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Pine Canyon - Catalinas, AZ

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Guide 5 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson N
4 of 5 by 1
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 9.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,895 feet
Elevation Gain -3,677 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,723 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 15.64
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
61  2012-09-23 GrottoGirl
47  2010-02-14 Vaporman
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov
Sun  6:10am - 6:21pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
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A technical canyon with two mandatory 60ft & 150ft waterfalls to rappel with loads of other falls, pools, and fallen trees to bypass. Take the Palisades trail 3 miles down to Mud Springs of Pine Canyon and head down canyon from there thru & past all the obstacles for about 2 slow miles until you reach the East Fork of the Sabino Canyon trail and then hike another 4 miles east back to the old Prison Camp.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
  • sub-region related
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.

Most recent Triplog Review
Pine Canyon - Catalinas
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We started at the Palisade Visitor Center since there's 2-3ft of snow on the Organization Ridge Rd. Following the trail was a little challenging due to all the snow while post holing up to my knees in some stretches :roll: , but thankfully someone else had been down the trail recently and left us a path of footprints to follow. After a couple miles of slow snow hiking :sweat: , the snow slowly started to thin and eventually we reached the section of the trail where it gets close to upper Pine Canyon at Mud Spring and we followed the canyon downstream from there which was flowing fairly good from all the snow melt. After some rock hopping, down climbing, and falls/pool bypassing, we reached the first 60ft rappel and since the falls were flowing pretty good and making all the rock down there wet & slippery we just rapped down the remaining 40ft slope. ;) About 20-30 minutes down canyon past some sweet falls, we hit the 2nd 150ft rappel and those falls were flowing so good we couldn't use the anchors without getting soaked so we built a new set of anchos off to the side to avoid the water. Afterwards we stopped to eat lunch while soaking in the amazingly sweet waterfalls :D before venturing further down canyon past many more bypassable falls & pools thru a section with loads of down trees that slowed up down considerably. Towards the bottom, we hit a cool narrows section that thankfully could be avoided up the right side LDC or else we would have been swimming for sure. :o Even though the water was flowing fairly good, we managed to only get wet up to our knees since most of the pools & falls could be avoided. Once at the bottom, we scrambled up the ridge to the East Fork of Sabino Canyon trail and headed east thru Sycamore Basin to the old Prison Camp. I was still hurting a bit from yesterday, so that turned out to be quite a slog for me... :roll:

Permit $$
Visit this link for full details.

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.

Catalina State Park $6 per day. Sabino Canyon Tram is $10 extra.

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 canyon trip
Shuttle hike: Drop lower car off at Gordon Hirabayashi (Prison Camp) TH and drive further up the Catalinas Highway to the Palisades TH.
page created by Vaporman on Feb 15 2010 8:53 pm
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