The weather in Tucson has warmed up nicely, with sunny days in the mid to high seventies and cool nights in the forties. So on Sunday we visited a local farmer’s market on the north side of town, then stopped at a local park to take a 3.5 mile hike at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The hike was listed as moderately challenging and had multiple Saguaro cacti growing along the trail.
Yesterday we took a drive of about thirty miles to the top of Mt. Lemmon. The mountain is just to the north of Tucson and has an elevation of just over 9,000 feet. With Tucson at 2,000 feet, Mt. Lemmon towers over the area. We visited this area during our stay here in October and were surprised to find a ski area on the mountain, so we were anxious to return during their snow season. When we left the city, the temperature was in the mid-seventies. As we drove up the mountain it slowly began to cool. After driving through a very warm desert, it is a bit weird to see a sign like this . . .
The snow levels increased as we reached 6,000 feet. In some spots there were families enjoying a day of sledding.
At about 8,500 feet we arrived at the ski area. They don’t have any snow-making equipment due to a lack of water, but there appeared to be plenty of natural snow on the slopes. We were a bit surprised at the lack of crowds, as this was the MLK holiday and the weather was perfect for skiing, clear and a temperature of fifty degrees.
On the return trip down the mountain, we stopped to do some hiking. There is a great spot at about 6,500 feet with some rocks to climb and some great views to enjoy.
There are many places to visit in the Tucson area, but we can now cross one off of our must-do list after visiting Mt. Lemmon. We’ll keep working on the list during the next few weeks. More on that later . . .