Sky Island Scenic Byway

National Scenic BywayArizona

All Photos (20)

  • Bird's Eye View of the Sky Island Parkway

    This road stretches in between jagged cliffs on the Sky Island Parkway.

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  • Steep Cliffs along the Sky Island Parkway

    The Sky Island Parkway features a daunting view of the sheer cliffs that line the highway. Road-construction cones warn drivers away from a damaged railing in this photo.

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  • Entrance to Sky Island

    Tall saguaro cacti and rugged canyons provide a scenic backdrop to the start of the Sky Island Parkway.

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  • Tucson

    Sky Island Scenic Byway climbs high into the Santa Catalina Mountains which provide a scenic backdrop to Tucson.

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  • Hirabayashi Kiosk

    Visitors read interpretive signs discussing the story of Gordon Hirabayashi, who spent time at these prison ruins, protesting internment during WWII.

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  • Ruins at Historic Prison Camp

    This old stone wall and staircase is all that remains of the camp where Federal prisoners who built the highway lived.

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  • Goosehead Rock

    The byway winds past many unusual rock formations, sometimes called Hoodoos. The formation here is known as Goosehead Rock, and is seen near Geology Vista.

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  • Mexican Spotted Owl

    A Mexican spotted owl sits framed by sun dappled leaves.

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  • Middle Bear Picnic Area

    Byway travelers will find many convenient amenities along the route, including vista points with parking and interpretive signs, restrooms, and picnic tables.

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  • Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley

    A scenic sky ride awaits visitors in all seasons at Mt. Lemmon.

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  • Palisade Visitor Center

    Byway visitors can stop at Palisade Visitor Center to view the many exhibits, ask questions, and buy maps and souvenirs.

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  • Pines at Mt. Lemmon

    The top of Mt. Lemmon is a cool escape from the desert heat. These summerclad aspen trees will be brightly colored in yellow in the fall.

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  • Riding in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness

    Blue skies frame the equestrians riding their horses into the rocky Pusch Ridge Wilderness.

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  • Rock Climbing

    High over Sky Island Scenic Byway, these adventurous visitors climb one of the area's many striking rock formations.

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  • Rose Canyon Campground

    Pine trees frame campers picniking at Rose Canyon campground.

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  • Fishing at Rose Canyon Lake

    Fishermen and women watch the dark waters of Rose Canyon Lake as they wait for action on the end of their fishing lines. Rose Canyon Lake is a popular place to hike along the lakeshore trail or fish for trout.

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  • Sky Islands

    From the Santa Catalinas visitors have easy access to the clouds surrounding distant mountains, making "sky islands." There are approximately 40 "sky islands" in southeastern Arizona and northern Mexico.

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  • Summerhaven

    After rain, wet pavement glistens outside this shop in the the village of Summerhaven. The village is a popular destination for visitors and lies near the end of the byway in a shady conifer forest.

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  • Windy Point Vista

    Visitors who stop at Windy Point get a scenic view of the Tucson Valley and other sky islands, and can learn about the the mountains by looking at on-site interpretive signs.

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  • Windy Point

    Geology Vista provides a view of the rock formations near Windy Point Vista.

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