Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway
Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway
5
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  • Dianna G
    Las Cruces, New Mexico45 contributions
    Glad we went
    Perfect time of year to visit. Definitely download the app to hear about the changes in elevation/foliage as you ascend. Take your time and stop at the various parking areas as you go up. Once you reach the top, you can stop for a giant cookie and pizza at the Mt. Lemmon Cooking Cabin. Just remember to share the road.....lots of bicyclists heading up the mountain.
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 22, 2023
  • BonnieAndEva
    Hershey, Pennsylvania71 contributions
    Great views!
    What a fabulous drive!! Take it, you will not regret it. Please download the Mt. Lemmon app which will give you great commentary as you drive and explain everything about the formation of the area and also about the plants, birds, and animals. We really liked listening to this as we drove. Sights are amazing!!
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written March 10, 2023
  • KDAA
    East Hartford, Connecticut809 contributions
    Glad we took the drive
    We took this drive based on the great TA reviews and we weren't disappointed. The only unfortunate part was that we started late and Summerhaven was pretty much closed - no cookies for us. The scenery was beautiful and there were plenty of overlooks. I also appreciated that there were guardrails along the route. We listened to the University of Arizona Mt Lemmon tour and that was very informative - it is worth downloading and listening to on the drive up.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 2, 2023
  • static0123
    Port Orchard, Washington85 contributions
    Great drive and desert study
    Excellent driving tour of the flora and fauna available inside a two-hour event. When you reach the peak you forget your are in a desert. Plenty of places to pull over for pictures, and mostly pleasant drivers along the way.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written May 3, 2023
  • stevieray502
    Harleysville, Pennsylvania70 contributions
    Breath Taking Vistas
    This was a four to five hour drive up Mt Lemmon that took us to 9000 foot of elevation . 85 degrees to 55 degrees. There were many turnouts to enjoy the views. We downloaded an app that explained the various eco systems you go through.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written May 4, 2023
  • Chrissy
    Elstow, United Kingdom71 contributions
    Stunning views
    We drive up to Summerhaven whenever we come to Tucson and it’s a beautiful drive up and down. There are plenty of rest stops and some stunning sights along the way. Well worth the time and completely free.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written May 10, 2023
  • Teresa W
    616 contributions
    Nice Scenic Drive
    A friend who lives in Tucson recommended this drive and it was very worth it. I typally don't like high mountain roads, but I felt very safe on this one. There were lots of scenic viewpoints from which to see the vast valley and rock formations. We also appreciated the oodles of pull outs to allow traffic to pass. It took us about an hour to reach the top, stopping for a lot of photos along the way. It was a nice way to get out heat and city traffic for awhile.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 10, 2023
  • NYU62
    Tucson, Arizona18,115 contributions
    Mount Lemmon in the rain
    Yesterday, Friday 8/11, was an overcast and rainy day, but we had made plans to meet our daughter and son-in-law on top of Mount Lemmon for lunch. Usually, we drive up, when it is 115 + degrees in Tucson, so this was more of an unusual experience. We have been many times, but each time, the drive takes our breath away. it is so gorgeous, and to think that it is so close to the City. Driving up the mountain, it was drizzly, and then, it turned to heavier rain, just as we reached Summerhaven. There was an Arts and Crafts Fair going on, and people were huddled under their tents. We had not known about it, but were so disappointed that it was raining too hard to stop, and check out their wares. However, did stop at the General Store for their heavenly fudge. No trip up that mountain is complete without buying some fudge. Even though it was raining, there were still people walking dogs, and picnicking under a large umbrella. When we left our home, the car thermometer showed 97 degrees outside. At the top of the Mountain, it showed 60 degrees, and we were happy that we had come prepared. There are many pull outs on both sides of the road. Yesterday, it being foggy/hazy and rainy, the views were not as great as usual, however, the rock stacks were, as always, simply amazing.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written August 12, 2023
