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Mount Lemmon (general)

Readers Pick

At 9,000 feet in elevation, Mount Lemmon offers a refuge from the desert replete with coniferous and deciduous trees, city views and wildlife. In one afternoon, you can take a hike to recharge your mental batteries—and be home in time for dinner. If that isn't enough, you can stay a bit longer, and temporarily call the mountain home at one of its many campgrounds. There are campgrounds to suit everyone's needs, from novice overnighters to the week-long backpacking trekkers. Spencer Canyon and Rose Canyon Lake are a couple of favorites, both featuring bathroom access, fire pits and picnic tables. They offer the perfect respite from the summer heat.

Runners up:

2. Rose Canyon

www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/forest/recreation/camping/sites/rose_cyn.shtml

3. Catalina State Park

azstateparks.com/Parks/CATA/index.html

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