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Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway, Tucson

4.9
#1 of 31 in Outdoors in Tucson
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 trip planner .
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Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,221 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Coming from "flat land" this was an amazing scene! We only went half way, but the giant overlook area was fabulous! We loved the silence (although it was hindered by chattering people on their speaker...  more »
  • We went to drive up Mt Lemmon to see the places where my son climbs and to see the sky island views. We were not disappointed. However, the December wind was chilly and took some of the fun out of hik...  more »
  • What a way to spend a day. They drive had breath taking views and lots of pullouts to get pictures. Restaurant at top is good. I would add pictures but they don’t show in the photo area. Hummmm  more »

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Where to stay in Tucson

To discover the tranquility of the Sonoran Desert, book your stay at an inn just a short drive from Tucson. Staying on the outskirts of the city allows you quick and easy access to some of Arizona's wildest areas, though it does require a car if you wish to enjoy Tucson's shops and restaurants. For the ultimate in indulgence, consider one of the city's award-winning luxury resorts, which feature full-service spa and fitness centers, championship golf courses, lighted tennis courts, and indoor swimming pools.
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