Mount Lemmon

  • Mount Lemmon
  • 2791 m
  • Primary factor 1578 m
  • Location: North 32:26.537, West 110:47.325 (GPS at the summit)
  • Arizona, USA
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1
  • Climbed: July 16, 2008


How to get there: 1.3 miles 30.4 miles sharp left turn (two lanes). The city of Tucson, Arizona is a good point of departure. Drive East Grant Rd., follow signs for Mount Lemmon and get on Catalina Hwy. (left turn). Further along, there is a sharp left turn (two lanes) for Mount Lemmon. Measure from this point. Drive uphill for 29.1 miles, you will pass a fee collection station, pay (2008) US dollar 5 if you plan to stop along the way. No fee is required if you just drive to the very top. At 29.1 miles, make a sharp right turn, then continue 1.3 miles to the base of the small ski area where there is parking on the right side. You may drive higher, but this location is reasonable if you want to stretch your legs and (at least sort of) say that you hiked the mountain. This parking is at location N32:26.910, W110:46.872, elevation about 2550 meter.
Route description: From this parking, hike along the road as it climbs to another parking area on the main crest and just below the summit. From here, go right and follow the road up to the astronomical observatory. The observatory is fenced in and has a few signs saying authorized personel only. When I was there, the gate was open and I just walked to the highest point which is located slightly to your right on a small road between some white astro-buildings.
Comments: I started out from our very nice "Base Camp", called Arizona Inn, after breakfast. The drive took about one hour and I started walking at 0920. I came to an open gate and ignored all the signs about "authorized personel", defining myself to be "authorized". I walked straight up to the highest point and took a careful GPS reading. Subsequently, I returned back down the small road and exited the gate. I was back at my car around 1015.
To read about the other peaks climbed on this trip, see this summary.