Located in Southern Arizona, Mt. Lemmon renders itself as having the highest peak in the Southern Catalina Sky Island. Standing at nearly 9,200 feet high, Mt. Lemmon has been home to a large number of groups over decades for its woodland resources and provided relief of heat from the desert floor. Other than its impressive physical stature and culturally appealing presence in Southern Arizona, Mt. Lemmon has acquired a number of characteristics that separate it from ‘any other mountain’.
Taking into consideration the name, many visitors of the massive sky island initially ponder why someone, or some people, came together to name a mountain after a fruit, let alone spell it incorrectly. But the mountain that requires driving visitors to snake up the Catalina Highway, (which is found Northeast of Tucson), was not named after a yellow fruit. Interestingly enough, this impressive rock in the Southwestern portion of the country was named after botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon. Highly regarded author Susan Hallgarth has said to have supported Lemmon verbally through words of recognition, such as referring to the respected botanist as “unwed, unreluctant, and unrepentant”. When speaking on the correlation between Mrs. mountain and the real thing, it is important to know that Sara Plummer Lemmon was taken on a guide led hike up the mountain in the 1880’s where Lemmon impressed her mountain guide so expansively with her fare, he offered naming the mountain after her. If you would like to read more information about Sara Plummer Lemmon and her expedition towards humble fame, please visit https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-history/2017/12/06/arizonas-mount-lemmon-named-feminist-pioneer-sara-plummer-lemmon/926789001/
Mt. Lemmon in a modern sense is utilized by many Pima County residents during the long summer months due to the need to find refuge from sticky heat. Because of Mt. Lemmon’s immense height and being over 5,000 feet from the desert floor, the summit of said mountain is recorded to be as much as twenty degrees cooler than that of Old Pueblo. But, it was not until well into the twentieth century that locals and residents had accessibility that was feasible enough to travel by car or other vehicles. Speaking of, it was a newspaper man who pushed for local city officials to pursue construction of a road that led to the summit of Mt. Lemmon. Prior to the road being built, Tucsonans and Sara Plummer Lemmon alike approached the summit from the north on foot, via the mining camp that was located in Pinal County. This approach was not easy for most, but those who had a will showed that they found a way. And as travel by car or automobile became prioritized and rose in popularity, a national movement called for the expansion of paved roads, which resulted in the finishing of the road that led to the summit. For more information regarding early access to the summit of Mt. Lemmon, please visit the site linked below to learn more:
An interesting fact about Tucson that involves the presence of Mt. Lemmon is found within the framework that is the climate. Because no one correlates cold weather to the flat desert that is Tucson, it is of slight surprise that Mt. Lemmon, located in Tucson, offers snow lovers the ability to ski and snowboard down the mountain. The Santa Catalina Ranger District is home to the southernmost ski range within the entire continental United States. And depending on snowfall and ski conditions, the season for skiing and snowboarding can run as long as mid-December through early April. And because Mt. Lemmon is located just an hour from the resorts of Tucson, visitors and locals alike can enjoy a day tanning in the pool and bundling up for snowboarding all in one day. The ability to ski in Tucson only expands the number of tourist attractions that Southern Arizona has to offer, creating another source of revenue for the city. If you’re captivated by the opportunity to ski and snowboard the same day that you sweat through three shirts in the dry heat that blankets Tucson, please visit this link for the park ranger’s phone number and information regarding the upcoming snow season:
The wildlife that can be found fruitiously on Mt. Lemmon is as appealing as the physical environments. Bobcats, Swallows, Mountain Kingsnakes, Woodpeckers, and a variety of trees find refuge in the greenery leading up to the summit, only inducing more interest in the area. Mt. Lemmon since its official initiation as a part of Tucson’s culture and community has pulled in thousands of visitors and locals through the advertisement of hiking trails and camp sites. Furthermore, some of the businesses that can be found on the mountain include a gift shop, a restaurant, a post office, and Mt. Lemmon Realty. The need for a realtor located on Mt. Lemmon stems from the residences and cabins that can be purchased on the market. Mt. Lemmon is diverse in a recreational nature, as well as it is stand alone.
To give an idea of how Mt. Lemmon came to be as a landmark, at the turn of the 20th century Mt. Lemmon was home to a major copper mining scene. And during the Cold War, the United States Air Force used the height of Mt. Lemmon to their advantage against enemy warfare. Scanning the sky for incoming explosives and potentially fatal enemy planes, the United States Airforce found refuge in the mountain. This was during the years 1956-1969, years in which mountains were used to the advantage of armies, in opposition for their modern use, (which can include searching the sky for stars and nebulae).
Beginning in 2008, Mt. Lemmon provided its stature to Don McCarthy, who began running Astronomy Camps for children and adults who find interest in exploring the universe from nearly 9,200 feet from the desert floor.