Sabino Canyon
Sabino Canyon
4.5
About
Located in the Catalina Mountains and part of the Coronado National Forest, this beautiful canyon offers outdoor recreation including hiking, swimming, biking and picnicking. For an overview of the area, take the narrated shuttle bus tour.
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  • Fun4AnT
    194 contributions
    Great activity for all ages.
    Bought tickets one day ahead. Glad we did because it did sell out for the whole day. The round trip ($12 per person) was a great activity for our group of eight, which included some who wouldn't have been able to hike the route. If you are able, I would recommend taking the Crawler to the farthest point and walking back (along the paved road/path). You can hop on/hop off the Crawler so if you're done walking, you can hop on a Crawler at one of the stops. Great way to see some beautiful scenery.
    Written March 20, 2022
  • happytrvlrColorado
    Windsor, Colorado190 contributions
    Nice outing, tour needs some improvements
    I have heard of Sabino Canyon and always wanted to check it out so while staying at the Westin La Paloma which is about a 10 minute drive away we decided to visit. The website indicates that no cars are allowed and you either have to walk or take a open air tram ride/tour. We arrived 30 minutes in advance of the first tour departure (hourly) only to discover all tickets were already gone. So we were able to purchase tickets for the next departure in one hour. As we boarded the tram, we were handed ear buds in order to listen to the recorded tour. The tour guide was very adamant that masks must be worn at all times. On an open-air tram!? I realize it is law but it seemd ridiculous and she was almost aggressive about her reminders to keep them on. We settled in hoping to hear all about the canyon, the cactus and animals as we rode but the recorded tour was disappointing. Lots of time gaps and very superficial information. It would have been nice to hear all the interesting facts about the saguaro cactus for example but it was merely named with no further information. You are allowed to get off at any of the 9 stops and many people did so that they could hike. We gave up on the uninformative tour and did get off about halfway back and walked to our car. One tip I'd like to pass along is that you can actually purchase your tram tickets in advance online and I would definitely recommend going on one of the earlier departures. Tram tour starts at 9,
    Written November 20, 2021
  • 2-Lane-Traveler
    Savage, Minnesota925 contributions
    Beautiful Desert Canyon, Tram Ride was well done and great way to get to trails.
    A beautiful Desert Canyon, near Tucson. Tram Ride was well done and great way to get to trails ($12/person) recommend making reservations on-line prior to your visit. If your in to hiking, the tram takes you to several trail heads. If you not, it's a fun 45 min trip into and back out of the canyon. The tram crosses the creek 9 times (7 were through water during our visit in lat February).
    Written February 28, 2020
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
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Jeff K
Pittsburgh, PA1,635 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
We took the Bear Canyon Crawler to the trailhead for the 7 Falls trailhead. The Crawler saves you about 30-40 minutes each way. We bought tickets a week in advance for the 9:45 crawler but tickets were still available when we arrived.

The hike took my wife and me about 3 hours, plus 15 minutes hanging out at the falls area. We hiked in late April and the heat wasn’t bad. I would rate the hike as moderate. The ascent is fairly gradual without any significant steep areas. The trail can be pretty rocky in areas so you have to watch your footing pretty carefully. We saw a wide variety of cacti and plants. Also, saw some interesting insects and lizards.

We were very glad that we made the hike. It’s a great way to experience the desert first-hand and up-close.

Highly recommended.
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hdempsey
Washington DC1,290 contributions
Apr 2022
After a big morning of hiking in the nearby national park, this was the perfect stop. There's more hiking available if you want it, but for my group to take the tram out and back was perfection. Nice views, some commentary through a headset, and a five minute photo op at the end of the line.

The tram has a fee, but the cost to actually enter the park is covered if you have a national park pass.

I was disappointed to learn the tram was only operating once per hour, but just check ahead of time so you know what you're getting into. I would have considered tramming to the end, and walking some of the way back, but know there wasn't another tram for an hour I just stayed on.

Very nice visitor center as well.
Written April 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Teacher91 ❤
Temple, TX34,331 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
The Mr and I wanted to see and learn about the Sabino Canyon.

The tram was a great way to do both since neither of us were dressed or prepared to hike.

We took the 9:00 tram ($15 each) and was looking forward to the commentary as well as the ride.

It was a somewhat difficult to hear because the audio system was a little weak. It didn’t help the people behind us, had no interest in the audio, and talked non-stop.

Later we stopped in the well done Visitor’s Center, and filled in the gaps we missed on the commentary.

We took several pictures along the way and throughly enjoyed the magnificent scenery.

I don’t think I will ever tire of gazing at the saguaro cactus. It has a beauty all its own. I always love the look and sound of running water and the tram crossed many bridges giving us excellent photo ops.

Sabino Canyon is beautiful and we were so glad we got to see it!

