Sabino Canyon is one of Tucson’s most popular hiking areas. It offers magnificent views of the Catalina Mountain Range and is located in the Coronado National Forest. There is a small fee of $8.00 per car. A National Parks Pass gets you in for free. www.sabinocanyon.org
The Visitors Center provides a detailed map, listing about 21 hikes of various lengths and difficulty. There are also two shuttles available, for a small fee of $6.00 per person, for those who prefer not to hike. One shuttle heads about 4 miles into Sabino Canyon with several stops along the way. Riders can hop on and off the shuttle at will. Another shuttle explores Bear Canyon for about two miles. We enjoyed the Sabino Canyon shuttle when we took it about two years ago.
Today we hiked the Esperero Trail to the Rattlesnake Trail to the Bluff Trail to the Sabino Lake Trail, altogether about 3.7 miles. It was a beautiful and peaceful hike that took us along the Sabino Canyon Creek to the Sabino Canyon Dam. There were plenty of picnic tables and clean rest stations along the way.
The Esperero and Rattlesnake Trails are special because they follow the boundary of the wilderness area that surrounds Sabino Canyon Recreational Area. In fact, the Esperero Trail continues on for miles into the Catalina Mountains and Coronado National Forest. Both trails are very peaceful and scenic with gorgeous mountain views.
The Bluff Trail and Sabino Dam Trail followed the Sabino Canyon Creek all the way to a beautiful waterfall. Large granite boulders, worn smooth by the flowing waters, reminded us of New England.
Our next adventures will include the Phoneline Trail and the Seven Falls Trail which many people have told us are stunning.