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Old 02-16-2012, 11:46 PM   #31
kobukan OP
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2/13/12 - continued

A ride to Mt. Lemmon

At my fuel stop in Tucson I could see Mt. Lemmon in the background. It may not look like much from here, but donít let that fool you.




Mt. Lemmon Highway is beautiful paved road that winds about 25 miles up to the top of Mt. Lemmon. I expected it to be pretty nice, but it was way beyond my expectations. Some of the most beautiful vistas Iíve seen anywhere and constantly changing as the road climbs up to 8,000 feet. On one side are views toward Tucson, and on the other the San Pedro River Valley.

At lower elevation as the road began to wind up into the mountains there were many cactus's.


Looking out over Tucson


A little higher up - less cactus, more rock, beautiful views and awesome road.










Near the top - overlooking the San Pedro River Valley.


At the top I stopped briefly at the Mt. Lemmon General Store for a piece of fudge, which turned out to be quite delicious.




At the end of the road there's a chair lift that apparently goes to a scenic overlook. It didn't appear to be running at the time so I took a quick pic and got ready to make my way back down the mountain.


Saw this sign just as I was starting back down. Watch out for bears.


If you're ever in the Tucson area I would highly recommend a ride up Mt. Lemmon. I don't think you'd be disappointed. The road is in excellent condition and there is a very diverse landscape with ever-changing magnificent views in all directions. A must see if you're in the area imo.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:27 AM   #32
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great continuation. did you know that there's a easy dirt road that goes down the other side of mt. lemon and drops you out in oricle? fun little run.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:18 AM   #33
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great continuation. did you know that there's a easy dirt road that goes down the other side of mt. lemon and drops you out in oricle? fun little run.
Yes, the control road. I would love to ride it sometime, but it was closed when I was up there. I thought it might be a pretty rough road - surprised to hear it's an easy run. Thanks for the info. Is it usually closed in the winter months?
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:49 AM   #34
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Rr

Simply Awesome!! Thank you for taking the time to post and please kep it coming.
Safe Travels
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:44 AM   #35
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Ahh... good ol' AZ

Tucson was home for me for a few years, a few years back. It's a great place with tons of dirt roads to explore. It was a huge (and fun) culture shock for a guy from western NY! Thanks for the pics and report, it brings back great memories of my explorations there. Great mountain biking on Mt Lemon. We used to tear it up on our crotch rockets when the sun went down and the tourists went away. Back side of Mt Lemon is pretty uneventful but being dirt, worth checking out when the snow melts. I can't remember the name of the hole in the wall town you pop out in but it left an impression on me. I can't wait to head down there on the wr and explore again.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:57 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by kobukan View Post

Boy, I be you saw this scene and thought you were riding out Rt. 5 towards Waterboro and Little Ossippee. Just so similar to Maine. LOL
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:09 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by crjdirt View Post
Tucson was home for me for a few years, a few years back. It's a great place with tons of dirt roads to explore. It was a huge (and fun) culture shock for a guy from western NY! Thanks for the pics and report, it brings back great memories of my explorations there. Great mountain biking on Mt Lemon. We used to tear it up on our crotch rockets when the sun went down and the tourists went away. Back side of Mt Lemon is pretty uneventful but being dirt, worth checking out when the snow melts. I can't remember the name of the hole in the wall town you pop out in but it left an impression on me. I can't wait to head down there on the wr and explore again.
I passed quite a few bicycles on the road up Mt. Lemmon. On my way up one guy flew by me on his way down - not sure how fast he was really going, but it looked like he was doing about 50 mph - crazy!

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Boy, I be you saw this scene and thought you were riding out Rt. 5 towards Waterboro and Little Ossippee. Just so similar to Maine. LOL
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:36 AM   #38
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Awesome pics, K! Your report has me super excited about my trip. I'm hitting the road this evening and hope to reach CA by next Tuesday.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:22 PM   #39
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Awesome pics, K! Your report has me super excited about my trip. I'm hitting the road this evening and hope to reach CA by next Tuesday.
Dang, that's a long haul. Have a blast in Death Valley. If all goes well I'll be at Gonzaga Bay in Baja by then.

