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Heavy traffic leads to Mt. Lemmon highway shutdown

Long lines of drivers hoping to get a taste of winter weather on the snowy Catalina Mountains will have to try again another day, as authorities closed the highway up Mt. Lemmon on Sunday afternoon because of overcrowding.

Hundreds of drivers tried to get a looks at the snow blanketing the range north of Tucson.

After a morning of allowing 4x4 vehicles with chains to drive up the Catalina Highway, the Pima County's Sheriff's Department first restricted those heading up the mountain with a "one down, one up" policy. With lines at the base of the mountain stretching for several miles, authorities eventually decided to bar further drivers from heading into the snowy range.

To check for updates on whether access to the Catalinas is open, call the PCSD road closure hotline at 520-547-7510.

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PK Weis/SouthwestPhotoBank.com

The western side of the Catalinas, seen from Oro Valley on Saturday morning.