There is something quite wondrous about breaking a fresh trail - in science, in art and even in a medium as simple, and yet sublime, as new-fallen snow.

It's a seasonal experience in Southern Arizona, and it's available right now in the higher mountains around Tucson - until the weather warms.

The city got an unusual and short-lived dusting of white last week, but it's on the mountain heights where you can leave your tracks in up to 2 feet of snow.

"The snow has been just mind-blowing, just stunning up here," said Pamela Selby-Harmon, officer in charge of the post office in the village of Summerhaven in the Catalina Mountains.

Selby-Harmon, who keeps track of snow depths on the mountain, said the village got 2 feet of powder in last week's storm.

"It was a really cold storm, and the snow glistens like glitter," she said.

Mount Lemmon Ski Valley is open - reporting 20 inches of new snow on the slopes.

Hikers and cross-country skiers will find plentiful snow, for now, on routes such as the Butterfly Trail and the Sunset Trail.

Both trails begin at trailheads between Mileposts 22 and 23 on the Catalina Highway, which is open without restrictions.

Hikers and cross-country skiers should have cold-weather footwear, dress in layers, bring plenty of energy snacks and trek with companions in the interest of safety.

On StarNet: View photos of Tucson snow at

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz