Hiking Bear Canyon to Seven Falls

Tucson, AZ

Yesterday we met Hans and Lisa and headed out with them to nearby Sabino Canyon.  We hiked in this area during our visit to Tucson in October and wanted to return to explore the trail through Bear Canyon.  The hike is listed as being a  bit less than eight miles total, but our GPS indicated we went almost ten miles in all.  It goes into Bear Canyon, crossing the creek there many times, before arriving at scenic Seven Falls.


Hans and Lisa begin the hike

After a few minutes on the trail we could hear a sound rarely heard in the desert, water moving in a stream.  The stream in Bear Canyon has water at various times during the year and is prone to flash floods from rain at higher altitudes.  Today the sky was perfectly clear so we were in no danger from flooding.  But last week the Sheriff’s Department rescued over fifty hikers trapped on the trail when rain at higher elevations caused the creek to rise suddenly.


Hans, John, and Lisa check out our first view of water in the creek

You cross the creek seven times on this hike.  Crossings can be very easy during dry time periods, and dangerous to impossible during the monsoons of late summer.



After about three miles of hiking along the creek, the trail rises sharply up along the canyon wall.  Soon it rounds a corner and you are treated to a beautiful view of Seven Falls.


In the heat of the summer, hikers often swim in the pools, cooling off before starting the return hike.  We tested the water and decided it was a bit too chilly for a dip today.




Hans and Lisa at the upper pool

We enjoyed a rest and “light refreshments” at the falls before beginning the hike back down the canyon.

Lisa and Pam on the hike back down the canyon


Lisa hikes the trail

But a hike in this area of the world would be incomplete without a view of that elusive “Crested Saguaro.”  Although a Crested Saguaro is very difficult to spot, our group was fortunate to have two world famous Saguaro Spotters with us.  They were able to spot one of the elusive cactus along the trail.

DSC00127One of the Saguaro Spotters in the group informed us that rumor had it there was another one somewhere near the Visitor’s Center.  The volunteer on duty confirmed the rumor so, after a nearly ten mile hike, all members of our party were excited for the opportunity to walk through a nature path behind the Visitor’s Center and look at another cactus!  Thanks to Mona Liza of the blog Lowe’s RV Adventures for the tip on this cactus.



Sabino Canyon is a great place to hike, and the trail to Seven Falls is one you should not miss if in the Tucson area.

In an unrelated note, we could not help but share the picture below.  It serves as a great exampe that in America you still have the right to be absolutely stupid!

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12 Responses to Hiking Bear Canyon to Seven Falls

  1. Gay and Joe Taylor says:

    The falls are pretty……great hike! Can’t believe you keep finding all these crested saguaro.

  2. I enjoyed going on the hike with you and with Hans and Lisa via blogs. Now I want to go for real!

  3. Lisa says:

    World Famous!! Woohoo! It was a fun day with you two! Looks like your new camera took some nice pics!

  4. Marsha says:

    Oh you’re making me so homesick for that area. I love that hike. We totally missed Seven Lakes. I do not know how that happened.

    Would you quit putting those pictures of those cacti on the blog. I get illl each time I see them.

    Oh you don’t have to post any photos to remind us that people are stupid. We see it everyday!

    Another wonderful blog with gorgeous pictures. So happy for you both.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Marsha! I usually do a search for hikes in the area. That’s where I found this hike. It is on the Sabino Canyon map, too. I also search for the crested saguaro and found several sites that located them for me.

  5. rjrvtravels says:

    Wow, Wow, Wow! I am now going to be very busy when we land in the Tucson area in a couple of weeks. Besides a so many wonderful hikes – I should tell you that we are now obsessed with finding some Crested Saguaros. Oh… and I wanted to let you know that I met Dave and Sue today. Thanks for letting me know they were here at McDowell Mountain. I think Alex and Ellen are also here. – Rick

    • placestheygo says:

      Glad there are so many friends, new and old, there with you. Sue and Dave are great people.

      Most of the crested saguaro I found by searching online for locations. The very first one we posted about I discovered all by myself!! It sure gives hiking a new purpose, as well as driving around. You can also check back in the fall when we were here for other ideas. Glad you are on the “cresty” bandwagon. No cresties on today’s hike!

  6. I felt like I was hiking with you guys without breathing hard. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures. Your blog makes up for the fact that we missed this trail. Glad you found the grand daddy of them all.

    • placestheygo says:

      Glad you came along! Thanks for the wonderful idea of hiking Romero Pools. We did that hike today. Since we didn’t get there until after noon, we had the place to ourselves but passed a ton of people leaving. Glad we waited. Great hike. The water was really flowing…so beautiful!

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