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Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway, Tucson

(4.9/5 based on 1,700+ 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
  • This drive has for its reward a little more than half-way up- a lookout overlooking Tucson. If you can plan the drive so heading up in early evening and returning back after dusk- you will have two wo...  more »
  • Driving up the Mt Lemmon byway is a scenic delight that takes you from the desert to the alpine in little over an hour. Views galore, rock formations all around, wildlife everywhere and the reward of ...  more »
  • If you are looking for all levels of scener in one day you can drive from Tucson up to Mt. Lemmon, ride the ski lift at the top and head back down to warmer weather. Bring a jacket. Winter does happen...  more »