Mt Lemmon Cabin with Snow

The Best 5 Things to Do In Mt Lemmon According to Locals

The Best 5 Things To Do In Mt Lemmon According to Locals

The triple-digit temperatures in Tucson can be unbearable during the summer. Luckily, Mount Lemmon is only a drive away and the Mt Lemmon’s Weather is generally about 20 degrees cooler than our fiery climate in the summer and winter. Before planning your visit, you might want to check our Mt Lemmon Weather Webcam to find out if there is snow on Mt Lemmon, if Mt Lemmon is open today, or if there is a fire on Mt Lemmon.

There are so many other reasons to visit the Santa Catalina Mountains with their beautiful, rugged range with steep slopes and deep canyons, and strikingly diverse vegetation.

1. Eat at Local Mt Lemmon Restaurants

The restaurants in Mount Lemmon are a great way to experience the local cuisine. From The Cookie Cabins that will make your mouth water for cookies and ice cream, or the historic Sawmill Run which got its name from the Mount Lemmon Sawmill Co., or Iron Door with its homemade from-scratch chili, soups, sandwiches, and “mountain specials” such as green chili quiche and a bratwurst plate   – there’s something for everyone!


2. Shop Local Mt Lemmon Stores and Shops

If you’re looking for the perfect gift to commemorate your trip, or just want something unique and interesting then we have exactly what you need.  Find handmade items everything from exclusive jewelry pieces all the way up to locally sourced souvenirs that will make any occasion memorable!


There are plenty of stores in Summerhaven, and Mt Lemmon General Store seems to be on everyone’s list from T-Shirts to tools. Don’t forget to visit the Living Rainbow Gift Shop, The Motherlode Gift Shop, Sky Island Trading Company, And every weekend, the Mt. Lemmon Artisan Market.


If you like fudge, you will find amazing flavors at the Mt Lemmon General Store and  The Miner’s Sweet Tooth.



3. Explore the Santa Catalina Mountains

It doesn’t matter where you are in Tucson, one of the most impressive features is always nearby. The Santa Catalina Mountains frame our beautiful city with their stunning landscape that ranges from Saguaros at the bottom to pines on top– each ecosystem can be viewed here! One drive up Mount Lemmon Highway will give anyone an amazing view they’ll never forget as it winds through these gorgeous mountains full speed ahead towards views so vast no human could ever fully take them all in before turning around again just because there’s more than what meets eyes when looking out over this landmass filled only by nature…

If you’re in Tucson, don’t just take one look at the Santa Catalinas. Get up into their mountains for an immersive experience that will make your heart sing!

A great way for tourists who plan to visit Summerhaven and the Santa Catalina Mountains and want to enjoy the moment after sightseeing would be to make a reservation at Mt Lemmon Hotel at least 30 days in advance.


4.  See and learn about the night sky at the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory

The night sky is a magnificent place to explore and viewed with an expert. Those wildcat instructors at The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory know their stuff. They’ll answer all of your questions- even those regarding how you can see most stars in the Little Dipper plus many dimmer ones beyond it! You might be surprised by what you could see when looking towards Andromeda Galaxy or Saturn’s rings which are both breathtakingly gorgeous every night but will look different tomorrow.

This place is the best spot in town to see and learn about the night sky.

5. Stop and take in the scenery of the Santa Catalina Mountains

The views of Santa Catalina Mountain on your way to the top of Mt Lemmon as you climb are breathtaking, and you will want to pull over to enjoy the view. There will be a lot of curves but there are plenty of pullout spaces along the way so you can stop for some picnic action, a quick hike, or just enjoy taking it all in from afar.

Regardless of your plan, the 27-mile drive to Mt Lemmon is beautiful, no matter what the season is. It starts in the desert at 3,000 feet in elevation and ends in a mixed conifer forest at 9,100 feet, taking you through all the vegetation types in between.

In the mood for a challenging hike? Discover the 2.5 miles Tanque Verde Upper and Lower Falls Loop. Generally considered a challenging route, it takes an average of 1 h 10 min to complete. This trail is great for hiking, and it’s unlikely you’ll encounter many other people while exploring.

The romantic ski lift at the top of the mountain runs year-round and never disappoints. Follow that up with fresh air, crystal clear drinking water, and a strudel at the restaurant across from the Mt Lemmon Ski Lodge, and you have one amazing date day!

So, slow down, pull over and enjoy scenic views!