Looking at Arizona communities and exploring Arizona scenic attractions would not be complete without considering our avid skiers would rather be standing on the 9,157 ft, Mount Lemmon, which just happens to be the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Peak is actually part of the Coronado National Forest, on whose . Eastern slopes are the canyons, Spencer and Rose.
In case you are a history buff, you will be interested to know Mount Lemmon’s early beginnings… during World War II, a group of skiers made up of Lowell Thomas, a noted journalist and adventurer, a local forest ranger, and a number of Davis-Monthan serviceman, which included Thomas’ son, Art Devlin, a future Olympic ski jumper and Television commentator, formed the Sahuaro Ski Club. Not too long after, the well-known cartoonist, Paul Webb, created a patch and membership certificates for the club showing a skier wrapped around a saguaro cactus.
Thomas then sent “honorary” memberships to dozens of friends, famous personalities around the world, followed by a ski gala the first year with many of Thomas’ friends in attendance. Throw in a Forest Service lease, an old model “A” with its tires removed – to propel the rope tow – and Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley had it’s beginning.
Over the years its popularity grew as a resort that offers terrain for all levels of skiers on runs cut through the scenic pines. Each run offers beautiful views of the surrounding smaller hills and the dry desert seen far below in the distance. Not left to snow bunnies, summer visitors can take the ski lift up to an elevation of 9,100 ft, escape the summer heat, enjoy the alpine forest and views and get close and personal with birds and wildlife.