We picked one of the hottest days so far to take a drive up the Catalina Hwy to escape the Tucson heat. Although it is only 13 miles as the crow flies from Catalina State Park, unfortunately we had to drive over 50 miles to get there on paved roads. It was a lovely drive once we got out of town and started up the mountain road.
Good thing Jim was a careful driver and didn’t cause us to end up like this unfortunate vehicle we saw from one of the overlooks.
It was so nice to see the temperature dropping on the climb up to Mt. Lemmon at over 9,000 feet. We started the drive in the desert and ended up in a tree covered forest with snow. Quite a contrast in about an hour. We had to stop for an early picnic lunch at 5,000 feet since it was already getting cool and breezy. By the time we got to the top it was 63. We did take a short hike and it was nice to smell the pines.
Snow, but not enough for the skiers.
There were lots of warning signs for bears, but all we saw were bees and butterflies.
There is a small community, Summerhaven, almost at the top. There was a big fire in 2003 so it has been rebuilt. Lots of nice looking vacation homes scattered around and a couple restaurants
It was 93 when we got back into Tucson, definitely worth the drive.