Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Mt Lemmon Scenic Byway is the only paved road that leads to the upper reaches of Mt. Lemmon and the Santa Catalina Range. It is one of the most scenic drives in southeast Arizona. It provides access to a fascinating land of great vistas, outlandish rockscapes, cool mountain forests and deep canyons spilling out onto broad deserts.

Because the road starts in the Lower Sonoran vegetative life zone and climbs to the high forests of the Canadian zone, it offers the biological equivalent of driving from the deserts of Mexico to the forests of Canada in a short stretch of 27 miles. Here you’ll find plants and animals and geology that exhibit some of the most wide-ranging natural diversity to be found in any area of comparable size in the continental United States.

As you drive up the mountain, every turn seems to reveal something new. In some places that may be a community of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers different from the one just around the previous curve. In others, it may be a new gallery of natural rock sculptures even more impossibly perched than the last, or a broader panorama that stretches in an entirely different direction than the one that caused you to stop and snap a photo just a few moments before.

For your convenience, there are turnouts at scenic overlooks and several campgrounds and picnic areas. Dozens of hiking trails offer access to the mountain’s backcountry canyons and ridges

Visit USA. Epic USA Adventure route © Monika & Simon Newbound. All rights reserved 2017

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