Catalina Highway, also called Mt Lemmon Highway or General Hitchcock Highway, was constructed from 1933 to 1950 and has allowed millions of people from the Tucson area to use this paved road to visit to the Mt Lemmon / Summerhaven area. Before that, however, residents would have to travel to the small town of Oracle north of Tucson and take “Control Road” or “Old Mt Lemmon Highway”–a rough,unpaved pathto the top of the mountain. It was called “Control Road” because officials had to control the traffic on a stretch of the route where drivers would have to take turns using it, since it was not wide enough to allow travel in both directions. If you plan to drive the whole length of the road, Coronado National Forest officials recommend a high clearance vehicle. Four-wheel drive may also be necessary when parts of the road wash out from rainfall. The upper part of the road closes on Dec. 15th due to the likelihood of snow and reopens March 1st, weathering permitting.
Producer: Tony Paniagua
Photographers: Nate Huffman, Bob Lindberg
Editor: Nate Huffman