By Maimouna Kante
Coronado National Forest is located in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico and is known for its wide biodiversity that is sectioned into four different districts: Safford Ranger District, Nogales Ranger District, Douglas Ranger District and Sierra Vista Ranger District.
The forest’s elevation ranges from 3,000 feet to 10,720 feet which further explains how some of these areas are some of the most biologically diverse in the U.S. The diversity in elevation provides a space in which visitors could potentially experience up to four different seasons.
According to National Park Services, the elevation affects the flora that is found in this area. In the grasslands, one will find palmer agave and velvet mesquite trees as well as a wide variety of native plants. In the mid elevations, agave, yucca, and sotol spike the rocky hillsides. It is at the highest elevations that we find border pinon and alligator juniper.
According to National Forests, some of the activities that happen include summer activities such as hiking, camping, birding, horseback riding, picnicking, sightseeing, driving along beautiful roads and visiting caves. Mount Lemmon Ski Valley has become more and more famous for winter activities. Mount Lemmon is used as a skiing site because it is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. It was named after the botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon; she and her husband trekked to the top of the mountain.
It is estimated that the top of the mountain can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the base of the mountain. Often times if Tucson and/or Phoenix get too hot, Mount Lemmon is a great getaway.