Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mt. Lemmon

The 25 mile drive up Mt. Lemmon ends at more than 8000 feet altitude, but the climate is the most dramatic change you see for such a short drive. While the vegetation at the bottom is largely arid species such as Palo Verde trees and Saguaro cacti, the peak is more alpine, containing Pine forests and stands of Alders.

Tanque Verde and Tucson in the valley below.

The road we just drove up on, minutes ago.

The ski slope at the summit, complete with putting green at the base. Hmmm? I can see how that could work in this climate. BTW, this is the southern most ski slope in the U.S.A.

At the top you'll find SummerHaven, or what's left of it. In 2003, a devastating forest fire consumed more than 450 homes and acres of forest land here at the peak. All the houses that have been rebuilt are now new construction, but the pine forests are skeletons of their former self.


  1. We missed that drive, had it on our list..mabe next year. What a devastating fire... Sure changes the landscape.


  2. We just love the drive up there from Tucson ! Many years ago, post Vietnam era, I worked in one of the Copper mines South of Tucson. It was so nice to be in pristine old growth forest and cool alpine air with just a twenty five mile drive. Thanks for the memories.