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Sabino - Bear Canyon Loop
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mini location map2014-01-17
6 by photographer avatarsirena
photographer avatar
 
Sabino - Bear Canyon LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2014
sirena
Hiking12.65 Miles 2,050 AEG
Hiking12.65 Miles
2,050 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have been trapped behind my computer and phone, planning my thru-hike. Was supposed to meet with someone this morning, but they called to reschedule for Tuesday. As we were on the phone, I began packing my backpack to finally get some much-needed hiking time.

I had been thinking about the Sabino-Bear loop, and was happy that I got to do it on Friday before the crushing mass of holiday crowds descended on Sabino. Since I got a late start, I took the tram up to Stop 9 so I could spend more of my time in the backcountry. My favorite way to do this loop is to take the tram and spend the extra time and go out and back to Hutch's Pool before completing the loop. That way you get to visit Hutch's and 7 Falls in the same day. No time for that today.

I started up the lazy switchbacks of the Sabino Canyon Trail around 11:30 and passed large groups of modestly dressed women and girls with their attending menfolk. There must have been a couple of busloads of them.

Thankfully after that throng, there was very light traffic the rest of the day. It felt so good to be out by myself, the trail flying underneath my feet. I reached the Arizona Trail junction and helped some nice hikers find their way across the creek toward Hutch's before continuing on.

I just love the Sabino Basin, it's so remote and quiet, the front range shielding you from the sounds and sights of the city. Hiked along the East Fork and was surprised by how warm it was, total umbrella weather! I was a little sad to see that the East Fork was so dry, we really need some more rain soon.

After a break for lunch, I made the easy ascent up to the saddle and the Bear Canyon junction. Those must be the friendliest switchbacks in all the Catalinas. I love the moment on this loop where Thimble Peak pops into view for the first time. Thimble Flat is also a wonderful place for a break.

I turned my phone on during my break to call Mr. Sirena and say hi. Saw I had a voicemail and checked it, hoping it wasn't something I'd forgotten to do in my rush to escape and go for a hike. Instead it was great news from Summit Hut, signing on as one of the sponsors of my Arizona Trail Trek :y: :y: They have always been a big supporter of the AZT and were one of my sponsors for my first hike. Glad to have them on board again!

I could have relaxed at the Flat all day, but eventually had to get a move on and descend back toward town. I had my eye on the rushing water of the creek and drenched my head as soon as the trail crossed it. So refreshing!

There are some pools in Bear Canyon that I must get back to swim in someday. The trail contoured around the canyon until 7 Falls became visible. No matter how many times you see it, it's still an impressive cascade. I looked at the route I'd taken to summit the Thimble, that was one of the best hikes I've ever done. We scrambled up all 7 falls, then took the drainage up toward the base of the Thimble, used ropes for the West Summit, then scrambled over to the drainage that led down to Tram stop 9. Need to do that again someday.

Didn't see too many people on the rest of the trail and managed to get to my car before the after-work crowd appeared. Turned on my phone and received a text with more good news about my hike. What a great day.
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208 Photosets

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