Where We Be
|The Sonoran Desert is not at all stark or empty -- it's a vibrant desert environment
|Sabino Canyon -- Tucson, AZ
|From the entrance a tram takes you 4 miles up the canyon (or you can hike)
We enjoyed a short day hike with friends at
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Sabino Canyon
offers an easy way to get a taste of the Sonoran
Desert. For a small fee a tram takes you four
miles up the canyon to the far end -- or you can
hike there on your own if you prefer. There are
nine tram stations along the way, but most folks
ride all the way to the top then hike back down.
Our little group of four was looking for an easy
day hike so we took the tram one way. Rather
than walking back along the road, we hiked up
a series of switchbacks then followed a trail
through the Sonoran Desert. We all agreed this
was the best part of the hike. We got away from
the people and the road and got a bit closer to
nature. We especially enjoyed getting to see all
the strange cacti and vibrant desert growth up
close: ocotillo, prickly pear, teddy bear cholla,
palo verde, and saguaro. We have to say, the
Sonoran Desert is the most vibrant desert
we've ever seen. It gets more rain than most
deserts so plants and animals thrive.
|Hiking with friends on a sunny day. What could be better?
|Sabino Canyon is listed as a top Tucson attraction by TripAdvisor.
It's located in the Catalina Mountains in northeastern Tucson.
|Saguaros are found exclusively in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona
and western Sonora, Mexico (with a few stragglers in southeast California)
|The teddy bear cholla appears soft and fuzzy -- but isn't!
|This is the main road through Sabino Canyon, used by both the tram and hikers, joggers, and bikers
|Here we are at the far end of the tram ride after having hiked up some
switchbacks. We're looking down at the road and towards the canyon entrance.
|One of the things that makes Sabino Canyon special is the flowing water -- not all that common in a desert environment
|Sabino Canyon is a natural desert oasis
|Robin slips and has a close call with a mean patch of prickly pear
|Desert hiking is fairly new to us
|Robin and Kristy share a hug at the head of the canyon
|Saguaros are the trees of the Sonoran Desert
|We hiked down steep switchbacks and reconnected with the main road