Visiting Sabino Canyon In Coronado Forest Arizona
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.”
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.
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?
Well, it’s a natural treasure in southern Arizona that should not be missed.
Located in Tucson, the Sabino Canyon’s soaring mountains, deep canyons, and unique plants and animals draw over a million visitors a year.
The rocky gorges of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the wonders of the desert foothills are amazingly beautiful and easily accessible.
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.
I LOVED it!
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!!!!!
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.
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.
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:
- For park hours and fees, check out the official Forest Service website.
- Bring lots of water!
- Bring a hat and sunglasses.
- Don’t forget sun screen!
- Bring a snack.
- Wear appropriate clothing.
- Wear hiking shoes.
Come visit the Sabino Canyon in Tuscon!