Ms. Karen here. On a pleasant Sunday in January 2015, I and Ms. Rosemary, hiked to Seven Falls in Bear Canyon adjacent to Sabino Canyon in northeast Tucson. Jim and I had hiked this in 1985 and at that time I considered it easy. I came back to see if it was as I remembered.
Let me warn you, this is a very popular hike with the younger crowd. Ms. Rosemary and I must have encountered over a hundred college-age kids along the way. There were very few old folks making this trip. Crowd or no crowd, I would place this as a must see for anyone willing to hike 4 miles (’round trip) of rugged trail.
There are plenty of creek crossings. Be prepared to get your feet wet. The trail is not well marked. Even when it is marked, direction can be questionable. See the slideshow.
If you hike from the Visitor’s Center and back, that would make it 8 miles total. There is a tram however that can take you to the trailhead for 3 dollars (cash only). The tram to Bear Canyon runs every hour, so if you miss one, you have an hour to wait before another tram comes. Unless you are exhausted, best plan on walking down. We missed the tram by 5 minutes. Figure on two hours up, and a good one hour down. Luckily for me, it was downhill to the parking lot. However, Ms. Rosemary’s knees find uphill preferable to downhill. When we reached the parking lot at the Visitor Center, we were too exhausted to pack our picnic baskets back to the few tables that Sabino Canyon has behind the restrooms. We just tailgated in the parking lot.
As for difficulty? Let’s just say, there were very few folks as old as us (60’s). Perhaps, those folks just know better than to hike this trail on a Sunday. In 1985, we saw maybe a dozen other people along the way. How things change. Click here for our Sabino Canyon video on all there is to see and do in Sabino Canyon.
Here is a slideshow of what we found this time.