The Best Guide to Motorcycle Roads, Rides & Events

Catalina Highway (Sky Island) + ADD NEW ROUTE


5   in Arizona Arizona29 (one way) Miles

By Craig Littlefield
on November 1, 2006

4.5out of 5

7 Riders rated

 Scenery

 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

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

What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By Guest
on October 5, 2010 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

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.

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By Guest
on November 27, 2009 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

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.

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By Guest
on February 14, 2008 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2001

Motorcycle Make OTHER

Motorcycle Type Sport

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.

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By Jerry G
on June 9, 2012 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Enduro

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.

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By Guest
on March 31, 2011 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.5out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Other

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!

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By Guest
on March 25, 2011 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

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.

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By Guest
on June 8, 2008 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Sport

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.

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