Part 2: Sabino Canyon


Navigation Links
 Trip Home Page     


The Trip

After a turkey-induced food coma and a good night's sleep, some form of outdoor activity was indicated.  Rather than attempt something hard-core, we opted for a trip to Sabino Canyon and a tram ride through the canyon.  Sabino Canyon is one of the most scenic areas in the Tucson area.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Golden Cholla, my favorite!!  Huge, savage thorns that burn and itch if you touch them.  The buds tear off easily and bury themselves in deep in your flesh if you give them half a chance.

The Sabino Canyon visitor center has an awesome view of the Santa Catalina mountains to the north.

Note the high-dollar homes on the side of the mountain under Ventana Peak.

We hopped onto the tram and headed into the canyon.  From the tram we got a nice view of the flora of the Sonoran desert: sahauro, cholla, mesquite, ocotillo, palo verdes and prickly pear.

The road through the canyon gave us intermittent views of Thimble Peak.  The steep walls of the canyon were studded with large sahauros.

The south side of the canyon had large cliffs of banded gneiss.

The sahauros got denser as we went deeper into the canyon (and higher in elevation).

The primary component of the canyon walls is banded gneiss.  Occasionally, large blocks fall into the depths of the canyon where they get eroded by the stream.  This boulder has been worn smooth by the action of sand carried by the stream water.

While currently mostly dry when we were there, the bottom of the canyon is a riparian area that is dense with a variety of plants not normally found in the desert.

While the stream was not actively flowing, there were isolated pools of tannin-stained water left over from the last rainy season.

The cliffs under Thimble Peak were daunting and present a nearly impassable obstacle to human travel.

Note the hoodoos and window on the distant skyline.

The hoodoos and ragged peaks continued along the south walls of the canyon.

The upper pine-covered reaches of the Santa Catalinas were visible from the upper tram stop.  The highest peaks of the Catalinas are nearly 10,000 feet.

The north walls of the canyon were nearly as rugged as the south.

Huge slabs of banded gneiss were visible near the bottom of the canyon.

Sabino Canyon is a rugged place.

The upper tram stop was in an open ampitheater in the canyon.

The amphitheatre had a number of side canyons.

Note the eye near the top of the peak in the photo above.

Cottonwoods span the now-dry stream bed.  Usually in the spring, and sometimes after monsoon rains, the stream runs bank-to-bank.

The remaining isolated pools of water provide life for the canyon wild life: deer, coyote, bob cat and cougars.

The hard banded gneiss produces steep canyon faces.

Trees in the canyon were turning their fall colors.

One our egress from the canyon we could see the Tucson valley in the distance.

Tomorrow we return to San Diego.  We had a great time in Tucson and really enjoyed Sabino Canyon.

Navigation Links
Previous Adventure
Top of this Page
  Next Adventure
Trip Home Page  
Bill Caid's Home Page

Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2016, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.