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Sabino - Bear Canyon Loop
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mini location map2015-02-27
19 by photographer avatarThe_Dude
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Sabino - Bear Canyon LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2015
Hiking17.63 Miles 3,381 AEG
Hiking17.63 Miles   5 Hrs   50 Mns   3.23 mph
3,381 ft AEG      23 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
1st trip
What an awesome hike! My plans for a weekend backpack trip were quelled due to the impending weather, and not wanting to get stuck in the took me to Tucson for a second time this week so I got in a solid grinder to make up for it. This one has been on the radar for a while, and I finally had the time to get it in. I had done Bear Canyon about a mile past the 7 Falls, and I had done Sabino about a mile past the last tram stop, but everything in between was sweet, pristine desert. Got to the parking lot about 11, but I had to circle for almost 15 minutes before finally finding a parking spot. This is quite a feat considering there must be at least 250+ parking spots, but there were droves of retirees and also kids (must be school out for some folks), this had flashes of the Piestewa summit lot. I strongly considered going elsewhere, but I also knew I would have plenty of solitude once past 7 Falls. I really enjoyed the upper reaches of Bear Canyon once past the falls, and the East Fork trail was by far the highlight of the day. Only a few miles long, but boy the views are spectacular, 360 degrees of untouched desert. Everything was really green, and there was a surprising amount of bloom above about 4000'. So many great Sotols, Agaves, and Yuccas to see out here. I kept up a good pace with only a few breaks, at least half of my wait time was spent trying to finish a few work emails before dropping out of cell service for a good 3 hours. Made it back around to Sabino Canyon, I could not bring myself to hike the road this time so I took the Phone Line trail back. What is a little more mileage and AEG, I am a bit of a glutton for punishment, besides the Phone Line trail totally rocks! Much better views than the road, plus many fewer people. Back to the van a bit before 5, my only regret is not getting to make the side trip to Hutch's Pool, but I had to be home to Phoenix by 7:30 to take care of some stuff with the kids. This will be worth doing again for sure!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Bear Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow at all elevations

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max East Fork Sabino Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow along the whole East Fork trail

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sabino Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow, especially up higher in the canyon

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Seven Falls - Catalina Light flow Light flow
Pools were full, Falls were flowing
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