Catalina Highway (Sky Island)

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 7 visitors


State: Arizona
Date Submitted: November 1, 2006
Submitted by: Craig Littlefield
Motorcycle Road Length: 29 (one way) Miles

Written Directions

Start your route at the start (west end) of Catalina Hwy (at the intersection of Catalina Hwy and Tanque Verde Road in the North East corner of Tucson Arizona ... just click on the online map link above to see it). Once you get on Catalina Hwy, just head northeast and it is 4 miles til the twisties start and the curves and scenery just keep on getting better and better! Your route ends when you get to the small town of Summerville, AZ.

Scenery  

29 miles each way going from 2800 feet elevation to almost 10,000 feet into the Santa Catalina Mountain Range. Views of canyons, valleys, lush forest, rocky outcrops, and breath taking vistas all the way. It's the only paved road that leads you to the top of Mt. Lemmon and is noted as being one of the most scenic roads in all of the South West. It dead ends at a dirt road so you get to do it twice, once each way.

Road Quality  

Nice 25 to 50 MPH curves the whole way. Recently resurfaced. Little traffic and few officers of the law.

Roadside Amenities  

Some small restaurants in a small village, Summerhaven, at the top. Don't go for the food, go for the ride.

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . - Arizona Travel

Nickname (optional) Craig Littlefield

 

Photos/Videos

Add a Photo Add a Video





Ratings/Reviews

 

Reviewed by Guest on October 5, 2010
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Area Man
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: I would give it a 10 if not for the Sheriff and the traffic. On weekends, wait for the pipe to clear out if you want to have any fun. Easily a 70 mph road although posted at 35.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on November 27, 2009
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Greg
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: BMW
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: Rode it twice today on Thanksgiving, very little traffic. Most driver pulled out, the rest are pylons. Rode it again after dark. Had it to myself. Easily you can run it double the posted limit for a strong rider. Watch the surface change at the highest view point. No LEO until town. Worth the trip to AZ.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on February 14, 2008
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: J Carter
motorcycle_year: 2001
motorcycle_make: OTHER
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: This is indeed a great road to spend the afternoon on. Great scenery and decent pavement. The only drawback is the commuter traffic. This is especially bad during the weekends as you get sight seeing groups, campers, residents of Summerhaven, and other motorcyclists. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND RIDING THIS ON A WEEKDAY BETWEEN 9:00 a.m. and 3:00. You will have the road to yourself and be able to continue at your own pace.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Jerry G on June 9, 2012
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Jerry G
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Enduro
Comment: Great ride both up and down the mountain!! There are lots of twists and turns. Once at the top there are some great places to eat. Enjoy the ride.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on March 30, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Stephanie
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Other
Comment: Just rode up to the top of Mt. Lemmon and it was awesome. Spent the week prior in New Mexico and this ride topped it! The scenery was breathtaking, the rock formations were incredible and to think they actually do have a ski hill in Arizona!
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on March 25, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Matthew
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: A great road for so many reasons. The road itself is well maintained, with great curves, straightaways, and twisties. Climbing from 2500 to 8000 feet lets you take in the change in foliage and temperature. The views of the valley floor are amazing. In many places it's just you the road, and an open view of the whole area. It really is as close to flying that you can get while being attached to the ground. Summerhaven is a nice little village at the top. Make sure to stop by the Cookie Cabin for a plate-sized cookie and a drink (anything from coffee to cold root beer). Sitting on the porch, listening to the wind rush through the pine trees is a great relaxation point. Also, there are many many trailheads for you to go on hikes. There's Rose Canyon lake for fishing. There's campgrounds and picnic areas. The trip can really be an afternoon, a day, or a weekend adventure.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on June 8, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Chris R
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: Since this was written, the local LEOs are watching this road pretty closely. You can never be sure there will be none up there, but minimise risk by going early on a weekday. The posted speed limit is 35 all the way, which is just not quite enough to really enjoy the twisties.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Visitors who liked this road trip also liked:

The Three Sisters (AKA The Twisted Sisters)- Ranch Roads 335, 336,337a (100%)
Tunnel of Trees Road (49%)
The Triple Nickle - Route 555 (47%)
Beartooth Pass (37%)
Arkansas Pig Trail - Arkansas 23 (35%)

     

Features

Top 100 Motorcycle Roads

See the top 100 rides & routes in the US according to the MotorcycleRoads.com - ''Riders' Rating'' voting system.

Click here

(New!) Sturgis Anyone???

Our latest InfoGraphic shows you -

The 5 Most Popular Motorcycle Roads near Sturgis!

How Popular is Motorcycling in Your State

See a state by state rundown of motorcycle popularity in each US state

motorcycle popularity infographic!