Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley

Skiing near Tucson, Arizona


The Southernmost ski area in America


When folks think of cold, snow and mountains, their minds tend to go North. However the American Southwest is sprinkled with ski areas that defy that logic and arguably the most unique among them is a small hidden gem ski area just outside of Tucson, Arizona.

Skiing, in Tucson, Arizona? Yeah that’s a thing! One of the county’s least known ski areas is also one of it’s coolest and most unique. High above the desert in one of the least probable places you could ever think of lies a ski area like no other, Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley. 

To reach Mount Lemmon, one must take the Mount Lemmon Highway from the outskirts of Tucson. It is truly a surreal experience to witness the stark beauty of the desert while passing cacti and huge rocks on the ascent only to find snow at the top. 

Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley resides on the highest peak of Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains, topping out at around 9,157 feet. The ski area is open all year round for scenic chairlift rides and offers a respite from the heat in the Summer. During Winter, when Mother Nature decides to be generous, the chairlifts fulfill their true purpose by carrying skiers and snowboarders up the slopes where they can pick from any one of 21 trails. 

No snowmaking is present here, so the ski season can be rather “on again, off again” as the storms come and go. A normal ski season isn’t really a thing here, but the slopes tend to be open sporadically from late December through Mid-March. 

Mt. Lemmon does a good job of communicating with its customers via it’s Facebook Page, which offers road conditions and skiability updates. 

Powder skiing in the desert

When the storms come, savvy powder hounds know to drive up the mountain a day in advance and grab a room at the local lodge or an Airbnb. Big snow storms often close the access road from Tucson to Mount Lemmon, preventing skiers from getting to the slopes, sometimes for days. Those staying in the nearby mountain village of Summerhaven can reap the rewards of their own private ski area until the road is cleared, a unique experience only gifted to a hearty few. 

Mt. Lemmon trail map

Lift TIckets

Lift tickets for skiing and sky rides are sold on site at the base of the ski area. For skiing the prices are: $69 for adults, $39 for kids and half day tickets are $59 and $35. No season passes are offered at Mt. Lemmon.


While the Mt. Lemmon Highway is usually clear, the ski area is unfortunately at the mercy of Pima County to plow and maintain the mountain access road from Tucson after storms which is often very slow to happen. The road has been known to stay closed for days after a big snow dump. Private shuttle service is available from Tucson starting at $55.


Mt. Lemmon has 2 chairlifts and one surface tow. Parking is free at the base and directly across from the ski area is the Iron Door Restaurant which keeps similar hours to the ski area. About a mile and half down the road in the town of Summerhaven, are several lodging options, additional restaurants and a general store. 

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Annual Snowfall


Named Runs


Vertical Feet


Skiable Acres


Miles from Tucson


Base altitude


Summit Altitude


Chair lifts

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Open all year round

Mount Lemmon Ski Valley is open for every month of the year.  

*All photos taken by Snow LLC from November 2020. (Before the ski season).


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Location and hours

The following is address and operational schedule for Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley.

10300 E. Ski Run Rd, Mt. Lemmon, AZ. 85619

Thursday – Monday 9am-4pm

Mt. Lemmon is open all year round for scenic chair rides. 

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