Carved by erosion into the south flank of the Santa Catalinas, Tucson’s favorite mountain retreat is a miles-long canyon descending from the pine-clad heights of Thimble Peak to the valley floor. The lower elevations of the canyon are prime Sonoran Desert habitat, with majestic saguaros, hummingbirds buzzing around ocotillo blossoms, javelinas scratching the ground for food, bobcats prowling the underbrush, prickly pears in bloom in spring. Cottonwoods take over as you climb, and energetic hikers who reach the upper elevations find ponderosa pine and aspen. Much of the year cool water flows in the ravines, and heavy rains bring waterfalls to the canyon. Access to the canyon is restricted to foot, bicycle or the tram buses operated by Sabino Canyon Tours ($8); the Forest Service day-use fee is $5 per car.
Attractions & Landmarks, Sports and the Outdoors
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