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Seven Falls - Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, AZ

Guide 182 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,732 feet
Elevation Gain 673 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,400 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 - 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.6
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
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17  2021-01-27
Seven Falls
4  2020-12-20
Sabino - Bear Canyon Loop
6  2020-01-20 gummo
9  2020-01-01 ddgrunning
8  2019-04-04 Pivo
2  2018-11-12 Merianne
13  2018-11-09 DixieFlyer
6  2018-10-06 adv_trev
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 9
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 242
Routes 836
Photos 12,083
Trips 4,883 map ( 24,926 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:34am - 7:25pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Bighorn Fire119.5k
🔥 2003 Aspen Fire87.7 mi*
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

by joebartels

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Seven Falls is an out-and-back hike. You can shave off 3.6 miles by taking the tram. However, you'll have to pay and wait for the tram both ways. The parking lot tells the story. It's enormous and crowded. I was expecting it, though, as this is an excellent area attached to a city. Hiking this trail out of season "may" thin the crowds. If the signs along the way are confusing enough, my GPS stats didn't agree with the posted distances. Usually, I'd go with what's posted. However, they seem to be off by a quarter-mile in places.

At the visitor center, check out the maps. From the men's restroom, head out on the trail. Shortly after, at the wide three-way intersection, take a left onto the super-wide trail. It's wide because it used to be the tram road. Be forewarned it gets rather muddy when it rains. Follow the old dirt road to the 0.5-mile point at which you encounter the paved tram road. Take a right onto the paved road. Follow for 1.3 miles to the 1.8-mile point. Along the way, you have two questionable intersections. Take a right both times. The first is approaching some restrooms. The second comes shortly after crossing a bridge.

Now 1.8 miles into the hike, you've reached the actual trail. It's 2 miles to Seven Falls. You must cross the small-boulder-lined creek bed numerous times. Each crossing is marked on both sides, so you shouldn't have any problems finding your way. Old concrete dams or bridges (I'm not sure which) have been washed away by flooding.

The seventh crossing comes shortly after some big boulders. A switchback takes you up a bit. Soon you will look over to the left, and Seven Falls is right before you. You come to a sign stating Bear Canyon Trail #29 continues. A short side trail takes you to the falls. It goes down left from the sign. Be careful hiking around the pools. The lowest pool is the largest. I believe the second pool up is deeper as that's where the divers seem to be. Overall this is an easy hike. The obvious attraction is the falls. I don't find the approach very photogenic without running water. Please don't take that wrong; I recommend the hike!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2000-05-26 joebartels
  • book
    area related
  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
    area related
    100 Classic Hikes - 2007
  • Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Map
    area related
    Sabino Canyon Recreation Area Map
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.

Permit $$
Visit this link for full details.
2021 - FAQ
$8 per vehicle per day
$10 per vehicle per week
$40 per vehicle per year (valid for one year from date of purchase)

There are four specific day use areas that require a Coronado Recreational Pass or a National Pass/America the Beautiful Pass.
1) Sabino Canyon - located on the Santa Catalina Ranger District (520)749-8700
2) Madera Canyon - located on the Nogales Ranger District (520)281-2296
3) Cave Creek - located on the Douglas Ranger District (520)364-3468
4) Mt. Lemmon at 11 day-use sites.

2021 Catalina State Park
Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
Individual/bicycle: $3.00

2021 Sabino Canyon Tram is $12 extra. [ website ]

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Sabino Canyon Recreation Trailhead
From the intersection of Tanque Verde and Grant/Kolb Rd head northeast on Tanque Verde. Turn left at the second light on Sabino Canyon Rd. Go about 8 miles up Sabino Canyon Rd and you come to a four way stop with Sunrise. Go straight through the intersection and take the next right into the parking lot of Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Signs marking the way start on North Kolb road.

This is the universal directions to Sabino Canyon Recreation Center. Hikes take off from all directions and some you might need to hike another trail to get to the start of your hike. Reference the hike summary for details.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 117 mi - about 1 hour 57 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 14.1 mi - about 30 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 261 mi - about 4 hours 1 min
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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