Highly recommended!
Written August 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John H
Westmount, Canada495 contributions
Nov 2022
A beautiful, natural outdoor experience. This is about nature 'as it is'; pure and simple. One can choose to hike the lower elevations on simple, easy-to-walk, mostly flat paths. Or one can choose slightly more aggressive hikes. And/or one can pay and ride the tram up to higher elevations (and hike down...or ride both ways). For those interested in birding, there are many species to see. I also saw a gray desert fox (in the day time). There are parking and facilities at the entrance/visitor center. $8 parking for the car, all day (with in and our privileges). - I enjoyed returning a few times over the week to enjoy the exercise, fresh air, and sites. FWIIW, no biking allowed in the park during main operational hours.
Written November 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mule54
Logan, UT523 contributions
Mar 2022
Call us naive. We had planned to ride the bus up to Stop #9 and walk back on the paved road. The bus tickets were already sold out in the morning and wouldn't have any until afternoon. So, we walked up and then caught bus back. It was $13 for a round-trip, but we could swipe a credit card for the return at $7. The bus had lots of seats when we caught it for downhill. The round trip seems to leave on the hour, take a half hour to get up, and then it's easy to calculate that the return bus will be after the half hour. Originally, we thought we'd hike the trail rather than the road, but walking over the 9 bridges was fun and interesting. Good restrooms along the way. Some shade for morning walks.
Written March 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JP
13 contributions
Apr 2021
Let me start by saying that the actual Sabino Canyon itself was AMAZING. Incredible scenery and views and lots of great trails to pick from. We thoroughly enjoyed 90% of our day there.

However, Sabino Canyon Crawler/tram/shuttle service was an absolute joke. From the first moment we interacted with staff, we were met with rude, patronizing behavior which took us completely by surprise, considering we were asking some pretty basic questions as tourists who had never been in the area before. We ended up getting the best advice from some friendly hikers who were heading up the road.

We ended up on a variety of trails throughout the day, the longest being the Phoneline Trail (highly recommend!) which linked at the end with Sabino Canyon Trail at put us at the final shuttle stop (#9). We planned and rationed our water/food throughout the day thinking that after the 6+ miles of hiking, we'd pay the one-way shuttle fee and ride back. We waited at the stop for an hour, no shuttle. There were no other people around, so we ended up walking down the road and ran into other folks who were at shuttle stop #8, who had also been waiting for an hour.

We then learned from another couple on the road that the shuttles had "malfunctioned" and were unable to complete the loop. Considering we had planned our food/water relying on the tram coming, we were stunned. It was appalling and downright dangerous that no one from staff or park service (in a truck, ATV, walking, anything!) alerted the hikers that the trams weren't in service. We ended up walking the rest of the way back down the road (finally getting running water to refill our bottles past shuttle stop #1).

The shuttle service is a wonderful concept and something we were eager to use and enjoy. But the management and employees today were beyond disappointing. I'm honestly grateful that we didn't end up giving them any business, and just paid the entrance fee into the park.
Written April 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joseph H
Beavercreek, OH1,424 contributions
Feb 2022
My wife and I enjoyed a hike to Seven Falls. We arrived to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area at approximately 1015 on Monday, President's Day, and found the main parking lot full. We parked in the overflow parking lot approximately 1/2 mile further down the road. We walked briskly to the visitor center to catch the 1045 Canyon Crawler to the Seven Falls trailhead. It may have been due to the federal holiday, but it was deemed a 'no fee' day so our National Park Pass was not necessary. The trail was very busy, thus getting to and from the falls took a bit longer than expected as we frequently had to step to the side of the trail to let others by. The trail itself was great. The water levels at the creek crossings were low so we didn't have to don the water shoes we carried along with us...the crossings have a 'bridge' of stones that allow a person to navigate without getting wet (although I presume a hearty rain would make sandals/water shoes a valued asset during the hike). The day was cooler, about 64F, with a nice breeze, so the hike was very comfortable.
Written February 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SpencerClan
Murray, UT146 contributions
Nov 2021 • Solo
Was disappointed in my trip up Sabino Canyon, but I’m also from Utah and used to a wide range of mountain hikes to choose from. It’s $8 to park, then $12 for a 45 min open air shuttle w a narration abt the cacti and animals of the canyon. The average visitor gets off the shuttle at the top and walks down the canyon on the asphalt road (no shade) for abt 4 miles back to the Visitors Center. There are some off shoot hikes but the only real attraction was two swimming holes that required several hours of hiking to access. Went on the noon shuttle and it was 90 degrees and no shade- too hot for my hiking tastes! Visitors center was very small and didn’t have much to look at. For $20, I think I would have picked another outdoor activity instead.
Written November 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

memaw60
Elizabethtown, PA666 contributions
Apr 2021 • Couples
We have visited 3 times and each time experienced the canyon differently. Would recommend taking the tram ride up to the top of the canyon and then walk the 3.7 miles back to the visitor center. Upon checking into the tram we were given earbuds for the half hour narration about flora, fauna and history. Most of the return walk is down hill. Only a short section is an incline and that could be avoided by getting back on the tram at stop 2. We did take time to sit by the creek to soak in the peaceful setting. We saw folks with picnic food and children swimming in a small pool area. My camera will not do justice to the beauty. A fragrant woodsy smell accompanied us as we walked the return trip on the paved road. It was impressive to see that some folks walk the trail up and back everyday. This is a family friendly activity.
Written April 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Northern_Traveler00
California63,647 contributions
Aug 2022
$15/person gets you about a five mile ride up the canyon with recorded narration. Amazing views and you go thru running water a few times. So many cacti 🌵!

You can get off at many stops en route and walk down or catch the tram if it has room.
Written August 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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