Connecting visitors with their ideal travel experiences in Tucson and Southern Arizona.
When most people think of the desert they think barren wasteland, sand dunes, and rock gardens. Well, those folks clearly haven't visited the Sonoran Desert surrounding Tucson. Aside from the lush areas you'll find in the lower elevations we also have a collection of mountain ranges known as Madrean Sky Islands. These ranges shoot up thousands of feet in elevation giving way to coniferous pine forests and spectacular rock formations. Tucson's most beautiful and iconic Sky Island is the Santa Catalina Mountain Range, located in Coronado National Forest, and the tallest peak in this range is Mount Lemmon. Hiking trails in this area abound with the opportunity to walk along mountain streams, hear the aspens quake in the breeze, and depending on the time of year, even enjoy more than a dusting of snow. For those looking for a nice leisurely hike, try the Aspen-Marshall Gulch loop, close to the summit and the quaint and aptly-named mountain town of Summerhaven. A more strenuous but equally beautiful hike can be found along the Bug Springs trail, where you can hike from high-desert grasslands into the pine forest. Just watch out for Mountain bikers as this is one of their favorite trails as well.
Please note that Coronado National Forest requires a recreation fee: Day Pass - $5. Week Pass - $10. Annual Pass - $20. Depending on the time of year the road to Mt Lemmon may be closed due to snowfall. Those intending to do longer hikes should bring a map, sunscreen and plenty of water - at least one gallon per person per day.