My car at Babad Do'ag Vista point where I stopped to make a phone call.
Mount Lemmon is actually in the Coronado National Forest area, it covers a huge portion of the Coronado National Forest. When you first start travelling to Mount Lemmon, the landscape is so dry and unfriendly until you gain height to about 5000 feet and then the environment of these ranges is a total departure from what you'll find on the low lands: total change from dry dusty brown lands to green pines, hills and a combination of undulating hills. Temperatures are far lower up here and water is relatively abundant, and the wildlife, fauna and flora are largely what you'd expect to find high in the Rocky Mountains.
Coronado National Forest protects the twelve "sky islands of Southwestern Arizona which are the real treasure houses of the region.
I decided to go hiking all by myself this morning, I have been meaning to hike Mt. Lemmon again since my last hike of the Look out a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful morning and my friend Wayne had just left after a night cap at my house following some down time he has been having. He went off by 7:30 to take food to the soup Kitchen, I could not be helpful since the people he works with have him sworn to secrecy. I made some coffee, backed my hiking pack with water and Gatorade, picked my pink hat and headed off to the Catalina highway.
Along the highway, I decided to count how many hiking trail heads were along the highway 'that should be fun I thought?', well did not succeed in coming up with a definite number because I was snapping pictures as I drove up and gained elevation with each turn. The Trailheads are as many as the Vista points, what is challenging is how winding the road is and how fast some people drive on what is clearly marked 25 and 35 speed limits. By the time I left Tucson it was a little over 92 degrees, I could not wait to get up there. Did I mention the views from up there are spectacular and you can literally experience all four seasons during a single day's journey, spending the morning wandering among giant saguaros and colorful wildflowers, having a picnic lunch under the brilliant golden leaves of a cottonwood tree, and playing in the snow later in the afternoon (well this is common in the earlier part of the year and later in the year).