When I feel the need to get away, I often find myself making a trip to Windy Point on Mount Lemmon.

There I can leave the stresses of life behind, escape reality and find peace in nature while connecting with myself.

Pg16-Rock climbers
Ryan Petronella (bottom) and Nathan Wikstrom take a moment to catch their breath as they climb Hitchcock Pinnacle. Visitors find a variety of ways to enjoy Windy Point, from picnics to photography to simply enjoying scenic overlooks. (Eduardo Caldera/Aztec Press)

The summit, only a short drive from Tucson, provides therapy and healing to the soul.

In less than an hour you can be surrounded by hills and nothing but the soothing sound of the wind rustling through trees. With no cell phone service and just the right amount of distance from town, it’s the perfect location to clear your head and recharge your batteries.

Pg16-Cliff view
Hikers enjoy panoramic views of the Tucson valley from atop Windy Point rocks.

Before moving to Tucson, I was not much of a hiker. Besides the occasional walk in the park or drive on a long open back road, I was rarely outdoors. I moved to Tucson mid-January and quickly realized I needed an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I had moved from a town on the fringe of the suburbs of Phoenix where in seconds you could be on a dirt farm road with no one around. I desperately needed an oasis.

One day, on a spontaneous decision, I grabbed my camera, filled my tank with gas and started driving with no plan in sight.

Pg16-Foggy Catalina Highway
Fog shrouds the 25-mile Catalina Highway that traverses Mount Lemmon.

I shortly found myself navigating the twists and turns of the Catalina Highway. Popular among tourists and residents, this lonely highway is the main route up and down Mount Lemmon.

Before I knew it, I came across Windy Point. With its breathtaking sunset views and therapeutic effect, I realized that I had found my safe haven.

Some of life’s greatest joys stem from a spontaneous decision. Don’t be afraid to jump out on a limb, do something crazy, something different. You’ll never know what lies ahead until you go find out.

Who knows, your Windy Point might lie just beyond the horizon.

Pg16-Windy Point sunset
Awe-inspiring sunsets await visitors to Windy Point on Mount Lemmon. Sites all along the Catalina Highway provide relaxing get-aways for stressed-out Tucson city dwellers. (Eduardo Caldera/Aztec Press)

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