South Central : Mount Lemmon
Mount Lemmon is a famous "sky island" that is approximately two hours drive from Tucson, Arizona. The mountain is at an elevation of 9,157 feet which makes the overall climate very different from that of the surrounding desert area and makes it a popular tourist destination for those in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, particularly in the summer months. Mount Lemmon is located in the Coronado National Forest, is the home of Ski Valley, is the location of the town Summerhaven, and is the site of an astronomical observatory.
Flora and fauna
On average the climate at the summit is at least twenty degrees cooler than it is at the base. Please note that this means ample amounts of snow can, and do, fall on the mountain during the winter months.
The only way to really reach the mountain is on the Catalina Highway that begins in Tucson. During the winter months it is advisable to use vehicles that have four wheel drive and/ or snow chains as the road can become very slippery.
There is a road fee in order to get up the mountain except for circumstances such as visiting a business in Summerhaven. These can be paid at the foot of the road.
The town of Summerhaven, which has a year-round population of 100 that swells up during the summer months. Most of the town is being completely rebuilt after the 2003 Aspen Fire destroyed most of it.
- Astronomy Camps are run at the Mount Lemmon astronomical observatory throughout the year for teenagers, adults, and educators. Campers spend time learning how to use the astronomical facilities, which range up to telescopes 61" in size, and collect their own research data. Truly a must-do for any astronomy guru, although the camps tend to fill very quickly so check their website for details. 
- Ski Valley is the southernmost ski resort in the United States. It's a very small resort with short runs.
- Rock Climbing is popular throughout Mount Lemmon. With a variety of rock formations to match the climatic zones, the area is quite diverse with thousands of climbing routes and has everything from sport, trad, single-pitch and multi-pitch climbs. A guide book that covers the area can be picked up in Tucson.
- Mt. Lemmon Cafe, +1 520 576-1234, .
- Summerhaven Coffeehouse +1 520 576-1586. Summerhaven is a bakery and a coffeehouse.
- The Alpine Lodge, +1 520 576-1544.
- Aspen Trail Bed and Breakfast.
Dehydration is very easy on the mountain and altitude sickness is very common so be sure to drink plenty of water in order to avoid both!
This page was last edited at 20:02, on 18 August 2008 by Wikitravel user Morph. Based on work by Stacy Hall, Tom Holland and Johny Canal, Wikitravel user(s) Jonboy and Andromeda321 and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.