Sunday, 20 April 2014

Escaping the heat and heading for the hills!

Tucson was getting decidedly hot so a hike up on Mount Lemmon sounded like a good idea.
As you drive up the Catalina Highway the views are amazing, Tucson never feels like a big city, but looking down on it you realise just how big it really is.
Although we cycle we’re always impressed when we pass cyclists riding up the mountain, I’m not sure I’d make it to the first corner.

We parked at the trailhead and set off along the Bigelow Trail, it’s a nice trail through the trees.

There were also some pretty amazing rocks in places, I’ve no idea what type of rock this is but the colours were gorgeous and I loved the way it sparkled in the sunshine.

Arriving at a cross roads in the trail, we walked a little way over and took in the view of, I think, the San Pedro Valley.   The dead trees on either side of the trail, are, I think, the result of a forest fire.

Turning back to the Bigelow trail, we headed up the final section before we arrived at the fire lookout and communication towers at the top.

We followed the road round the top and, would you believe it, there was a parking area with a small Fiesta type car parked there! 

The view from the end of the parking area.

A little way down the road

a trail sign told us that it was 0.7 miles back to the Palisades visitor centre, we decided to go back the way we’d come, because as we’d only planned a short hike we hadn’t bothered with a map, so if we took a wrong turn along the way we could’ve ended up in Timbuctoo.   I know, I know you should always carry a map, but………………….

DB went to see if he could climb the fire lookout, but it was fenced and locked so he couldn’t. 

We chatted to a local couple for a while before heading back down the trail, where we saw a sign advising us that due to fire damage the trail could have loose rock, it did and it was much harder coming down. 

Would you believe that chatting and not paying attention as we neared the parking area we actually lost the trail and ended up coming out on the road by the visitor centre?   I’ve no idea how we managed that so it’s probably a very good job we didn’t take the other trail. 

Another view of the Catalina Highway.

The temperature on top of the mountain was in the high 60’s when we got back down into Tucson the truck thermometer hit 93 it felt like we were driving in an oven. 

Have fun, we are!


  1. Getting to be that time of the year when you need some elevation to escape the heat.