Backway to Mount Lemmon

Oracle, Arizona

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9 Reviews
4 out of 5
A fun, lightly-used backcountry road to popular Mt. Lemmon. Usually driven from south side on busy Catalina Highway. Camp in Coronado National Forest’s Peppersauce Campground. Well-maintained dirt road but very bumpy. Low range is helpful to climb the last few miles up the backside of Mt. Lemmon. Two-wheel drive, high-clearance adequate in dry weather. Snow and ice possible near top in late fall. Avoid during the winter.
Guide to Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails

by Charles A. Wells (FunTreks)

A fun, lightly-used backcountry road to popular Mt. Lemmon. Usually driven from south side on busy Catalina Highway. Camp in Coronado National Forest’s Peppersauce Campground. Well-maintained dirt road but very bumpy.

Low range is helpful to climb the last few miles up the backside of Mt. Lemmon. Two-wheel drive, high-clearance adequate in dry weather. Snow and ice possible near top in late fall. Avoid during the winter.

©  Charles A. Wells/FunTreks. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Oracle
Distance: 25
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Local Contacts: Coronado National Forest, Safford and Santa Catalina Ranger District
Local Maps: Arizona Atlas and Gazetteer; USGS Tucson; Coronado National Forest map
Driving Directions: Directions to Backway to Mount Lemmon

Recent Trail Reviews

6/25/2017
0

Pretty drive, few people on a Sunday summer morning. Am somewhat bemused by reviews that say "high clearance helps." I don't believe this is possible, or prudent, without a high clearance vehicle. Went over some very large (for a road) rocks and ruts in FWD Honda CR-V, which is a very high clearance vehicle. Taking a passenger car up this road would be inadvisable. Fine until maybe the last 8-10 miles. For off-roaders I'm sure this is easy (no navigation, just stay on main road…little traffic…rocks are possible to get over) but a 4WD vehicle is advised. If in 2WD, deflate tires to deal somewhat with large rocks and ruts on a few steep grades. I have minimal off-roading experience and some people are much more comfortable driving over pretty much anything in any vehicle (i.e. taking a mini-van through a creek bed with steep, slick rocks on either side LOL) but saying the Mt Lemmon road is feasible with a regular 2WD vehicle is optimistic.


6/6/2010
0

Not difficult, but high clearance helps. Great views. I really enjoy going up this trail on full moon summer nights with the top off the Jeep.


3/21/2008
0

Nice long drive. Funny that no other reviews mention the LOOP that you will see once down from Mt. Lemmon. It looks like a big U on a large hill. We've climbed this in our Land Rover LR3 and it is a bit more difficult than it looks. The tail up is very dry & loose rock. Fun little climb though. If you have a decent 4x4, check this out! We've done this trail a few times all from the mountain headed back North, never the reverse. It fact we've been down the back side just to do this little challenge climb, than headed back up the mountain again to get back to tucson.


10/27/2007
0

Great weather with great views. Around one of the corners we went eye to eye with a white tail deer. Great trip with the kids, got to see the remnants of the forest fire. Still alot of ash which made the topless trip a little dusty, but fun fishtailing around the corners.


10/20/2007
0

Great trip, beautiful day, wonderful scenery. My wife and I spent about 2.5 hours driving from Oracle up to Mt. Lemmon. We encountered just a few other drivers during our trip and everybody was enjoying the same wonderful day we were. We did take our Jeep Wrangler but didn't find any part of the trail that required 4x4 or any particularly complex driving. You would require some clearance on your vehicle. Ron



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May 2018