Backway to Mount Lemmon
Many drivers opt to skip this unremarkable backroad. There is a 6-mile section of the road that climbs and winds up the mountain, but other than that, it is pretty uneventful. Unlicensed vehicles are okay on Forest Road 38, but Rice Peak is your more appealing option.
The area is slowly recovering from the 2003 Aspen Fire, which burned over 84,000 acres and destroyed 340 homes and businesses in the town of Summerhaven at the top of the mountain.
Head north on Oracle Road, Highway 77, from Tucson. Just past mile marker 100, turn right on American Avenue. Continue another 2.7 miles to road marked Mt. Lemmon Highway on right. We start the trail here even though this part is still paved. Last chance to get gas in Oracle.