Backway to Mount Lemmon

A rarely travelled backroad to the top of Mount Lemmon.

Total Miles


Send Trail to Phone
3 Hours
Technical Rating
2 / 10
Best Time

As we continue to improve our trail coverage, we'd love to hear what you think and which areas to add next.

Trail Overview
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.
Getting There
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.
Contact for Current Conditions
Coronado N.F.
Santa Catalina Ranger District
(520) 749-8700