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 Sabino Canyon Trail #23, AZ
Description 45 Triplogs 1 Topic
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Tucson North
Difficulty 2    Route Finding
Distance One Way 2.65 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,350 feet
Elevation Gain 498 feet
Accumulated Gain 859 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.51
Author keepmoving
Descriptions 31
Routes 40
Photos 557
Trips 260 map ( 1,708 miles )
Age 28
Location Portland, OR
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
19  2015-02-27
Sabino-Bear Loop
The Dude
15  2014-09-21 Timknorr
11  2014-05-09
Sabino-Bear Loop
13  2014-05-09
Sabino-Bear Loop
10  2013-02-10
Sabino Canyon to Catalina
Preston Sands
11  2012-10-20 Timknorr
15  2012-09-14
Box Camp Trail #22
30  2011-10-22
Mount Lemmon to Sabino Ca
58  2011-10-09
Sabino-Bear Loop
5  2010-10-30 robxxx
11  2010-09-18
Palisades Canyon
49  2010-09-18
Palisades Canyon
Page 1,  2
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Map - Coronado NF - Safford & Catalina Distric
Forest Coronado
Wilderness Pusch Ridge Bighorn Closure map
Backpack - Yes & Connecting
Seasons - Autumn to Spring
Dogs not allowed
Official Route
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Sabino Canyon / Kor Wall
1.6  East Fork Trail #24A
1.6  West Fork Trail #24 - Sabino
1.8  Palisade Trail #99
2.3  Phone Line Link Trail #27A
2.4  Blacketts Ridge
[ View More! ]
     Canyon Tree Frog
     Desert Tortoise
     Giant Centipede
     Horse Lubber Grasshopper
     Red Spotted Toad
     Red-Backed Whiptail
     Robber Fly
     Rock Wren
     Tiger Rattlesnake
     Unidentified Fauna

Get Above the crowds!
by keepmoving

Overview: Sabino Canyon #23 is an excellent choice for hikers wishing to escape the tram infested Upper Sabino Canyon Road in search of more solitude. Upon arriving at the Northern end of Sabino Canyon #23 hikers will be treated with a variety of trails that lead into the heart of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.

Hike: From the end of Upper Sabino Canyon road head North from the pavement to the sign post that marks the beginning of Sabino Canyon #23. Follow the trail as it begins to work its way up a series of switchbacks. As the trail gains elevation, views of Sabino Canyon quickly open up as you leave the tourists and the trams behind. Half a mile later the trail arrives at the top of the switchbacks at a signed junction with the Phone Line Trail. Sabino Canyon #23 turns left at the junction and begins to curve along the hillside, eventually passing an old sign that warns hikers not to short cut the switchbacks you just finished climbing. Immediately after this sign the trail passes a well worn spur trail that leads along a short, narrow ridge to a great view point high above the canyon floor.

Continuing past the side trail Sabino Canyon #23 contours along the hillside as it approaches Sabino Basin. For the next mile or so Sabino Creek is hidden from view far below at the bottom of the canyon, however it is not long before the views begin to open up once more and Sabino Creek is soon visible again as it drains from Sabino Basin. As Sabino Basin comes into view look for another spur trail off to the West that follows a short path to an overlook that affords great views into Sabino Creek and Sabino Basin. Beyond the side trail Sabino Canyon #23 begins to rapidly lose elevation as it approaches its Northern Terminus with West Fork #24 and East Fork #24A.


Coronado FS Reports These three trails offer access to the dramatic landscape of the Santa Catalina Front Range, famous for its deep canyons and soaring ridges. When traveled as a loop, they form a long but rewarding day-trip that offers memorable views and access to the riparian environments they shelter. A trip along either trail or around the entire loop will treat you to good views of the high ridges and peaks of the Front Range and, at sunset, of the city of Tucson with its lights framed by the black silhouette of surrounding mountains.

Since both Bear Canyon and Sabino Canyon trails are accessible from the extremely popular Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, both are used heavily. Sabino Canyon Trail begins at the end of the recreation area shuttle bus route and contours along the canyon’s eastern slope a good distance above the canyon floor. A number of paths branch off the trail along this stretch and lead down to the streambed.

Bear Canyon Trail leads upstream from the Lower Bear Picnic Area at the end of the Bear Canyon shuttle route. The trail crosses the stream several times in its first two miles and provides spectacular views of both Sabino and Bear canyons as it climbs to Bear Saddle. There it intersects the East Fork #24A and the Sycamore Reservoir #39 trails. The East Fork Trail follows Sabino Creek 2.1 miles to the junction with Sabino Canyon Trail. From this point it is 2.5 miles back to the end of the road where hikers can catch a shuttle bus ride (for a fee) or walk back to your car to complete a 13.4 mile loop. Since horses are not permitted on the shuttle road, equestrians must use the Phone Line Trail #27 (4.5 miles) to complete a loop.

Attractions: Spectacular canyon, lush desert, long distance views, backcountry access, more difficult loop possibilities, access to trail #24A a segment of the Arizona Trail.
One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.

Directions Preferred Months Dec Jan Feb Mar
Water / Source:Creek is seasonal, most reliable during snow melt
Preferred Start7 AM Sunrise6:18am Sunset6:40pm
Road / VehiclePaved - Car Okay
Fees / Permit
Sabino/Madera - $5 per day or $20 annual. Catalina State Park $6 per day. Sabino Canyon Tram is $8 extra.

To hike
From Tanque Verde Road in Tucson turn north on Sabino Canyon Road and follow it 4 miles to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Visitor Center. From the Visitor Center, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., hikers can take the shuttle bus (for a fee) to Bear Canyon and Sabino Canyon trailheads. If you prefer, or if the shuttle bus is not running, you can hike to the trailheads along the shuttle bus route. Equestrians must stay on the designated horse trails.
Login for Mapped Driving Directions
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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