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Arizona’s Catalina Highway named one of America’s best spring drives

(AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

PHOENIX — Sometimes it’s nice to be around a lot of people at a busy event, or to converse with some friends at a local hangout spot. Other times it’s just nice to hit the road and enjoy a quiet drive.

For those who prefer the latter more often than others, there’s usually no better time to take that drive than during the beautiful spring season. In Arizona, it looks like the best route to take is Catalina Highway.

Also known as Mount Lemmon, the 28-mile route was named one of America’s Best Spring Drives by Travel + Leisure.

The 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon is the crowning peak among the Santa Catalina Mountains, which rise along the northeast edge of Tucson. This paved road—one of the few in the area—winds from dry desert terrain, through cool greenery, and high into the mountains, where you’ll spot spring wildflowers, from Mexican golden poppies to red fairy dusters.

Where to Stop: Hike Babad Do’ag Trail, which starts at the road’s first pull-offs. The path is studded with native saguaro cacti and overlooks the desert Tucson Valley region.

The website made the list based off routes that “bring you up close to nature’s finest floral displays.”

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