  • Les J
    Murrieta, California640 contributions
    Nice drive when we did it.
    Mid-day, mid-week, mid-November was a great time for this drive. I would have hated it with vehicular & cyclists traffic. Great views along the way; really wasn’t much at the summit. Nice bathroom at the community center. None at the visitor center.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written November 16, 2023
  • Zoom_Gotti
    Henderson, Nevada1,555 contributions
    Very Scenic Mountain Drive
    Enjoyed this drive on a winding highway road up to the Mt. Lemmon site. Changing scenery as you increase elevation. Lots of scenic overlooks and trails along the way. Facilities at the top include eateries, lodging, groceries, skiing, and a community center with restroom facilities Take the day or only a few hours.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written December 25, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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404HappyTraveller
Saskatchewan, Canada447 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
This should be the top travel experience in Tucson. The 27 mile drive goes from the desert floor to a mountain top ski resort, with everything you could possibly imagine for terrain in between. The views are beyond spectacular, with lots of opportunities to stop and gawk and take photos at a number of scenic viewpoints. The road is an easy drive, and parking was available at most viewpoints. Do yourself a favour - take a few hours and make the drive up and back. It will reinforce your belief in Mother Nature and the amazing things there are out there in this world of ours.
Written February 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doug H
Lakeville, MN188 contributions
Feb 2024 • Solo
Went up to ski Mount Lemmon because they had an epic two weeks of snow. Road was clear ( thank God) just a couple icy patches the last 8 miles in the morning. Road closes a lot in January / February when they get snow or rain. And I understand why ! It’s a beautiful trip 27 miles straight up from the valley floor. Hairpin turns, two lanes and a guard rail that saves you from flying off into the abyss. If mountain passes give you white knuckles, be prepared. I’ve driven plenty of Rocky Mountain two lanes to go skiing, but when they say chains and 4 wheel only on certain days they mean it, other than that,I will be taking my wife back up the route. Plenty of pull overs and overlooks. Locals drive it like crazy to get up for early lift, so pull over as traffic backs up behind you. Keep eye on center line. And if anyone makes comments like , “ We’ll all die if we go over the edge” pull over and let them off at next pull out. So much scenery and stops I missed while heading up to ski, so I’ll go again !
Written February 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bc
Minneapolis, MN6 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
Such an amazing drive. Take your time. Stop often to look and explore. Buy the verbal tour guide that tells you what’s going on. Go. Now.
Written January 4, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brr4346AD
Providence, RI819 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
Great ride up the mountain. There was snow at the ski area. So many places to stop and look around. Great ride up and down the mountain.
Written January 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FancyFree55
Florida7,639 contributions
Dec 2023 • Couples
We drove the byway on a sunny afternoon during the Christmas holiday week, after our car rental agent advised us that this attraction was a must-see experience. We've traversed dozens of mountain routes in both the eastern and western USA (and worldwide), and this is one of the nicest I've encountered, primarily because the route is so well-planned in regard to user-friendliness.

