Sabino Canyon Trails & Seven Falls
Continuing down from Mount Lemmon is Sabino Canyon. You’ll be trading the cool air at high elevation and tall trees for easier to breath (if hotter) air and a forest of tough Sonoran plants and towering saguaros. Sabino Creek continues its flow from the mountain about, providing life to stunning riparian areas as well.
This is a hike that starts by tram, an informative tour that feels plenty unique to the area. You’ll learn plenty of history about the canyon before the ride eventually ends, right at the start of the Sabino Canyon Trail. This hike is 7.8 miles, though it can be 8 more if you don’t take the ride up. Contrasting how hikes up Mount Lemmon took you through thick forest and allowed you sight of the beautiful desert below, this hike works in reverse as you’ll be surrounded by the gradually shifting desert and its greener creek sides while gazing up to see the proper forest far above. This hike has plenty of water going for it, and you’ll make plenty of creek crossings (big or small depending on the time of year) with a restful turnaround point at Hutch’s Pool.
If more water is what you’re looking for though, take the tram up to Seven Falls instead for a 4.6 mile hike (which could again be 8 longer if the tram isn’t your style). While the trail is mostly unshaded, there are a number of creek crossings to keep things cool and the signature Seven Falls pouring down Sabino Creek at the turnaround point. You’ll find plenty of visitors enjoying the roaring falls and swimming in the pools below. We’d recommend going after a big rain or when snow melt is running off to get the most out of this one.