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Sabino Canyon Visit

Sabino Canyon Tucson Arizona Is Worth Exploring

Visiting Sabino Canyon In Coronado Forest Arizona

Sabino Canyon

Just a few months ago, we were having breakfast with some friends and acquaintances at a local bar in Puerto Rico. As I mentioned that we were planning a trip to Arizona (this was before we decided to move here) and the Sabino Canyon, one of them said in shock:

“Why in the world would you want to go there?”


My response was: “Because my son lives in Arizona and because it’s beautiful, we want to go explore it more.”

Sabino Canyon Trolley

This woman was clearly taken aback and shocked that anyone would want to travel from a tropical island to the desert.

In response to that, I would say that anyone that hasn’t traveled to the American Southwest is doing themselves an injustice. Arizona is truly beautiful and full of hidden, natural treasures. One of those treasures is the Sabino Canyon in Tucson.

Sabino Canyon

There is no doubt that the humid, green, and beachy Puerto Rico is beautiful. But as I do my daily morning walk in the desert and gaze at the surrounding mountains, I can’t help think that this is equally pretty. They are completely different but both have their merits, obviously.

Most people know about the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and even Meteor Crater in Arizona. But have you ever heard of the Sabino Canyon in Tucson? Be honest, have you?

Sabino Canyon

Well, it’s a natural treasure in southern Arizona that should not be missed.

Sabino Canyon Arizona

Located in Tucson, the Sabino Canyon’s soaring mountains, deep canyons, and unique plants and animals draw over a million visitors a year.

Tim and Jo

The rocky gorges of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the wonders of the desert foothills are amazingly beautiful and easily accessible.

Sabino Canyon

The Sabino Canyon Recreation Area tram routes provide easy access to both Sabino and Bear Canyons. They give the opportunity to visit the canyons to both hikers and non-hikers alike. You can get on and off the tram with your ticket at any of its nine stops. We rode the tram, and listened to the guide, all the way up the Sabino Canyon. And then, walked all the way back down.


Sabino Canyon Tram

Probably my favorite thing about the canyon was the surprising amount of greenery and water. There was a long creek running through it and there was even a couple of little beaches you can hang out on.

The Sabino Creek winds around the tram path and literately runs water over the bridges. So, walking back down, we actually got our shoes soaked when crossing them. It was so fun and sooo refreshing in the desert heat!!!!!

Sabino Canyon Tucson Arizona

The majestic granite boulders towering over the canyon and the biological wonderland are incredibly beautiful. And, I could spend days in this beautiful area.

However, it’s important to remember that Sabino Canyon is in the desert. Therefore, it’s crucial to carry enough water with you and avoid the hottest seasons. Also, note that it is possible to encounter snow during the winter months.

Sabino Canyon

Trust me, you don’t want to go out there in the middle of the day in 100-degree heat and have to be rescued by the park rangers because you collapse from heat exhaustion.

Or, get stranded somewhere on the trails in the cold. As with the ocean in Puerto Rico, it is imperative to respect the nature here.

Sabino Canyon

Don’t forget, it is not uncommon to run into wildlife when visiting these places. The animal life is abundant and very visible in Sabino Canyon. Some animals that you may run into are ground squirrels, White-tailed Deer, Bobcats, Mountain Lions (yes, Mountain Lions), Coyotes, Fox, and snakes. This in addition to hundreds of bird species and a big array of lizards.

So, Here Are Some Final Practical Tips:

  1. For park hours and fees, check out the official Forest Service website.
  2. Bring lots of water!
  3. Bring a hat and sunglasses.
  4. Don’t forget sun screen!
  5. Bring a snack.
  6. Wear appropriate clothing.
  7. Wear hiking shoes.

Come visit the Sabino Canyon in Tuscon!



About Joanna

is a Polish American living in Arizona with her husband Tim. She is a founding partner of JTR Tech and she is proud to be a professional geek. She had dreamt of living abroad for many years. So, she and Tim created AbroadDreams.com to document the process of making their dream of moving abroad come true. They spent 2 years in Puerto Rico and several months in Spain and Poland. Now they are exploring the American Southwest.

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  1. I’m so glad to see this! I’ve been hoping for some posts about your new home and explorations and somehow missed this one when it came out. I love the stream and waterfalls. Looking forward to more! As more and more of our ex-expat friends have ended up in Tucson we talk about making a trip there someday and I would have never known about this — we’ll definitely put it on the list to see!

    • Hi Arden,
      Please look us up when you are here, we’d love to meet you! Sabino Canyon is definitely a little hidden gem in Tucson 🙂

      • Hi, Joanna — We don’t have anything particular planned at the moment, but my interest is growing in seeing the area, plus we now have three sets of good friends from Costa Rica there as a bonus. 😉 Whenever we do finally plan a trip we’ll definitely be in touch — would be great to get together!

  2. Amazing! Nice write up.

    • Thank you very much Jeff 🙂 We’re heading to Madera Canyon, this week, which is a top bird watching destination in the US, this week. So, more is coming 🙂

  3. It’s fine and all. There are lots of great places in the US that people don’t know about. It’s just not “exotic” or especially appealing to most Americans (or folks in general). Most people don’t aspire to live there or have computer screensavers of the desert (perhaps some!), but many have them of crystal blue waters, sandy beaches and swaying palm trees like here in PR.

    • This obviously depends on personal taste. I’ve been all over the world visiting beaches and I definitely consider myself to be a beach person. Tim however, prefers the mountains. I have to disagree on the screen savers; there are many famous Southwest canyon/red rock screen savers. Judging by the number of “snowbirds” here, I’d say that far more people aspire to living here than in PR. As for me, I’ve been to the Mediterranean, Pacific, Caribbean, Atlantic, even Baltic, and so far, I have to say I’m surprised that I do not miss the beach.