Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our Day Trip to Mt Lemmon

Arizona is an amazing place! I just love the fact that you can drive, walk, ride, run a scant few miles and enjoy so many different environments and climates. We are camped on the west side of Tucson right off the back of Saguaro NP, pure sonoran desert climate. Today we drove about 40 miles one way to the top of Mt Lemmon on the north east side of Tucson. In that short distance, went from cacti to tall evergreens, from sonoran desert to alpine forest, from 85 degrees to 60 all in only 40 miles!

View of Tucson from one of the scenic overlooks. This one was probably around 3500 ft above sea level.
The road up to Summerhaven winds up the sides of the mountains to an altitude over 9000 feet. The curves and the views make it a fabulous motorcycle road.
The road can be seen snaking through the mountains from many overlooks as it twists back upon itself on it's way up the mountain.
I've read that the road up to Summerhaven was a favorite training location of Lance Armstrong. Today, hundreds of bicyclists are doing what bicyclists have always done throughout Lance's career, following his lead! The drive is fun and the views are captivating but make sure to keep your eyes open for those bicyclists, they are everywhere, especially on weekends.

Here's a few of the hundreds of bicyclists along the road to Mt. Lemmon. Note how they are all the way out in the middle of the road and barely around a blind corner. I sure hope there are no cars coming around that corner fast.
Upon arrival at the peak of Mt. Lemmon you find yourself in the tiny town of Summerhaven. Summerhaven is made up mostly of a few beautiful alpine style log cabins and a few tiny shops, including the Cookie Cabin, built into the hills.

At the Cookie Cabin you can get, Cookies! Big, giant cookies! Oh, and Pizza if you like that.
And at the very top, snow still remains. 86 degrees in the valley, drive 40 miles and see snow. Awesome!!
All along the road are numerous trail heads. I could live in Tucson for 10 years and still not hit all the trails along this one road.

The view from the roadside by the HooDoo vista.
On the way home we ate a late lunch at EeGee's. I didn't expect much from this tiny sub shop. They have had a few commercials on TV locally advertising their latest frozen drink, "Luky Lime" for St. Patricks day. Those commercials worked on us as we wanted to try that drink. Turns out the drink wasn't all that, but the subs were a delightful surprise! We each went with the 8" EeGee's club subs. They were stacked heavily with meat and the bread was very fresh. Nancy couldn't finish hers and I was quite satisfied upon finishing mine! Honestly this was one of the best cold cut subs I have had in a long time. I'll have to try them out again later to see if we just got lucky or if this place really makes subs this good all the time.

After returning to the rig, I took a quick blast on the beemer down the road to the Skeet Shooting range to watch some folks shoot for a few minutes, then returned home in time for another famous Arizona sunset.

Be Good Everybody!

Have a fantastic day!



  1. A really great post Noah, thanks. I also enjoyed the pictures. Last traveling season, while in the Alpine and Fort Davis, Texas area, we were told that Lance trained there too. Consequently, they have more and more cyclists coming to the area to ride the same route(s).


  2. With that Mountain of Lemmons and the Cabin full of Cookies and the big drop in temperatures ya was a near hypoventilating about, I were expectin' ya to post a Lemmon Drop Cookie receipt today. How can I stay on a bad diet if'n ya don't help me out on accasions.

    Me and Nilda's blog

  3. We haven't made the trip up Mt. Lemmon yet but it definitely is on our list to do. Great pictures.