Entertainment Magazine: Arizona: Tucson

Explore Mt. Lemmon - camp, hike and shop

Read about the history and legends of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Watch Video and VR Clips of Mt. Lemmon and Summerhaven



Legends of lost mines, lost cities and a lost mission have been passed down by word of mouth for generations. The most famous legend, the Iron Door Mine, helped launch the early American hunt for gold in the 1850s. Read more about the legends and history behind them in a new local book on the Treasures in the Santa Catalinas.

Legends of the Catalinas Book Talk on Saturday, January 3 and 10 at 1pm at the Oracle Inn (305 E. American Avenue in Oracle). Meet the authors and talk about the legends. Free. Call 520-623-3733 for more info.

Purchase copies at a discount on Amazon.com

Mt. Lemmon 4th of July Parade was a splash!

Although the annual July 4th Independence Day Parade at Summerhaven started at the moment the rain did, hundreds of spectators braved the rain and hail to watch the parade.

Mt. Lemmon photos by Robert Zucker, 2014.

Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter

The Mt. Lemmon Sky Center 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. Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter websiteskycenter.arizona.edu/

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. 

In 1881, Botonists John Lemmon and his wife, Sarah, trekked up to the top of the Santa Catalina Mountains to explore and catalog plant life. Their first attempt was along the same route now followed by the Catalina Highway, but it was a rough and rugged climb. An Indian showed the Lemmons another route from the village of Oracle. There, they met with E.O. Stratton who guided them to the summit where they “christen(ed) it Mt. Lemmon in honor of Mrs. Lemmon, whow as the first white woman up there.” They carved their names in a tree to mark the spot. [1]

New life is now coming back to Frog Mountain- the name given to the Catalina Mountains by the Tohono O'odham Indians.Read more about the legends and history of the Treasures of the Santa Catalinas.

[1] “How Did Mt. Lemmon Get Its Name?” Mt. Lemmon General Store & Gift Shop. Mrs. Lemmon passed away in 1923. Mr. Lemmon died in 1908.

Robert Zucker on Mt. Lemmon

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

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.

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.



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