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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The outdoors isn’t all about the heat

    The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has species you dont see often, like mountain lions.
    The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has species you don’t see often, like mountain lions.

    With the summer sun blazing down on Tucson everyday, it is hard to remember what remarkable beauty rises from the desert landscape. There are so many outdoor places in the city that can be visited and appreciated. Below are some choice examples:

    Located in the Catalina Mountains, Mount Lemmon offers a lot to do for those students who like to spend their weekends breathing in crisp, clean air. Its peak stands 9,157 feet above sea level, offering a cool alternative to the heat.

    Located on Mount Lemmon is the observatory used by the UA. This observatory was the former site of a radar base and the telescope was once used as an emergency tracking station to aid the landing of the Space Shuttle at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

    Also on Mount Lemmon is Ski Valley, the southernmost ski destination in the United States. Prime ski weather usually occurs between mid-December and April.

    Other things to do during the year include hiking and biking. Cabins can also be rented in the town of Summerhaven, located at the top of the mountain.

    Visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, if you love desert life and want to experience more of it. The museum encompasses more than 100 acres of Sonoran Desert landscape and offers all kinds of attractions, including a zoo, a natural history museum and a botanical garden.

    The exhibits are presented as “”living exhibits,”” showing the relationships among plants and animals in the Sonoran Desert. Animals in the zoo include endangered species such as the Mexican wolf, thick-billed parrot, Isla San Esteban chuckwalla and the Apache trout. Other exhibits include dinosaur fossils, desert landscapes and botanical gardens. Eighty-five percent of the museum is located outdoors in the desert air, making it a great destination for students to take their parents when they come to visit.

    If you don’t feel like roughing it in the mountains or spending money at a museum, El Presidio Park, 115 N. Church Ave., is a great option for you. Located at the intersection of East Alameda Road and North Church Road, the park offers a laid-back approach to spending time outside. It features an historical landmark created in 1775 when a Spanish army built a large fortress on the land. The landmark later became the center of Tucson. All that is left of the presidio is a plaque commemorating the site. Most of the park is cement, giving it a more urban feel.

    Whether you choose to take a hike in the mountains, take in the beauty of the Sonoran Desert or take a moment to appreciate Tucson’s history, it is easy to find fun outdoor activities in Tucson.

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