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...it's mostly about the water...
Most everyone gets up to Babad Do'ag on Catalina/Mt. Lemmon Highway to enjoy the scenic overview and to stretch their legs on the posted and established trail that begins there and starts just uphill and across the road. There is a second and slightly different option to enjoy, and interestingly enough, it goes to the same upper-end destination. Instead of ranging out and around the mountain's face, this one moves up the drainage that lies slightly downhill from the scenic overlook.
After parking in the overlook parking lot, walk down the road (not up as if going to the regular trail) to the drainage/barriers. Cross over and down into the drainage on the road's right-hand side (opposite side from the parking lot). Once into the drainage, start working your way uphill, remaining in the drainage for the entire hike.
This area has for years been seasonally popular as warm rock, sunny pool swimming areas. Numerous ponds have been augmented to create deeper, larger pools, and depending on the level of flooding in any given year, those pools may or may not be large enough to enjoy some soaking, wading, and perhaps some swimming.
There is initially a bit of rock obstacle obscuring the route, but it is easily rounded. The rest of the drainage provides various sandy or rocky surfaces to work your way up and around. Eventually, the drainage opens and widens as you near the top of the hike. The regular trail lies to the right and up above below the top of the ridge. A simple alternative return can include connecting and looping back on that trail, but there is a bit more adventure to be had hiking back down the way you came. You can also extend the hike ever further up the drainage, but the logical turnaround is in that initial large basin. If there has been some lovely rain, there will be a sizeable waterfall above to highlight the trek.
This can be a great picnic getaway... moving ever further from the crowds.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking 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.