Jul 22, 2022 - Things to Do

Beat the Phoenix heat with a road trip to Summerhaven

Animated gif of a thermometer in the shape of a cactus rising to 120+ degrees, and then back down.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

This week's beat-the-heat suggestion is a town we haven't visited but hope to soon. Take a peek at our dream itinerary for Summerhaven (even the name sounds dreamy!).

The big picture: Summerhaven is a small town on Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson.

Distance from Phoenix: About 150 miles via Interstate 10.

Average July temperature: High of 78 and low of 54. Sign us up!

What to do

⏫ Take a ride on the Ski Valley chair lift. And pick up some fudge in the gift shop after!

🌠 Go stargazing! Mount Lemmon is a favorite spot for professional and amateur astronomers.

🥾 Take a hike through the extensive trail system.

What to eat and drink

🍪 Get a giant homemade cookie topped with ice cream at the Mount Lemmon Cookie Cabin.

🍽️ Sawmill Run Restaurant offers hearty American classics and has a patio.

🤤 Iron Door Restaurant at Ski Valley is famous for its chili and cornbread.

Where to stay

🚗 There is a hotel in Summerhaven and multiple camping sites on Mount Lemmon, but most of them are already booked on the weekends this summer, so you may need to make this a day trip or stay in north Tucson.


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