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Catalina Foothills, Arizona

Hike to Seven Falls

5 Miles Total - 917 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Danny McGee

The search for an oasis in the middle of the desert led us through Bear Canyon in the Coronado National Forest. The Seven Falls trail winds up through 2 1/2 miles of the most beautiful landscape Tucson has to offer, and leads to a surreal set of waterfalls that cascade into large pools.

At the main parking lot of Sabino Canyon, there are a few different trams you can take to nearby trailheads. You have the option to either hop on a tram that will take you to the 7 Falls trailhead for $4 a person, or walk the 2 miles yourself. Once at the trailhead, signs will lead you into Bear Canyon and eventually to 7 Falls. The towering walls on each side provide shade in certain times of the day. We visited in early January, and there was a small stream (That is there for most of the year) that the trail flanks for most of the hike. There are several river crossings along the way which are very easily traversed with a little hop, skip and a jump. The trail ascends through forests of saguaros, sycamore, and cottonwood trees as teddy bear cactus, buckhorn cholla, and barrel cactus line the path. The trail is 2 1/2 miles one way. As you near the waterfalls the trail turns to switchbacks, before the falls finally reveal themselves around a bend in the canyon. You are rewarded with a stunning view. Water cascades down the granite cliffs into clear pools that you can relax around, and swim or wade into. The hike takes about 3 hours round trip and it is recommended to bring at least 1 quart of water per person.

Dogs are not allowed. 

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Tags

Chillin
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Protip: Arrive at the falls before 2pm!

Beautiful hike in Sabino Canyon! The tram mentioned in the description above runs once per hour on the hour so we opted to walk the mile to the trailhead turning this into a 7mi or so RT hike. Plan your hike to arrive prior to about 2pm as the sun will begin to set behind the hills blocking the light to Seven Falls. FYI - entrance is free with a National Park pass... enjoy!

Rainy Day Adventure!!

This is a beautiful hike! We decided to head out from the parking lot on a Sunday morning. It was overcast and sprinkling intermittently so we decided to go for it! As we hiked the leisurely first leg it sprinkled nicely and then stopped allowing the sun to peek through and illuminate the canyon (Bear Canyon). According to our millage we made it to just before the falls before the rain really started picking up and we had to seek cover, but that's what really made this adventure something to remember. We found a small rock cave right on the trail to take cover as the rain started pouring harder and harder until hail started pelting the scenery around us! We spent some time waiting for the storm to pass in this little hide away and it was magical. Finally it slowed down enough that we ventured out to try and make it back to the car. The sun really broke through the clouds at this point, illuminating the canyon in all it's glistening glory. We knew we were not going to make it back dry but what happened next was exhilarating. We headed back to the parking lot and as we were getting to the last half mile it began hailing again. Big popcorn sized hail! There was no cover and no where to run except the car so we began running through the freezing rain being pelted by hail balls. By the time we got to the car our hearts were racing, we were breathing heavy, huge smiles on our faces because we made it! Bring it on Mother Nature, your power is stunning! I highly recommend this hike to anyone who lives in Tucson or is just visiting to really take in the beauty that the Sonoran desert has to offer.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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