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Great swimming hole!
This is a very popular hike and a great teaser for what the Santa Catalinas of Tucson have to offer. This would be a great introduction for anyone visiting the area and willing to spend a day exploring. So if your friends didn't run screaming for the Winnebago after the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, take them to Hutch's Pool, just about anytime except monsoon season. Most people will find summer too hot for this hike, though. Try anytime from October through April. Hutch's Pool is full enough to swim all year, with a sandy beach and great views up canyon. This is a short hike, but take your time and keep your eyes open for fun. If you're lucky enough to see a fox, just sit still and enjoy watching it watching you.
The trailhead is at the end of the paved road in Sabino Canyon in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. That means that if you want to get there before the (other) tourists, you need to get an early start to beat the trams. You can walk up the road, which will add almost four miles each way, or you can take the Phoneline trail which will add a little more. If you don't mind sharing, taking the tram up is an option. If you have friends or family visiting, you can actually use the tram ride to gauge their interest in seeing what lies beyond.
Where the road ends, link up with the Sabino Canyon Trail. Follow this about 2.5 miles to Sabino Basin. Enjoy the views of Sabino Creek along the way. From Sabino Basin, take the West Fork Trail, which will be clearly marked. These are well maintained trails. About one and a half miles along the West Fork Trail, you will find Hutch's Pool. As you're lounging on the beach, note the high-water mark and contemplate the amount of water that must move through here during monsoon season. Some seem to think this is a great place to share a -- ahem! -- private moment with their significant other. I cannot overemphasize that this is a very popular and well traveled spot.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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