Dozens of turn-outs are built adjacent to the road along the entire route, which enables slower traffic to move aside to allow faster cars to pass comfortably. The road is wide enough to accommodate both cars and cyclists; we were astonished at the number of people who climb this mountain on bikes.

There must be a dozen vista points with parking lots along the 28-mile road to the top of the Santa Catalina Mountain range where you can get out of the car and gape at the incredible scenery. At the San Pedro Vista (7500 feet), on a clear day you can see Gila National Forest in New Mexico, 110 miles away.

If I had to choose one stop as my favorite, I'd highly recommend the Windy Point Vista. Views are just spectacular here. But watch your step climbing around on the rocks. Loose rock will surprise you, and there aren't any guard rails.

In addition to vista points, there are more parking areas for trailheads and picnic sites. Many of these have public restrooms, but be aware that the toilets are outhouse style. They don't flush, and there's no way to wash or sanitize your hands. The facilities we used were pretty disgusting.

We saw signs for several campgrounds (and a camping cabin) along the route, but they all appeared to be closed at the end of December. Near the top of the byway is a teeny village called Mount Lemmon. You can stop here and grab a gourmet coffee or a slab of fudge at the general store. There are a few cute souvenir shops on the lone road through town, and a full-service restaurant.

Backtrack a thousand feet from Mount Lemmon town to Ski Run Road and you'll make your way to Ski Valley, where the parking lot was crammed full of cars despite it being too early to ski yet. There was some snow on one of the slopes, and we wanted to ride the ski lift to the top of the hill for a better view but all the lift tickets were already sold out for the day by the time we showed up after 2:00. At Ski Valley you'll find a ski equipment rental shop that also sells clothing and tourist items, and the Iron Door Restaurant, which had a long wait list for a table when we arrived.

The ride up took us about an hour and a half (to reach the town of Mount Lemmon), but we stopped repeatedly to check out the views and to read the signage posted at some of the vista points. There is no admission fee to drive the byway, but some drive-outs have daily usage fees of $8, like Sabino Canyon, Madera Canyon, Parker Canyon, etc. If you're staying longer than a day, you can buy a weekly pass for $10, and locals can buy an annual pass for $40. You can get them in advance or on site.

I understand now why Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway is the Number One experience in the Tucson area.

Written December 31, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zoom_Gotti
Henderson, NV1,555 contributions
Dec 2023 • Friends
Enjoyed this drive on a winding highway road up to the Mt. Lemmon site. Changing scenery as you increase elevation. Lots of scenic overlooks and trails along the way. Facilities at the top include eateries, lodging, groceries, skiing, and a community center with restroom facilities Take the day or only a few hours.
Written December 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Les J
Murrieta, CA640 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Mid-day, mid-week, mid-November was a great time for this drive. I would have hated it with vehicular & cyclists traffic. Great views along the way; really wasn’t much at the summit. Nice bathroom at the community center. None at the visitor center.
Written November 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NYU62
Tucson, AZ18,115 contributions
Aug 2023 • Family
Yesterday, Friday 8/11, was an overcast and rainy day, but we had made plans to meet our daughter and son-in-law on top of Mount Lemmon for lunch. Usually, we drive up, when it is 115 + degrees in Tucson, so this was more of an unusual experience.

We have been many times, but each time, the drive takes our breath away. it is so gorgeous, and to think that it is so close to the City. Driving up the mountain, it was drizzly, and then, it turned to heavier rain, just as we reached Summerhaven. There was an Arts and Crafts Fair going on, and people were huddled under their tents. We had not known about it, but were so disappointed that it was raining too hard to stop, and check out their wares.

However, did stop at the General Store for their heavenly fudge. No trip up that mountain is complete without buying some fudge. Even though it was raining, there were still people walking dogs, and picnicking under a large umbrella. When we left our home, the car thermometer showed 97 degrees outside. At the top of the Mountain, it showed 60 degrees, and we were happy that we had come prepared.

There are many pull outs on both sides of the road. Yesterday, it being foggy/hazy and rainy, the views were not as great as usual, however, the rock stacks were, as always, simply amazing.
Written August 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bostonfiveo
Hingham, MA57 contributions
May 2023 • Family
This is well worth it! So amazing and the scenery is gorgeous. We had four teens and they were amazed also. We did not go to the top where the ski mountain is located but did hook left and go into the small town for some yummy fudge at the general store. The ride down is so much faster than the ride up!
We got out at one point near the top where the most amazing rock formations were located and we all climbed on them. I wish I knew what it was called but you can't miss it. The views were absolutely spectacular (see photos).
Written June 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lakota1
San Francisco, CA17 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
Beat the heat of Tucson and enjoy the scenic drive, please stop at the many scenic stops and enjoy unparalleled views of Tucson, Oro Valley and the San Pedro River.
Written May 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MT. LEMMON SCENIC BYWAY - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway


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