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Sabino Canyon

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ohio
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Sabino Canyon

My husband and two daughters would like to see some beautiful scenery while in Tucson. We are not much for hiking, but do enjoy leisure walks in parks.

I heard that Sabino Canyon has a narrated tram. Does this require much walking?? Will you see anything if you just stay on the tram?? Should we bring our own water/snacks??

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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1. Re: Sabino Canyon

If you want scenic, leisurely walks, then that defines Sabino Canyon: it's paved, relatively flat and has gorgeous scenery.

You can certainly take the tram and, yes, it is narrated, but you're up at the end of the canyon in about 15 minutes. You'll see the same stuff as walking but it'll just go by a lot faster. The tram requires no walking as it picks up at the parking lot. You could take the tram up and then walk back down. I hate that tram though, so I think it would be best to just walk a ways in then just turn around.

Yes, definitely bring water and something to eat. There's vending at the trailhead and a few water fountains along the trail but those fountains are often unreliable. You may even want to consider doing a picnic out there. They have some nice picnic areas on the side of the trail by the creek.

Tucson, Arizona
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2. Re: Sabino Canyon

Also on Tucson's east side is Saguaro National Park East. There is a 9-mile loop road with lots of places to pull out and enjoy the scenery.

Colorado Springs...
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3. Re: Sabino Canyon

A good way to enjoy SabinoCy is to take the tram up to the turn-around point, then start walking down. When you get tired, wait for one of the returning shuttles at one of the 8 stops en route. The shuttles run about every half hour. This return is included with your ticket.

I don't know when you plan to come. Right now, some of the bridges you will have to cross on the way back are covered with water. To avoid getting their feet wet (by taking their shoes and socks off) , some people walk to the first "under water" bridge and pick up the return shuttle there. Others wrap plastic bags around their shoes. I, personally, think that is a bit dangerous, because the plastic can be slippery.

Florida Native
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122 posts
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4. Re: Sabino Canyon

I love to experience this Canyon, never get tired of it. Don't make the mistake and just go during broad daylight, go at dusk, dawn etc. and go on more than one day. Kids seem to love it... all ages, because you can explore, climb rocks etc. There are many photo ops too, for family memories of your trip to Az. The park rangers inside of the visitors center can provide you with a map and additional info re: the complexity of the trails and if you have to cross streams etc and how deep they are. Buy a pair of water shoes at Walmart and your kids and you can get your feet wet, with no qualms. I like to wear a hat, carry some chapstick in a small backpack. Take along birdwatching binoculars, and make a day of it. There are water fountains at many of the tram stops, and the tour guide will tell you which ones, but i always bring extra, and some trailbars, to snack on if i think to stay the day. A group on one tram carried a cooler along and left it at one stop, while they explored higher up. You should go off the road on one of the side trails to truely experience the beauty of the Park. The Phoneline Trail from the last stop offers lovely views and you can always turn back if you think it getting too difficult or long. The Phoneline Trail to the Historic Trail makes for a nice shorter loop to the road, and you won't get your feet wet. I found even elders and tots hiking the trail, so I'm sure you could probably manage. Also check out the other paved tour route, Bear Creek. They have picnic tables and grills situated at overlooks where you can look down at the falls, really lovely, and its a short hike, or ride if you prefer. My husband and I were there last evening and noticed mosquitos so if you come then, wear repellant. Hope you enjoy your visit!

Tucson, Arizona
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509 posts
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5. Re: Sabino Canyon

Make sure you take cash if you plan on riding the tram. They do not accept debit/credit cards and there is no ATM on site. I learned this the hard way! I think it is worth riding if you are a tourist. Jump off at Anderson Dam or other points and enjoy the water. You can spend as much time as you want because your ticket is good all day. Have fun!

Denver, Colorado
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18 reviews
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6. Re: Sabino Canyon

You might consider taking the tram up and walking down. If you change your mind while walking down, you can always pick up the tram at various stops along the way down.

Colorado Springs...
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7. Re: Sabino Canyon

As mentioned, there are several nice trails for easy hiking. One is the Bluff Trail. You start from the Visitor Center as if going to Bear Canyon. But before you get to the turn-off toward first bridge (there's a rest room, there), on your left, is the sign for the Bluff Trail. It eventually takes you up to the main road where the shuttle runs. You then have the choice of either returning to the Visitior Center, or keep walking on tne main road for a bit into tne canyon, where on your left ( again, another rest room, on your right)is the trail head of the Rattle Snake Trail (never have seen a snake there in the 20+ years I have hiked that trail). That also will eventually take you back to the road to the Visitor Center. Check with the rangers there, they will. mark the whole loop for you. It's a very scenic route.

tucson, az
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8. Re: Sabino Canyon

My dad goes walking at Sabino Canyon quite a bit and he's seen quite a few rattlesnakes there. He was thrilled when he realized one time it was a rattlesnake species he hadn't seen out there before*. He's had to warn other walkers about snakes on the trail ahead of them when passing them on trails and the best advice, really is: watch the ground when you walk. If you want to look up, stop and then look up.

*He's a herpetologist by training.

nottingham england
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48 posts
22 reviews
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9. Re: Sabino Canyon

We did the tram ride into Sabino Canyon last November - you can stay on or get off and walk at any of the stopping points. We travelled to the top and then about half way back down, we then got off and walked the rest of the way - in November the weather was perfect for this but maybe not in height of summer - take water and snacks with you

10. Re: Sabino Canyon

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