Mount Lemmon packed over long weekend, businesses thankful for boost

Labor Day on Summerhaven

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With sweltering heat in Tucson, and several picnic areas now open along Catalina Highway, Mt. Lemmon was packed on Labor Day.

Instead of another disaster, for once, Summerhaven experienced a perfect storm for success.

“We had great traffic,” said Grey Carpenter, the Owner of Mt. Lemmon General Store.

Carpenter says his business welcomed thousands of customers over the long weekend. It was not only their busiest weekend since the Coronavirus and Bighorn Fire shutdowns; the General Store had its most profitable Labor Day in years.

“It was just way past our expectations!” said Carpenter. “So, we really appreciate Tucson coming out and supporting us.”

General Hitchcock was the only campground open this weekend and it filled up fast. Monday afternoon, Kimberly Medina was able to snag a spot for her family.

“I have three nephews whose birthdays were on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so we are here to celebrate,” she said. “Our family has been through a lot in the last couple of months. [Our loved one]Blue” Eddie Rios passed away two months ago.”

For Medina, Mt. Lemmon was the perfect place to reflect, while spending some quality time with her family.

A few campsites over, another group was cooking up a storm.

“We are having BBQ,” said Daniel Young. “We are just going to eat and then go hiking.”

For those who plan on enjoying the sights and sounds of Mt. Lemmon, the following areas along Catalina Highway are now open:

  • Inspiration Rock Picnic Area
  • Alder Picnic Area
  • Loma Linda Picnic Area
  • Box Elder Picnic Area
  • Aspen Vista
  • Sykes Knob Picnic Area
  • San Pedro Vista
  • Geology Vista
  • Windy Point Vista
  • Seven Cataracts Vista
  • General Hitchcock Campground
  • Chihuahua Pine Picnic Area
  • Middle Bear Picnic Area
  • Cypress Picnic Area
  • Bug Spring Trail
  • Molino Canyon Vista
  • Molino Basin Day Use
  • Gordon Hirabayashi Day Use
  • Thimble Rock Vista
  • Hoodoo Vista
  • Sycamore Vista
  • Soldier Trail
  • Baad Do’ag Trail and Vista
  • AZ Trail East of Catalina Highway

The U.S. Forest Service has also lifted its ban on campfires.

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