Though the Control Road has been replaced by the paved Catalina Highway as the major access route to the mountain top, it still serves as a popular sight-seeing route for those willing to brave a little rough driving. (It's been made a little wider, too.)
In addition to the fact it is not paved, the Control Road differs from the Catalina Highway in another significant way. The highway, and most of the trails that scale the Santa Catalinas, are concentrated on the range's southwestern slopes. The Control Road winds down Mt. Lemmon's northeastern shoulder, offering a different perspective on the mountain and its surroundings.
If you approach the old road via the Catalina Highway, it drops off a high ridge just north of the Loma Linda Picnic Area. As it winds its way down the mountain, through an area of old mines and ranches, the road provides broad overlooks of the grassy, oak-covered foothills to the east. In the distance, the San Pedro Valley stretches to the Galiuro Range. Farther in the distance, the upper slopes of the Pinaleño Mountains and their northern neighbors, the Santa Teresas, are visible through low passes in the Galiuros. The stacks and tailings ponds of the copper smelter at San Manuel complete the panorama.
Road Conditions: This gravel road is suitable for high clearance vehicles. It may be closed during winter storms or require 4-wheel drive or chains.
Elevation: 4,600 Feet
Ending elevation: 8,000 Feet
Elevation Gain: 3,400 Feet
Distance: 25+ Miles
Directions: From Tucson, From Tucson, follow the Catalina Highway to milepost 24.5, just beyond the Loma Linda Picnic Area, and turn right (northeast) onto FR 38. Follow FR 38 (the Control Road) straight past the Mt. Lemmon Fire Station and a road that forks to the right and continue down the mountain.
- Be the first to Review
Ccoronado National Forest
Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.
- Tucson, AZ Hotel Prices Made Easy
Orbitz.com - Just Orbitz and go!
- Hotel Deals in Tucson, AZ
Expedia.com - Don't just travel. Travel right!
- Book Now with Cheap Tickets and Save on Tucson, AZ Hotels!
CheapTickets.com - Just click. You're there.
- Find the best rates for hotels in Tucson, AZ
Kayak.com - Life's a trip.