Sabino Canyon Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Located on the northeast corner of Sunrise Blvd and Sabino Canyon Road at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. With soaring mountains, deep canyons, and the unique plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert found here draw over a million visitors a year to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. The wonders of the desert foothills and rocky gorges of the Santa Catalina Mountains are marvelous and accessible.


Sabino Canyon Shuttle routes provide access to Sabino and Bear Canyons. Along both routes riders are free to get off wherever they choose, do a little birding, have a picnic, or spend time along one of the many pools and cascades that grace Sabino Creek.  For those who just want a refresher course on its wonders, the nature trail at the visitor center offers plenty of wildlife and trailside interpretive information.


If riding the shuttle does not stir your sense of adventure, there are miles of hiking trails that wander throughout the area and lead deeper into the Santa Catalina backcountry.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: The Visitor Center hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm, seven days a week.  We are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
Rentals & Guides: Sabino Canyon tours offers a narrated, educational 45-minute, 3.8 mile tour into the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The trams have nine stops along the tour with several restroom facilities and picnic grounds located near Sabino Creek. The tram turns around at Stop #9 and heads back down to the Visitor’s Center, at which point riders may remain on board and hike back down. Trams arrive on average every 30 minutes.   Sabino Canyon Tours’ Bear Canyon Trail tram is a non-narrated 2 mile ride that travels to the trailhead of Seven Fall. Visitors may get off the tram at any of the stops and re-board later. Trams arrive on average every hour. The Bear Canyon tram ride has 3 stops along the way for hikers to select their choice of trails.
Fees Parking Fee:  $5.00 per day per vehicle  Tram Fee: $8.00 adults, $4.00 children For additional information about tram times go to
Permit Info: Fire Permit and Backpacking Permit ARE NOT required for this area.
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Tucson
Water: Water fountains, vending machines, and seasonal flowing streams/pool.
Restroom: 12
Passes: The Coronado Recreation passes are valid at Mt. Lemmon, Madera and Sabino Canyons.  The Day pass is $5.00.  The Annual pass is $20.00.  The Senior pass (62 yrs.+ of age and a U.S. resident) is $10.00. The Access pass (permanently disabled) is free, however, a doctor's letter must be provided.
Information Center: The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center is located immediately north of the parking lot. The staff answers questions about nearby points of interest and plants and animals common to the canyon; they also provide detailed information about hiking trails in the Canyon and elsewhere on the Santa Catalina Ranger District. Books, audio and videotapes, mementos of Sabino Canyon and Southern Arizona, and inexpensive maps of the canyon and surrounding area are offered for sale through the Public Lands Interpretive Association and the Friends of Sabino Canyon. Free brochures and handouts are also available.   While there is ample parking during the summer months, the lot can be crowded during the fall, winter and spring. The Visitor Center is fully accessible. There are hands-on exhibits and videos that may be enjoyed by the hearing and visually impaired visitors.

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Day Hiking

Status: Open
Fees: $5 Day Use Fee

Nature Viewing

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