Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Mount Lemmon and the Mount Lemmon Highway are two of Tucson's most popular scenic locations. This gorgeous route weaves its way up from the Catalina Foothills to Summer Haven, which is perched close to Mount Lemmon's peak and makes for a great pit stop. The journey takes you through the Arizona High Desert's various altitude stages until you reach the top of Alpine coolness. There are several vistas and pull-outs along the way that provide breath-taking views of Tucson and the mountains beyond, while the drive itself twists and turns in perfect mimicry of the Swiss Alps.
If you have time, you should visit the unusual Cactus Forrest Drive in Saguaro National Park East, which is conveniently located just a few miles from Mount Lemmon's base and the beginning of the Mount Lemmon Highway.
There are pullout spaces all along Catalina Highway (the road up the mountain), so you'll have countless chances to temporarily park your car and take in the scenic views.
Make sure you have your phone handy because I can almost guarantee you'll want to take photos of the view.
For a date night, we recommend eating dinner at the Sawmill Run Restaurant, then heading south to Windy Point, which is a popular spot on the drive up the mountain, for views of Tucson's sparkling city lights.