Hiking to Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout

Coronado National Forest Travel Blog

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Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout Hike: June 28, 2009 (Africancrab)

HIKING IN THE MOUNTAINS AT AN ELEVATION OF 9,000; HOW REFRESHING. Sunday was a quiet and beautiful morning, I decided to join my hiking buddy Mr. X on a hike to Mt. Lemmon Lookout (which I might add I had long since looked forward to hiking).  The evening before, I had received a daily update on what hikes were scheduled for the next day: two were promising, but the Mt. Lemon Lookout topped the list of the places I wanted to go hiking. A total of 8 seasoned hikers (advanced), had signed up to hike including Steve (Mr. X), a reasonable size I thought. The only other party not seasoned in hiking was Matt (siualumn). I put together my hiking gear and set them by the door to the entrance of my apartment, set my alarm clock for 6:00 am.

Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout Hike: June 28, 2009. Matt, Harriet & Bill
to avoid over sleeping since it would not be a working day and my biological clock readjusts itself based on whether or not I have to go to work. The sun peering through  my rather white blinds woke me up at half past 5:00 a.m. and the need to go to the bathroom did not help either: once I was out of bed, that was it, I did not return to sleep. Matt (siualumn) who is one of the newer members to SAAC had contacted me the day before about car pooling so we agreed to meet at my apartment at quarter to seven so we would have coffee at Le Buzz before commencing the hike. I did not want to go on an estimated 4 hour hike on an empty stomach.

Matt kept time and I drove, we got to Le Buzz a little after seven am.

Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout Hike: June 28, 2009
and found Bill waiting by himself. Many of the confirmed members did not show up so we ended up being just the three of us (Bill, Matt and I). Mr. X who had sent me a message the night before about car pooling, all of a sudden was unavailable on phone and there was no message telling me whether or not he had decided against the hike. Matt and I car-pooled in my car to meet the others at Le Buzz which was the meeting place before the drive up to the Ski Valley. At Le Buzz, Matt and I, decided to have coffee inviting Bill to join us, Bill declined the offer for coffee so Matt and I went ahead and ordered coffee, I added a piece of banana nut cake as an accompaniment. Bill said he was okay but would join us: the coffee felt so good as I was hungry following a night without dinner. I felt rather exhausted after a week of 10-12 hour work days, but I talked myself into hiking to relieve some of my stress and fatigue.
Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout Hike: June 28, 2009
The hike was a relatively easy one in the cool climes of Mt. Lemmon. We drove up the only paved highway through the Catalina mountains to the Ski Valley where our hike began. Bill had hiked this trail before and was comfortable leading the hike through while educating us on the different regions he had been fortunate enough to hike through out Arizona and the mid west . . . we arrived at the Ski Valley car pot and parked underneath a shade tree to keep the car away from the glare of the sun.

At a little over 800 feet the heat was still a threat. Our trail began at the bottom of the ski valley with a down drop and then a steady climb to higher elevation, Bill lead the trail while I tailed it and we moved at a manageable pace.

Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout Hike: June 28, 2009
I continued to feel the altitude pressure after about a mile up through the forested trail the elevation climb was steady but steep. I could not manage all the talking, Bill and Matt seemed to have a steady conversation about their careers in the tourism/aviation industry, sharing years of employment, team members who had relocated from one place to another etc. I held my breath and followed the path, making brief stops to catch my breath the closer we drew to the summit. I could not have been more thankful for the shade from the rather giant tall trees on the mountain top, the sound of birds chirping and  the whisper of the wind in the trees. The dead trees provided colour amongst the green and brown stems and foot paths and the wild flowers invited us to stop as we went by. It took us  a good hour to get to the Ski top where the view was absolutely amazing.

Africancrab says:
You are welcome Michael, indeed I should love to hike in New Zealand. It is one of my dream destinations. You should write about the tramping, I will promise to be your avid Tramping blog fan. Thanks, much appreciated.
Posted on: Jan 19, 2010
mkrh says:
Harriet,

Thanks for your hiking stories...they are very good. In New Zealand we use the word 'Tramping' and there are many tramping clubs to work the many moutain and hill walks we have in the country...if you ever make it here to NZ then I think you would enjoy the walks here

Michael
Posted on: Jan 19, 2010
Africancrab says:
OMG, you are kidding? wow the next time you come down here wer should go hiking. Awesome! Yes the fires was really bad, we stopped at Summer Haven and many people have still not built their homes back. The hills are still bare and the fired burned trees that survived are still bare and black.
Posted on: Jul 01, 2009
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Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout Hike: June…
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Matt at the car and Bill strapping…
Matt at the car and Bill strappin…
Bill strapping up his hiking boots
Bill strapping up his hiking boots
Matt checking his water
Matt checking his water
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Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout Hike: Jun…
Bill and Matt at the beginning of …
Bill and Matt at the beginning of…
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A surviving tree for the fire
A surviving tree for the fire
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Bill and Matt watching a squirrel …
Bill and Matt watching a squirrel…
The change in terrain as we hiked …
The change in terrain as we hiked…
The change in terrain as we hiked …
The change in terrain as we hiked…
The change in terrain as we hiked …
The change in terrain as we hiked…
The change in terrain as we hiked …
The change in terrain as we hiked…
The change in terrain as we hiked …
The change in terrain as we hiked…
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Mt. Lemmon Rock Lookout Hike: Jun…
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Look how tall these trees are, I c…
Look how tall these trees are, I …
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Mountain cyclists
Mountain cyclists
Mountain cyclists
Mountain cyclists
Finally at the top, but not to the…
Finally at the top, but not to th…
finally to the top of the ski vall…
finally to the top of the ski val…
We literally had to ring the bell …
We literally had to ring the bell…
Finally at the lookout tower
Finally at the lookout tower
Stairway to the Lookout
Stairway to the Lookout
This is the man - the fire lookout…
This is the man - the fire lookou…
Bill, Glen and Matt
Bill, Glen and Matt
Glen, me and Matt
Glen, me and Matt
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Coronado National Forest
photo by: Africancrab