Safe travels.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:23 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by kobukan View Post
Yes, the control road. I would love to ride it sometime, but it was closed when I was up there. I thought it might be a pretty rough road - surprised to hear it's an easy run. Thanks for the info. Is it usually closed in the winter months?
yup. they close it for the snow. don't know why, i've never encountered that much snow on it. once you get to the lower elevations, you can explore peppersauce cave. if you google it, you'll find it. before you get to peppersauce campground, a short hike, maybe 1/4 mile from the road. rather extensive cave system. super fun.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #41
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yup. they close it for the snow. don't know why, i've never encountered that much snow on it. once you get to the lower elevations, you can explore peppersauce cave. if you google it, you'll find it. before you get to peppersauce campground, a short hike, maybe 1/4 mile from the road. rather extensive cave system. super fun.
More great info . . . thank you. I'd like to check out Peppersauce Cave sometime, maybe even spend a night at the campground.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:06 PM   #42
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I can't take to much credit as it's as much a function of a lack of time as it is by design. I'm sure some folks will find it lacking in entertainment value as it does not include a long story. Anyway, I'm glad you like it, now if I can just get it up to date.
Don't sweat it. Halfthe fun or more of a ride report is reliving your ride when you write it.








PS - Just because you've finally done this up proper doesn't mean you don't suck.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:03 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by kobukan View Post
Back in June/July of 2003 most of that mountain had burned in a monstrous fire. Your picture above reminded me of that. Courtesy of this site...

"The village of Summerhaven, atop the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona, is recovering from the devestating fire on Thursday, June 19, 2003. That fire destroyed tens of thousands of acres of forest land and wiped out 325 of 450 structures on the mountain.
The fire was extinguished when the summer monsoon rains finally arrived on July 15.
Most of the burned down structures were residential and summer home cabins. Nearly all of the dozen businesses in Summerhaven are gone. The Alpine Cafe surived and reopened on July 25.
The charred remains caused millions in structural damages, not including the value of contents inside the homes and businesses. Some of the radio towers have been melted, but the observatory was spared.
Thire fire burned burned over 85,000 acres across the top of the range and on both the north and south sides all the way down to Ventana Canyon. The Canyon homes and Ventana Canyon Resort was evacuated for a few days before the fire was finally put out by the rains."

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Did you know that Mt. Lemon is the southernmost ski resort in the whole United States? In the summertime, that ski lift is a lot of fun and the view from the top is spectacular. Right behind you, (if it still exists after the fire) is a little restraunt that makes the best hot chocolate. I used to drive up there just for the hot chocolate.

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This sign should not be taken lightly. They are up there and over the years, there have been quite a few bear attacks. Great stuff!!!
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:37 PM   #44
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Back in June/July of 2003 most of that mountain had burned in a monstrous fire . . .
There is evidence of fires almost everywhere I ride out here it seems. My brother's house in Sierra Vista was in danger of being lost in the fire that burned thru here last June while he and his wife were visiting me in Maine. The day before they left Maine to return home the fire in Sierra Vista was on national news as we watched from my house. His street was evacuated and they weren't even allowed to go in to get things out when they got back to Sierra Vista. They spent about a week in a hotel waiting to see if the fire would be contained before their house burned. Fortunately, the winds resided long enough for firefighters to gain control and eventually contain the fire. Scarey stuff!
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #45
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Many, many, many hours of research. I've acquired quite a few tracks here on ADV, along with a few other places.

advice like "just start familiarizing yourself with the main dirt roads and than start exploring" -
Just like any good explorer you "are" following this advice. If you realize it or not, I am not sure.

From what I've seen, you are riding the MAIN dirt roads and assphault routes.

CONGRATS, You have rode more of SE. AZ. in a shorter time frame than a lot of local riders have in years.

We are blessed in the west with A LARGE AMOUNT OF PUBLIC LAND. The best stuff is found while exploring after you know where you are,
and know where you are allowed to be!

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