Snow on Mt. Lemmon

Tucson, AZ

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 . . .

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10 Responses to Snow on Mt. Lemmon

  1. Marsha says:

    Oh, I just love those Saguaro!

    It just amazes me quickly the terrain can change and the temps. I would never put Tuscon and skiing together.

    Isn’t that just amazing that you drove from a skiing area to a hiking area. From winter coats to short sleeves and shorts…WOW.

    Lovely trail. Great photo of you Pam! I love the photo of the rock tower. Beautiful stone.

    Enjoy your Tuscon experience.

  2. Erin says:

    This is how I would like to enjoy snow now that we’re on the road — a short “snow break” for pristine winter wonderland scenery, and then leave it behind and return to warmer temps.

  3. Lisa says:

    Awesome views and snow! What more could you ask for?!

  4. rjrvtravels says:

    We will be in the Tucson area in late February and your posts are giving us lots of ideas. Thanks!

  5. RVAGOGO says:

    There are some great hikes in Catalina State Park as well. We were there for two months and ate so much that we had to counter balance it with hiking and the treadmill.

  6. We missed Mt Lemmon while there. Since you will be in Tucson for a month you will be in hike heaven with the abundance of trails at Sabino Canyon,Catalina State Park and Picacho Peak. Have fun.

  7. Gay and Joe Taylor says:

    We just left Tucson. I have fallen in love with the area. We spent 16 nights at Lazydays. We are already planning a return trip next year. I so want to see the cacti in bloom. MT. Lemmon. Is on the places to go in Tucson list! Thanks for sharing…..

    • placestheygo says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post. We did Mt. Lemmon in the fall when we were here. It reminded us of fall back east. And of course the snow returned us there once again.

      Definitely keep it on your list!

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