Parking fees ended on road to Mt. Lemmon
The U.S. Forest Service has ended the fee requirement to hike or park along the Catalina Highway to Mt. Lemmon and Summerhaven.
The fee was cancelled after a 9th U.S. Curcuit Court of Appeals ruled on February 9, 2012 that the Coronado National Forest fees violate federal law. The $5 daily, or $20 annual, fee was collected from all drivers who parked their cars on the road to Summerhaven. Residents and workers in Summerhaven were exempt from the fee.
The fee station, by Milepost 5, is no longer open while the Forest Service reevaluates its options. The lawsuit, filed by several Tucson residents, objected to the fees for Mt. Lemmon.
Fees for Sabino Canyon and Madera Canyon are still in effect.
See events happening in Mt. Lemmon and Summerhaven.
Road closures when weather is bad
In the winter, there may be some travel restrictions on the Catalina Highway.
Weather conditions can change quickly. Check Mt. Lemmon weather and road conditions.
Also during the winter months, several seasonal side roads along the Catalina Highway to Mt. Lemmon are closed from December 15 through March 1st. Those roads may not be available for cars or other motorized vehicles.
The roads are still open for hikers, skiers, bicyclists and non-motorized uses, unless rain or snow is especially heavy.
The main road to the top of Mount Lemmon, Ski Valley and Summerhaven village is usually open after a snow on the mountain, unless snow conditions warrant a short closure.
Arizona's Gold Rush
The Santa Catalina mountains has been experiencing a gold rush for hundreds of years.
Just below Mt. Lemmon lies some of the great stories and legends in the search for gold in the mountains- the Lost City, the Lost Mission and the lost Iron Door mine.
Explore the historical records that account for that thousands of pounds of gold and gold in quartz that has been extracted from the Santa Catarina (Catalina) mountains and the Canyon of Gold (Cañada del Oro). Read about Southern Arizona's Gold Rush.
Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Events
The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter observatory is a chance for children and adults to view the planets, galaxies, star clusters, nebulae, and comets from the top of Mt. Lemmon.
The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter is an astronomy and science learning facility located on Mt. Lemmon, a desert "sky island" just north of Tucson, AZ.
The SkyCenter sits atop of a 9,157 foot summit near Mt. Lemmon. Participation with the University of Arizona provides educational adventures including:
SkyNights: A night-time observing program to peer beyond the blue horizons adorning our southwestern skies and explore astronomical wonders that have fascinated us from time immemorial. Star charts, binoculars and a superb 24-inch telescope are just some of the resources utilized in this program. Join as part of a group for evening hours or reserve the telescope all night and be treated as a visiting astronomer.
DiscoveryDays: Learn more about the scientific and natural wonders of Mt. Lemmon and the Catalina Mountains by interacting with UA scientists in this hands-on program. Topics include tree-ring science, hummingbird studies, updates on recent astronomical discoveries, ecology, and more.
SkyCamps: An expanded program of weekend camps is offered for young people and adults. Participants engage in interactive programs with scientists from the University of Arizona, and have the opportunity to learn how research is done. In addition to the 24-inch telescope at the SkyCenter, the 61-inch telescope on Mt. Bigelow will be available for use, as well as solar telescopes and other instruments. This is a continuation and enhancement of previous astronomy camps that Professor Don McCarthy conducted in the past. Some young people found Don McCarthy's astronomy camps to be a life changing experience, and had their eyes opened to a potential career in science or education.
Devastating forest fire brings new life to Summerhaven community
The village of Summerhaven, Arizona, atop the Catalina Mountains Mt. Lemmon north of Tucson, AZ, slowly recovers from the devastating Aspen Wildfire that started on Thursday, June 19, 2003. Watch a video of the Santa Catalina mountain fire.
EMOL.org publisher, Bob Zucker, stands above the town of Summerhaven where burned sticks and stumps are being cleared for a new community. More photos of the rebuilding of Summerhaven. Photo by Melinda Zucker
The Naming of Mt. Lemmon
Mount Lemmon is named for botanist Sara Lemmon who discovered many species of plants on an 1881 expedition to the summit with her husband John Lemmon. The 40-mile Catalina Highway, opened in 1951, was built mainly by federal prisoners.
