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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mt. Lemmon: More than a mile high, perfect for stargazing

    Each week, the Daily Wildcat offers suggestions on how to spend your weekend.

    As we approach the halfway point of the semester (and the midterms that come with it), now is the perfect time to get out of town and mentally prepare yourself for the coming personal hell. Tucson’s arid desert climate might not seem promising to the average camping aficionado, but in truth, the area holds several different options for the outdoorsmen among us.

    Mt. Lemmon is one such destination that towers above the rest.
    With a summit more than 9,000 feet above sea level in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Mt. Lemmon boasts a variety of attractions for the college student who needs to get away.

    Most campers and first-time visitors drive the Catalina Highway from the east side of Tucson. Despite the new (and boring) name change to Sky Island Highway by the United States’ Scenic Byway program, the highway still remains worth the drive. It goes all the way up to Summerhaven, the small town at the top of Mt. Lemmon, and features several scenic viewpoints along the way.

    Mt. Lemmon also houses an astronomical observatory at its peak. This state-of-the-art facility is the perfect place for stressed students to further escape into the beauty of nature. After all, there’s no better way to gain perspective (and remind yourself that midterms aren’t the end of the world) than by looking to the cosmos.

    And for those who have driven the highway several times and are just looking for good camping site suggestions, Mt. Lemmon features several suitable locations.

    The General Hitchcock Campground is of particular note. Located at close to 6,000 feet, the secluded, 11-site campground puts campers right by a creek and away from all the RVs and trailers (which are strongly discouraged). So if you need to get away from everything for a while — and are in the mood to sit down to beers with friends in nature — a quick weekend trip to Mt. Lemmon might be exactly what’s needed.

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