Backside of Mt. Lemmon
|Elevation||9,157 ft (2,791 m)|
|Prominence||5,157 ft (1,572 m)|
|Location||Tucson, Arizona, U.S.|
|Range||Santa Catalina Mountains|
|Easiest route||Catalina Highway|
Mount Lemmon (O'odham: Babad Doʼag) is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains, located in the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Arizona, United States. Peak elevation is 9157 ft (2791 m). It receives about 57 inches (1.4 m) of snow annually. Mount Lemmon received its English name in honor of botanist Sarah Plummer Lemmon, who trekked to the top of the mountain with Native American guides by mule and foot in 1881.
Summerhaven is a small town near the top of the mountain. It is a summer residence for many but there are some year round residents. There are many small cabins most of which were rebuilt after the Aspen Fire of July 2003.
Mount Lemmon Station Observatory
At the peak is the Mount Lemmon Observatory, which was formerly the site of a USAF radar base of the Air Defense Command, and the building that formerly housed a military emergency radar tracking station for landing the Space Shuttle at White Sands Missile Range. Although the United States military had a presence on the mountain for several decades all their facilities have been abandoned and were given to the United States Forest Service. The area and buildings that makes up the Mount Lemmon Station Observatory are leased from the Forest Service by the University of Arizona. The telescopes on the mountain are still used for astronomical research today by organizations such as the Catalina Sky Survey, and The Mount Lemmon Sky Center, The University of Arizona Astronomy Camp program, the University of Arizona, and the University of Minnesota. The educational resources at the top of the mountain make it a unique research and teaching destination.
The Catalina Highway, also called the Mount Lemmon Highway, as well as the Hitchcock Highway (after Frank Harris Hitchcock) runs up the Santa Catalina Mountains from the east side of Tucson up to Summerhaven, at the top of Mt. Lemmon. The beautiful, curving road is a favorite drive for tourists, for locals escaping summer's heat and cyclists, and has been recently designated as the Sky Island Parkway, part of the US National Scenic Byway system.
The highway and other roads around the area were used for the first training camp for professional cycling Team Radioshack in December 2009. 2010 saw the inaugural running of the Mount Lemmon Marathon.
A dirt "access" road to the summit on the "back side" of Mount Lemmon starts in Oracle, which is on state highway 77 northeast of Tucson. It offers a secondary route to the top. This route is popular with off-road 4x4 drivers and with off-road or dual-purpose motorcyclists. This road ends at the Catalina Highway near Loma Linda. Before the Catalina Highway was built it was the only route up the mountain.
- List of Ultras of North America
- List of Ultras of the United States
- Mount Lemmon Observatory
- Mount Lemmon Ski Valley
- Mount Lemmon Survey
- "America's 57 - the Ultras". Peaklist.org. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
- "Mount Lemmon". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
- "California Beat Hero: Sara Plummer Lemmon", May 27, 2009.
- Faherty, John. "Town of Summerhaven back after devastating fire". AZ Central. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Air Defense Radar Stations". Radomes Inc. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Wedding locations". Marry Me in Tucson. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Name change to Sky Island Parkway". Arizona Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
- Marc Lacey (17 October 2010). "A Finish Line With a Real High: 8,000 Feet". New York Times. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Backway to Mount Lemmon". Trails.com. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
Media related to Mount Lemmon at Wikimedia Commons