The cost of camping in the Florida Keys became so expensive that we decided in 2006 to make the drive to Tucson after once again attending the Balloon Fiesta. We had heard about Sabino Canyon then and after we settled in we headed there. Oooopss. They had a flood in the canyon the previous summer and it was closed down to tourists. It took them 2 years to repair all the damage and reopen the canyon.
It was on our "bucket list" to visit, however we always seemed to have an excuse to not visit the canyon. Well, the day finally arrived and we went with friends Debbie & Dale to check out the place. They wanted to hike the canyon and we decided the tram ride was more within our limits so we told them to hike and we would take the tram ride and wait for them. The day we picked for the trip was very hot with temps in the high 90s and they decided to take the tram ride with us. Good decision on their part.
Rather than write up about the Sabino Canyon, I copied from a pamphlet the description below, plus included a link to the complete information regarding the canyon.
Winding through the canyon, visitors who follow the road have views of the creek, the riparian vegetation, magnificent Saguaros on the canyon walls, and towering rock formations. Picnic areas are scattered along the road, as are trailheads leading to other sections of the National Forest or paralleling the road. Within the canyon, visitors travel by foot or horseback. Bicycles are permitted before 9am or after 5pm any day except Wednesdays and Saturdays .
The only motorized vehicles allowed on the 3.8-mile paved road that leads through the canyon are the Sabino Canyon/Bear Canyon shuttles and Park Service vehicles. Ramadas at the entrance give canyon visitors a place to sit and watch the wildlife while waiting for the shuttle.
Seasons / Hours
- Park: Sunrise to sunset, daily
- Visitor Center: 8:00 am to 4:30 PM daily
Sabino Canyon Article
We saw this crested cactus a couple blocks from Sabino Canyon and Gerry made me turn around to get a picture of it. She does enjoy seeing them and getting photos.
There are mile markers on the canyon road to give people hope when they are walking back from the end of the road. I was surprised to see the number of families walking down the road. It was quite hot that day and the sun was merciless.
The tram makes several stops along the trail and passengers can get off, rest, look around, hike or whatever before hopping back on the tram. Debbie and Dale took the opportunity to hop off near the end of the ride. They spent a while exploring a bit more before returning to the base, where we were waiting for them. Shade and benches were welcome.
There were numerous crossings of the creek running down the center of the canyon. I would have loved to get out and soak in the cool waters, but I didn't have a bathing suit.
|Nice pool in the creek|
There are some very steep mountains on each side of the canyon. The hiking trails are numerous and many mountain lions have been seen in the area. I wouldn't want to meet up with one of them unless I had some protection. They do keep the deer population in check so I guess that is a good thing.
A small dam has been turned into a base for the road in the canyon. The water looked very clear and inviting.
These two young children came prepared for the hike with their water bottles and flip flops to wade in the creek. It looked like they were enjoying themselves.
Then, there was another nice clear pool on the way up the canyon. I didn't see any fish in the water, but I imagine there are trout in the stream.
|Our road in the distance along with the creek|
This group of people were swimming and enjoying the water on our way to the top and still there when we came back later.
|Entrance to the park|
If you are ever in Tucson and have the time take the walking tour or tram tour of the canyon. It is beautiful and wild.