Day 3: Santa Catalina Mountains
For a great, easy hike visit Sabino Canyon in the Catalinas. Sabino Canyon offers a paved road, (with bus to pick you up if you get tired!) restrooms along the way and wonderful scenery. You can start by taking the tram up the canyon (the trip is narrated by a ranger on the way up the canyon but not on the way down), and hiking down the paved path. If you enjoy getting off the pavement try the Telephone trail from the end of the Canyon back to the Visitor’s center. After lunch you can begin the drive up Mt. Lemmon on the Mt Lemmon Scenic Byway. The road (which ends up in the tiny town of Summerhaven) is 27 miles long and rises over 6,000 feet over the valley. The road is windy but very well maintained with lots of fantastic viewpoints, hiking trailheads, campgrounds. picnic areas and photo opportunities along the way. At the end of the road you’ll find the tiny mountain town of Summerhaven, the Mt Lemmon Ski area and the Mt. Lemmon Skycenter (where you can sign up to take part in UA’s Skynight Stargazing program). Bring a picnic dinner and watch the sunset from one of the fantastic outlooks. Note there is NO GAS on this road. Fill up before you head up the mountain!
Next: Day Four – Take a day trip into the Wild West