Summerhaven is a small town located at the end of the General Hitchcock (Catalina) Highway near the top of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Over 5000′ higher than Tucson Summerhaven has long been an escape from the summer heat and the shops, restaurants, access to trails and cooler temps make it a great destination.
Summerhaven DOES NOT have a gas station and there is no gas available on the drive up the mountain – it is 60 miles round trip from the Shell station on the northwest corner of Tanque Verde and Bear Canyon Road (the last gas station on the drive up), be sure you have enough gas for the trip up the mountain!
Businesses in Summerhaven – note that none of the businesses in Summerhaven have late/extended hours:
- The Mt. Lemmon General Store & Gift shop – Drinks, food, supplies and gifts – easily my most frequent stop in Summerhaven for a quick snack before the drive down the ountain.
- Sawmill Run Restaurant – American fair, bar and a great patio in the middle of Summerhaven.
- Mt Lemmon Cookie Cabin – Pizza (whole pies and by the slice) and cookies!
- Living Rainbow Gift Shop – Books and gifts.
- US Post Office – Located beside the Sawmill Run Restaurant
There are no motels/hotels in Summerhaven but there are a number of cabins that can you can arrange in advance to rent (try the Mt. Lemmon General Store’s page on rentals as a place to start).
Public Restrooms are located on the north side of the Mt Lemmon Community Center off of Turkey Run Road.
The Marshall Gulch Trailhead and Picnic Area is a popular area located just beyond Summerhaven – the picnic areas under the trees are lovely and the Aspen Trail, Marshall Gulch Trail and the Sunset Trail leave from the trailhead. There is a fee to use this area and it is often closed to vehicles in winter (you can still walk into the area when the gate across the road is closed). This area has limited parking and is very busy in good weather and on holiday weekends.
Driving Time and Distance
- 1 hour and 20 minutes from Speedway and Campbell
- 38.7 miles from Speedway and Campbell
- Miles up Highway: 24.8 miles
- Side of the Highway: Both
- Vehicle Access: Paved Roads/Passenger Car (Mountain Road - be careful of weather conditions!)
Fees and Services
- Fee: No
- Restrooms: Yes (Located on the north side of the Community Center off of Turkey Run Road)
- Water: Yes
- The Aspen Draw Trail is the only trail frequently/most conveniently accessed directly from Summerhaven. However if you are willing to add some road miles to your hike Summerhaven's central location between the Marshall Gulch Trailhead, Mint Spring Trailhead and Summit Trailhead can make it an interesting part of a loop (perhaps even with a cookie stop/snack/lunch stop in the middle!).
- Drive East on Speedway (5.0 miles)
- Left on Wilmot and continue on Tanque Verde (4.3 miles)
- Left on Catalina Highway (29.3 miles)
- Continue into Summerhaven on Sabino Canyon Parkway and find parking in Summerhaven - the most convenient parking is in the set of paved/striped spots on the west side of the road after passing Turkey Run Road (trying to park in Summerhaven on a busy/beautiful weekend day may be challenging).
- 2017/7/31 – Updated text, added Cookie Cabin link, added Summerhaven map