the east side of Tucson to reach the top of Mount Lemmon. The speed limit is 35mph for the entire length, and is often patrolled by the county, although people typically speed, and get up to 65 on the way down sometimes. Obey the signs and use the pull-offs if you don't want to go that fast and/or are not in a hurry. Also keep in mind that there is no gas on Mount Lemmon, so you'll need to fill up beforehand in town.
There is a back way up the mountain on Oracle Control Road (called such because there was a once a signal that controlled traffic because it was too narrow for two-way travel). This is 30 miles of gravel and dirt, oftentimes very bumpy, and is definitely not for the faint of heart, although it is possible in a passenger car. Not advisable during the winter after the snows, or during monsoon season when you run the risk of getting stuck by flash floods.

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bocmaxima
Nov 09, 2005

the incomparable sky islands

Mount Lemmon, in the Santa Catalina Range is just one of several "sky islands" in Southern Arizona, called such because of their striking differences in temperature and vegetation from the surrounding desert.
The front way into Mount Lemmon is 30-mile-or-so-long, curvy, paved road often looming over large drop-offs. There are some gorgeous views of Tucson along the way up, with the best being at Windy Point, where the road makes a 180. This road, and particularly this spot, was recently re-built, and is now much safer and much more tourist friendly. If you go after a big rain, or when the snow is melting, you'll be treated to dramatic waterfalls and a beautiful, flowing creek.
Most people go up during the summer because, when it's 100 degrees in the valley, it's often 75 on the mountain. I like the winter the best though, after a big snow. It's relatively isolated (too cold for Tucsonans), and it's even more gorgeous. Many of the forest roads are closed off during the winter, as they are not plowed, but this just provides a nice hike, as many of the trails are then inaccessible due to the ice.
Whatever season, Summerhaven is a must-see. The cafe there is famous for its pies, and although they're something like $6/slice, they're very deserving of the fame. Much of the village was destroyed during a large fire in 2003, but much has been re-built at this point.
The ski resort is normally open, but skiing is only open about two times per year. Otherwise, this is about the only restaurant on the mountain.

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bocmaxima
Nov 09, 2005

A 'Haven' from the Heat

Mt. Lemmon is a cherished place for Tucson residents. It allows the 500,000 something people to escape the summer heat (115 degrees this summer and over 30 days over 100.) and retreat to a cool 70's with a great view.

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jgalb
Jul 28, 2005

Summerhaven

Mt. Lemmon rises a little over 9,000 ft. above Tuscon. Give yourself time to adjust your breathing. Your car may cough a little too. There are lots of hiking trails. I loved leaving a 90 degree day in the city and coming up here to a 60 degree day. We would stay in a little A frame cabin in the village of Summerhaven.

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Rhondaj
Apr 12, 2004

Things to Do Near Tucson

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St. Augustine Cathedral

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Getting to Tucson

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Mt. Lemmon, Santa Catalina Mountain Range, Arizona 85619

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