Sabino Canyon

On the northeast edge of Tucson, Sabino Canyon is a popular gateway to outdoor adventures in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

When locals look at the majestic Santa Catalinas from the valley floor, they often dream about hiking and biking in Sabino Canyon. This is where many locals go for their morning walks, jogs or trail runs. The paved paths that weave throughout Sabino Canyon make it easy to access one of the prettiest places in Southern Arizona. Roads are open to cyclists before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. (no bikes are allowed on Wednesdays and Saturdays and E-bikes are not allowed). On easy walks, tram rides or quad-busting hikes, the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert and its lush plants and varied wildlife are on full display.

Take the Tram

Narrated tram tours on paved roads are a popular option that make the canyon’s splendor accessible to all visitors. The Sabino Canyon Crawler winds nearly 4 miles into the canyon, crosses nine stone bridges over Sabino Creek and takes one hour to complete the round trip. A second tram goes just 2 miles round trip and drops hikers off at the Bear Canyon and Seven Falls trailheads. Stops are located within short walking distance to the water and picnic areas, inviting visitors to hop off the tram and make a day of it.

Get Off the Pavement

Hikers who prefer a challenge get off the main roads and trek through rugged terrain. Some 30 miles of trails invite hikers to explore the canyon’s riparian corridors flanked by towering rock faces. The Bear Canyon Trail leads to Seven Falls, one of the most trafficked hikes in the canyon. Blackett’s Ridge is a shorter option with steep switchbacks and an elevation gain of 1,600 feet. Along the trails, hikers admire saguaros surrounded by dense desert vegetation and spot hawks and other desert critters that call the canyon home. Getting off the paved trail increases opportunities to spot roadrunners, coyotes, jackrabbits and javelinas.

Dip in the Pools

Water in the desert is always a welcome sight, especially when summer temperatures heat up. Sabino Canyon has year-round water sources that swell during the rainy seasons and again with winter snow runoff from Mount Lemmon. Many hikes lead to swimming holes in the canyon. Sabino Dam is a popular swimming area for families and many visitors take the tram to the last stop then take a short hike to popular swimming holes Hutch’s Pool and The Crack.

For More Information

Santa Catalina Ranger District
5900 N Sabino Canyon Rd
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 749-2861

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