Scenic Routes: From Desert Floor to Mountain Forests via the Sky Island Byway

Sky Island Scenic Byway

image by Shepard4711 via Flickr

Location: Near Tucson, AZ
Length: 24 miles
View Route: Tucson to Mount Lemmon SkyCenter

Overview:
Cacti, waterfalls, wildflowers, rock formations, conifer forests—the natural beauty of the Sky Island Scenic Byway is incredibly diverse. Rarely can one experience a multitude of climates and landscapes within just 24 miles. The Byway begins in the Sonoran Desert and climbs 6,000 feet into the forests of the Santa Catalina Mountains. A series of viewpoints and overlooks line the Byway, inviting travelers to take in extraordinary vistas. Not surprisingly, the Byway also offers access to outdoor activities including hiking, rock climbing, fishing, skiing, and camping. The Sky Island Scenic Byway is easily accessible from Tucson, making this a perfect getaway for tourists in town for spring training baseball and other events.

Points of Interest:
Babad Do’ag Viewpoint, Molino Basin, and San Pedro Vista (hiking)
Bear Canyon (rock climbing)
Windy Point (views stretching to the Sierra San Antonio Mountains in Mexico)
Rose Canyon Lake (fishing, camping)
Mount Lemmon SkyCenter (observatory)
Mount Lemmon Ski Valley

Seasonal Notes:
While open all year, winter weather can cause sections of the Byway to be closed at higher elevations.

Before You Go:
Be sure to pack warm clothes, water, and any necessary gear for outdoor activities. Before you hit the road, update your vehicle’s navigation system map. Each map update includes the latest points of interest as well as new and modified roads throughout the United States.


image by Shepard4711 via Flickr

Ready to hit the road? Before you go, be sure to update your navigation system map. Click the appropriate brand logo below to access your map update.

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