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