Driving Time and Distance from Tucson
- 1 hour and 25 minutes from Speedway and Campbell
- 41.6 miles from Speedway and Campbell
- Miles up Highway: 27.7 miles
- Side of the Highway: Down-mountain
- Vehicle Access: Paved Roads/Passenger Car (Mountain Road - be careful of weather conditions!). Closed to motor vehicles in winter (December 15 to March 1 - dates subject to change depending on weather/conditions).
Fees and Services
- Fee: Yes ($5 or Interagency Pass - Coronado National Forest Fee Information)
- Restrooms: Yes (may be closed in winter when the road is closed to vehicle traffic)
- Water: No
- The final 1.7 miles of the drive to this trailhead are closed to motor vehicles in winter (December 15 to March 1 - dates subject to change depending on weather/conditions) - while the road is still open to non-motorized travel consider accessing this area via Summerhaven and the Aspen Draw Trail or from the Mint Spring Trailhead and the Mint Spring Trail/Aspen Trail.
- The Summit Trailhead 0.2 miles down the road does not offer a restroom or picnic area and there is no fee to park in that area.
If you are curious about the fenced off area at the top of the mountain the University of Arizona SkyCenter runs programs inside the Mount Lemon Observatory Area.
Driving Directions from the Speedway and Campbell intersection in Tucson - Mount Lemmon Recreation Area:
- Drive East on Speedway (5.0 miles)
- Left on Wilmot and continue on Tanque Verde (4.3 miles)
- Left on Catalina Highway (29.1 miles)
- Turn right on Ski Run Road (2.7 miles). Note that 1.4 miles up Ski Run Road at Ski Valley and the Iron Door Restaurant there is a gate that is closed seasonally that blocks the last 1.7 miles of the road (Lemmon Rock Road) - when the gate is closed foot traffic up the road is still allowed but consider using the Aspen Draw Trail to access this area (it won't save you time compared to walking the road but has good parking in Summerhaven and is very beautiful!)
- Continue 0.2 miles past the Summit Trailhead (a gravel parking area on the down-mountain side of the road) to the Mount Lemmon Recreation Area. The trailhead is near a fenced in power station - there is a (normally) closed gate into the Mount Lemon Observatory Area just after the turn for the trailhead - if you drive into the fenced in Mount Lemon Observatory Area you have gone too far...