A Mt. Lemon Grove: A Trip Report


We hadn’t been up to Mt. Lemon for a while. After a stretch of way too hot days, we drove up to escape to cooler weather. It is a wonderful scenic cruise, about an hour above Tucson, if you take your time. We took off up a dirt side road into the forest near the top. It is about 8000 to 9000 ft, give or take, depending which section of road, gully or bend you find yourself on.

There were campers and picnics going on at most of the sites as we searched, our nudity protected by the walls of our car. The full privacy for what we had planned was a difficult find.

I spotted a grove of young aspen, stopped, and discovered that it was posted as a foot traffic only restoration area.


This mountain range has just about burned away. It began with the big fire in 2003.  I remember that my initial inspection after the big fire was heart breaking. It is however, now heartwarming to see how the forest is coming back in numerous ways. There is much recovery going on and to be witnessed.

It won’t be a full recovery for over one hundred years, but forest fires always leave spots intact here and there. There is now more diversity in the mountain’s vegetation.


This ridge has aspen roots going every which way with shoots seven to about 20 feet high. Here, the first population of succession is aspen and some deciduous, before the pines put a canopy over them and crowd them out. It is thick; there was plenty of cover and shade.


I had a sense that I had found “it.” I grabbed my wrap around, climbed out stretched, surveyed and preceded. Our preliminary inspection found us in a clearing that had been made level. This had a view out into the vast valley below. It also gave us visual and audio insulation from the nearby family festivities. Someone had had a ceremony/ritual there. There was a rock and a feather marking a platform that they had excavated.  A protected, secretive spot can often be a sacred spot.

Hidden in the Grove

Hidden in the Grove

The ideal place can be the quiet grove, a circle of oaks, and in this case the interlinked roots of the aspen grove. We went back to the car to get chairs and lunch.

The ants are certainly doing their thing to add to the restoration effort. We couldn’t stand still for long. They chased us up into our chairs, not allowing us to keep our feet on the ground. There, cross-legged in the folding chairs, we did a special meditation, eyes open, gazing and being in the presence. The aspen leaves would begin to flutter and vibrate with the breeze, as it came through, adding a psychedelic effect. This framed DF’s face, appropriate to the already altered consciousness that we shared. We experienced warm sun and cool shade as the clouds drifted by, one by one, over the mountain peak.

Salmon/guacamole sandwiches and incredibly pink watermelon delighted us as we gazed out into the distance. These mountains are called sky Islands, as they are virtual islands of forest in a vast sea of deserts. This place is so steep, that it gives the feel of flying at 8000 or 9000 feet in the air.


It is said, by Patty Robles Cotta, a supreme new age priestess and now consequently, many tens of thousands now believe, that this mountain has a grand crystalline city hovering above it, inhabited by light-beings, who bless you if you ask, while there. Being up here in this special place, gives that notion plausibility. Yup, it felt pretty damn good.


The hiking here would lead to other campers, unless we hiked/climbed nearly straight down, or straight up.


In time, we decided to visit another area of Mt. Lemmon, a special walk that we had spent our first nude adventure in.

More to come….

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