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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
13th Jun 2016 - Summer 2016
Day 19-June 13, 2016-Mt. Lemmon, Sky Island Scenic Highway and Sky Center

Day 19-June 13, 2016-Mt. Lemmon, Sky Island Scenic Highway and Sky Center

100 at campground, went down to 68 at top of Mt. Lemmon

Started the day by registering for a few more days here.  Eileen at the campground office is a little mini visitor center.  She gave us some ideas and a ½ off coupon book for attractions. She was also very excited about the 1/2 “ of rain they got the other night. 
We drove to the Catalina Scenic Highway, otherwise known as Sky Island Scenic Highway, Hitchcock Scenic Highway or Mt. Lemmon Scenic Highway.  It’s a 28 mile road with twists and turns, you can never go more than 35 mph and most turns are 20 or 30mph.  The elevation goes from 3000’ to over 9000’ and the temperature went from 100 to 68 in the hour and a half it took us to drive it.  We stopped at the ranger center and learned that this road goes through more biotic or life zones quicker than anyplace else on the planet.  We went through the Lower Sonoran Life Zone with saguaros (probably more than we saw at the National Park the other day), scrub cactus, mesquite and Palo Verde trees.  Then through the Upper Sonoran with grasses.  Then the Oak-Pine Woodland-oak trees, junipers, bear grass, yuccas.  The Transition Zone has pines, oaks and junipers.  At the top is the Canadian Life Zone, mostly a fir forest of Douglas fir, white fir, white pine and beautiful aspens.  The smell of pine trees was wonderful.  All along the road there are many scenic pull-offs, hiking trails, campgrounds, biking and horse backing riding.  We stopped at a scenic stop and had the lunch we packed.  At the top is the Mt. Lemmon Sky Center with chair lifts going up the mountain, a ski school and ski patrol.  By the time we got there they were closing but they let us go up on the chairlifts when we whined that it was our last day here and we were trying to overcome our fear of heights.  Magnificent view!  The temperature at the bottom was 68 and it got colder as we went up.  It just went up, turned around and came back down but it was great.  On the way back we saw quite a few houses nestled in the mountain and there is a small town, Summerhaven, with a general store, post office and a pizza joint.  Other than that, nothing else is up there.  Back down the same way we went up, only now the sun is setting and the views are quite different.  Definitely another wonderful day.  Back in civilization on a four-lane busy road we saw a family of doves, two adults and about 5 babies, scurrying across the road and a few miles down we spotted three coyotes on the side of the road.  The nights here are very nice and comfortable, temp is probably in the high 70’s.  Lots of stars.



Next: Day 20-June 14, 2016-PIMA Air and Space Museum, Aircraft Boneyard, groceries and Casino
Previous: Day 18-June 12, 2016-Laundry, pool and a nice cold beer


Diary Photos

House on way up mountain

View of Tucson from road

View

Panoramic

Us on road

View 1

View 2

View 3

View 4

View 5

View 6

View of road going up

View of road

View 7

View 8

View 9

Top of ski lift

Almost to the top of the mountain on ski lift

View from top of ski lift

View going down ski lift

View from ski lift

Us on skilift

Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley Sign

Houses on Mt. Lemmon

View 10

View 11

View 12

View 13

Diary Movies

View of town from Catalina Highway

Going up the ski lift

Coming down the ski lift


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