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Little know area near Tucson


johnlt

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One of the best short rides in southern Arizona is the ride up Mount Lemmon. The mountain starts at the city limits of Tucson and it is about 30 miles one way for a nice 60 mile round trip. Actually, it is only ~5 miles “as the crow flies” from Tucson to the top. You have a wonderful paved road with many twisties that rises through the desert into a ponderosa pine and aspen wonderland including a ski slope with chair lift. . It is truly hard to believe this is all in southern Arizona within 70 miles of the Mexican border. Take a look:

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Our Mount Lemmon Ski area:

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And the top (as far as the road goes).

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Looks like some fun roads!!!!!

 

...and great pix!!!!

 

 

:thumbsup:

 

No kidding! We need to descend on this place and others around it.

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Not only the paved roads Phil. There is a switchback dirt road that goes all the way down the backside of the mountain. Very similar to the one that goes down Copper Canyon.

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters

Spot on John! One of my local favorites too. Gets a little dicey from time to time with the crotch rockets, but the local Leo's seemed to have reeled that in as of late. You need to do a photo essay on the mini grand canyon heading down from Sho Lo to Globe. That is eye candy and great roads as well.

 

Great pics!

 

Rich

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Is there a reason you didn't go down the North side?

 

Yeah, I'm saving that delightful ride until Whip comes out. Descending down that backside to Oracle then taking the San Pedro river road (also dirt) to Redington Road (medium hard dirt) and coming back over Redington Pass is a great loop but it takes all day........ that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

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I grew up in Tucson and have been up to Mt. Lemon many times. It is definitely a gem for the community but don't try and get up there on a weekend in the summer as the line is all the way up the mountain with locals trying to escape the heat.

 

Sabino Canyon is another gem but they closed it off to traffic and you have to take a tram to the top. I used to ride my bicycle up there but they closed it to bicycles.

 

For those of you that enjoy getting dirty there is a dirt road, Reddington Pass, that runs behind the Santa Catalina mountains that starts at the end of E. Tanque Verde. If you take this road around to San Miguel and then Rosendo Road you can eventually find your way up to Mt. Lemmon and the little town of Summerhaven. I have never done it myself, only heard about. I am sure it would be a blast on a GS.

 

Cheers!

 

Todd

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters
Is there a reason you didn't go down the North side?

 

Yeah, I'm saving that delightful ride until Whip comes out. Descending down that backside to Oracle then taking the San Pedro river road (also dirt) to Redington Road (medium hard dirt) and coming back over Redington Pass is a great loop but it takes all day........ that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

I did this ride several times on my DR350 and once in my Jeep. Lesson learned with the Jeep though. I shredded a tire trying to be polite by pulling off to the side. Bad news is that I only had a doughnut for a spare. Very interesting ride back down. Yikes!

Of course I immediately went and bought full size spare.

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Hey Whip,

 

If you and the "little" missus ever decide to go to Tucson and try the road out for yourself, stay at the Westward Inn Resort. Fantastic place , great views, quiet and serene and good food at the restaurant.

 

Cheers!

 

Todd

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Hey John, Wish I was there!

 

Have made two trips to Copper Canyon with John, Both times leaving from John's house in Tuscon. Mt Lemmon was our tune up ride the day before both times. It is a great ride. Up the paved side then down the dirt side. The first time when we got into some snow near the top, it got pretty interesting. Beautiful place.

 

Marty

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Aaaah, what memories! The first time I went to Mt. Lemmon was in late '64, back when Speedway turned into desert at Wilmot and at Sneaky Pete's you could get a 32 oz. T-bone for free if you could finish it in less than an hour. My first 'motorcycle', a Honda 90. Road up on a bet with a friend who had a Honda 50. One of us said we could get there, the other said we couldn't. We had had a couple of soda pops and were in street clothes. But it was warm and sunny when we left. Not too far from the top we were greeted by a few inches of snow on the road and it was C-O-L-D! We made it, stayed about 10 seconds and headed down.

 

But that was child's play compared to another run up the mountain. Four of us in a VW Beetle, at night, one headlight out. The driver, a daring co-ed with an apparent death wish, decided we should descend on the north side. It wasn't much more than a cow trail, no guard rails, started to snow, turning around impossible. I could just see the next day's headlines, or maybe a few days later after they found the wreckage. None of us had any idea where we were going and I still don't know how we got back to Tucson.

 

I tell y'all, it was great to be young and crazy, better 'n old and crazy. :dopeslap:

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Worthy Tale Paul

 

I had a similar experience in 1986 there with a baja bug and my two South African Roommates. We had a glorious snowball fight and then rolled down the hill with a pretty much brakeless bug.

 

Tucson is still a wonderful place to me

 

 

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