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Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway, Tucson

(4.9/5 based on 1,800+ reviews on the web)
Watch the desert disappear into panoramic mountain scenery along Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway. Just a short drive of 43.5 km (27 mi) takes you from the Sonoran Desert with its cacti, Joshua trees, and mesquite plants up to cool forests of oak, fir, pine, and aspen typical of the Canadian ecological zone. As you progress through the byway, you'll see wide vistas of the deserts below and the rocks and mountains above. Every 304.8 m (1,000 ft) you ascend is comparable to driving north 965.6 km (600 miles). For this reason, be sure to pack extra clothing--the temperature can vary 30 degrees from the base to the top. Get fuel and food before driving the byway; there are no convenience stops. Add Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway to your Tucson travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Tucson itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I had been here 9 years ago and didn't remember how pretty the drive was. Love seeing the different vegetation as you climb the mountain. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny if wanting to eat at eithe...  more »
  • Let me start by saying that we live near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and have never been to Tucson. So, a mountain drive in the desert was an interesting concept. We loved it! The grand tour ...  more »
  • The Tucson summers can be long and having a pine covered refuge at 9000' less than an hour from almost anywhere in town makes it easier.  more »