Sabino Dam Trail
Total Time: 1.5 Hours
Total Distance: 4 Miles
This was my first hike during my trip to Arizona. Before heading out to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show, which is the reason I was here in Arizona, I was determined to do a quick morning hike. The mountains here are very impressive and the terrain very much different then the east coast. Sabino Canyon is a beautiful canyon the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, with gorgeous vistas and a flowing brook. One of the most amazing things about hiking in Arizona, besides for the giant Saguaro cactus, is that that there is a continuous view throughout the hike.
It had been raining in Tucson the past several days so the water level was very high. In fact, some of the brook crossings proved extremely difficult as the trail accross the stream was washed out. I started at the visitor center, and headed east on the Nature Trail, to the beginning of the Phoneline Trail. The Phoneline Trail is the main trail in the Canyon and heads along the ridge of the canyon midway between the bottom and top. Headed along the trail until the first connection trail back to the bottom (I do not know the name of this trail as it is not on the trail map). At this point instead of going directly to the road, I instead headed south on the Sabino Dam trail hoping to cross the brook at some point, which proved to be impassable. I finally managed to scramble across some rocks and loose trees fallen across and barely made it. From there took the Esperero Trail back to the Visitors Center where I had parked.
Map of the route
Desert brush with cloud-covered mountains.
Blacketts Ridge is to the right
and the notch in center is Sabino Canyon.
Taken from Nature Trail near Visitor Ctr.
A nice shot of Saguaro Cactus
Looking north from end of Nature Trail.
Sabino Brook overflowing its banks.
The trail crosses here but I had to make a detour
where the road crosses.
Ascending the Phoneline Trail
Along the ridge looking down
towards the canyon bottom.
Looking southwest, zoomed in
towards downtown Tucson
Looking into the canyon from the Phoneline Trail
Another view looking down.
Looking far north at the high summits
near Mount Lemmon.