New life is now coming back to Frog Mountain- the name given to the Catalina Mountains by the Tohono O'odham Indians.
From the desert sand to the forest snow
Mt. Lemmon is a rare jewel in the hot Arizona desert. Jutting up 9,000 feet above sea level in the Santa Catalina Mountains 25 miles north of Tucson, Arizona, this magnificent mountain peak stands amidst the pale backdrop of the sparse desert sand and cactus.
Enjoy a tour up the mountain, watch videos of the new Summerhaven and fire that destroyed the village and scarred the mountainsides, and learn about the latest developments in the redevelopment of Summerhaven and Sabino Canyon Parkway.
When the summer heat beats down at more than 100 degree (F) in Tucson, visitors and residents enjoy about a 30 degree difference!
Some people accidently spell Mt. Lemmon as Mt. Lemon, Mount Lemmon, Mount Lemon or Mt. Lemman. If you spelled it wrong, Mt. Lemon is still in Tuscon, AZ. Either way, you have arrived at one of the top web site on Mount Lemmon and Summerhaven.
Watch Video and VR Clips of Mt. Lemmon and Summerhaven, AZ.
What to do when you get to the top of the mountain. Stores, restaurants and sites to see.
The winter 2011-2012 snowfall season at Ski Valley. Hours, information and resources.
Updated continuous RSS weather reports on Mt. Lemmon and driving conditions from weather.com. Links to Mt. Lemmon weather web sites and phone numbers.
View satellite and topographic maps of Mt. Lemmon, Summerhave and Catalina Mountains. Print color copies free.
Snowfall in Summerhaven. Video clip of the first snow on Thanksgiving 2008
Fire on the Mountain. Watch a video clip from TEP looking at the Catalina Mountains during the 2003 fire. Other videos of Mount Lemmon and Summerhaven.
The Lost City in the Catalinas
Remnants of structures prior to the mining days of the 1880s have been rediscovered in the Catalinas.
Virtual Reality Scenes Spin the images and zoom in for more detail on VR scenes of Mt. Lemmon and Summerhaven.
Mt. Lemmon Photos
Up Mt. Lemmon Drive Up Mt. Lemmon- over a dozen photos, video clip movie, views of new growth, Summerhaven progress
Summerhaven renewal. See how Summerhaven looks.
Drive up Mt. Lemmon: Photo tour up the mountain to the Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley. See Nixon Head Rock.
Drive Up Mt. Lemmon Take an early winter drive up the mountain. Large photos and video clips of scenery, rock formations, and the latest construction pictures of Summerhaven.
Connect Online to Mt. Lemmon Internet links. Mt. Lemmon businesses, hiking spots, ski and weather conditions, road conditions, camping.
Mt. Lemmon legends and history
The long road to Mt. Lemon- read historic newsclips about the development of the road to Mt. Lemmon.
Deep in the mountains north of Tucson, Arizona may lie the legendary Iron Door Mine. In Spanish, the Iron Door Mine is called "minas de la ferro con puerto en la Canada del Oro." This mine is said to be one of "the most extensively hunted losts mines in North America." Read about the Iron Door Mine, Iron Door Mine Museum and the Cody Stone, a precious mineral mined near Mt. Lemmon.
Arizona's Gold Rush in the Santa Catalina mountains- discover the Lost City,, the Lost Mine and gold still buried in the mountains.
The Mine with the Iron Door- a hidden treasure somewhere in the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Mining for Ore in the Catalinas- the mountains have been home to gold and silver prospectors for over a century
Tour Cañada del Oro (video)
Oracle, Arizona and the Old West's Largest Gold Legend
Saddlebrooke- the history you don't know
Catalina State Park
Saving history with a mission
An old battered adobe building, with a stone foundation, sitting at the mouth of the Cañada del Oro, has some historical significance.
Called the “Mission of Santa Catalina,” the undated structure may have been a mission in the 1700’s. It was a way station for miners crossing through the mountains during the 1800s, the main road north through the mountains, and the first guest ranch in the area “Linda Vista Guest Ranch” - during the early 1900s. Now, it is a home with a mission and needs to be preserved. Read more about the Santa Catalina Historic Preservation Project.s