During World War II, a group of skiers made up of Lowell Thomas , a noted journalist and adventurer, a local forest ranger, and many Davis Monthan serviceman which included Thomas’ son, later a Governor of Alaska, and Art Devlin, a future Olympic ski jumper and Television commentator, formed the Sahuaro Ski Club. The well known cartoonist, Paul Webb, created a patch and membership certificates for the club showing a skier wrapped around a sahuaro cactus. Thomas sent honorary memberships to dozens of friends, famous personalities around the world, making membership a tongue in cheek must. A ski gala was held that first year at the Arizona Inn with many of Thomas’ friends in attendance. A Forest Service lease was obtained, an old model “A” with its tires removed propelled a rope tow and Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley had its beginning.
Summer – The sky ride to the summit takes about ½ hour and covers approximately 1 mile. You depart the base of the ski area near 8200 foot elevation and climb to 9100 feet-where the earth meets Heaven. Among the Quaking Aspen, Douglas Fir and enormous Ponderosa Pine, you may spot a Stellar Jay, a Golden Eagle, wild turkeys or one of the other 200 species of birds that have been identified as residents or visitors of the mountain. Other wildlife to look for: the Black Bear, Coati Munde, Mountain lion, White Tailed Deer, Bobcat, and of course our own Cat and Kitty! As you settle in for the return ride down the ski lift, the expanse of the San Pedro Valley, the Reef of Rocks, the town of Oracle and Mammoth, and the distant mountains near Globe and Phoenix provide incomparable panoramic views