A Day Trip – Mt Lemmon

Our truck "R2" and Saguaro cactus
Starting Near the Desert Floor

It is March 29th, 2021 and we are taking a day trip up Mt Lemmon to Summerhaven, AZ. Only about 30 miles by highway one way from our home in Tucson but over a mile up. Mt Lemmon features many different climate zones from Sonoran desert to Canadian forest with micro-climates for variety.

Saguaro, Ocotillo, and desert shrubs with Tucson

We are less than 1,000 feet up here looking back over Tucson. This is still desert vegetation here. What an awesome view! There are many pull-outs viewpoints and waysides along this scenic route which is variously known as Catalina Highway, Mt Lemmon highway, and General Hitchcock Highway (in honor of Postmaster General Frank Harris Hitchcock).

Wild Flowers
Some wild flowers at Molino Canyon Vista.
Notice the Arizona Oak on the left only a few miles up the road

It is begining to feel cooler as we climb up the mountain and I no longer see mesquite trees

The better half of the Random Rovers
Elaine spotted this natural sculpture
A Windswept Rock

A stop at the General Hitchcock Wayside provided arresting mountain and canyon views with lots of interesting formations and yet more changes in vegetation. Juniper, Arizona Oak, AZ Rosewood, and ScrubPine predominated. On up the mountain we saw snow by the roadside and the forest changed to Aspen and Pine.

Almost all Pine forest here at our destination. We bought a decal at the general store which was the only business that was open. It was late march so too late for skiers and too early for summer tourists. We consider this drive a must do when you come to Tucson. We simply did a little sight seeing, but this area is a meca for hiking, biking, birdwatching, climbing and of course snow sports in the winter. In the summer it will provide a respite from the Arizona heat.

A natural rock sculpture alongside the Catalina Highway

This has been a short Hobbit’s holiday, but we will be leaving on an extended trip to the pacific northwest in May. Bertha and R2 are ready and so are we.

Travel safely and enjoy life everyday, your RandomRovers

Elaine and Gordon.

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