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    Ability Realty
    7360 E. 22nd Street
    Tucson, AZ 85710
    (800) 528-0626 Toll Free
    (520) 721-6365 Fax

    Contact us by email at:


    Copyright © 2009 Fotheringham Enterprises
    All Rights Reserved


    Tucson Arizona Equal Housing Opportunity


    Tucson Real Estate at it's finest.

    Providing Tucson Arizona Real Estate services.


    tucson real estate, tucson mls

    Broker: Barry Fotheringham

    tucson real estate 

    Sabino Canyon

    As a child growing up in Southern California, we did not go to Arizona but I knew a great deal about this diverse state. How? My parents subscribed to the Arizona Highways. I did not know it then, but many of the award winning photographs in each issue were taken in and around the city that would eventually become my own. One of the most lovely and frequent "models" is the area we call Sabino Canyon.

    One of the wonderful aspects of Sabino Canyon is that it is almost in town! It is located at the base of the Catalina Mountains near the northeast part of the city.

    Archaeologists believe that the Clovis culture of hunter-gatherers could have come into the cool canyon as early as 12000 to 15000 years ago. They hunted Columbian mammoth, bison and other big game. Later the Cochise were the most likely visitors closer to 8000 B.C. Their food was small game and plants. Next came the Hohokam who were agricultural people. Lastly came the Pima and Tohono O'Odham Indians who are still here.

    To follow Sabino Creek to its headwater is a daunting task as it flows through 10 miles of rugged terrain to the desert floor. Even if there is no water in the stream when you visit, do not be fooled. There may not be enough to come to the surface but underground it is running into our groundwater wells. Snow melt in a good year will produce flows that can cover the bridges. By May there usually is no top level water. Particularly during the summer, the cool air in the pines and firs on the mountain force air exchanges that lead to the dramatic thunderhead clouds often seen in the afternoons. These in turn produce the water that feeds Sabino Creek.

    There are lovely natural swimming areas in the upper canyon. If Tucson has a very active Monsoon (rain season from June-August), you need to be careful as flash floods can be dangerous. This is a good time to mention the signs you will see throughout our valley stating "DO NOT ENTER WHEN FLOODED", THIS IS NOT A JOKE. This is deadly serious. Either on foot or in a car, DO NOT GO INTO FLOODED AREAS!!! The water can be tricky as the tiny rocks in washes have rolled down the mountainsides and are like little ball bearings and can carry even your car out into a heavy current. Sometime when you are talking to Barry, ask him to tell you about his experiences in helicopter rescue and about the night he spent saving people from the Rillito River!! The visitor center at the entrance to Sabino Canyon will let you know the conditions.

    At one time overnight camping was popular in Sabino Canyon but has been banned as Tucson outgrew the area and the environment became endangered. Next to go were the cars that could drive several miles into the canyon. Since 1978 a shuttle bus drops you off and picks you up if you do not want to hike into the canyon. At any time of the year it is a wonderful place to visit. Collect sand rubies in the sand at the upper part of the canyon. They aren't big and aren't worth anything but are fun to find. Swim or wade, sit on a boulder and take in the scenery or paint or read. Bring your lunch and a drink….ALWAYS a drink wherever you go. Walk back or take the shuttle when it comes through and you will go home refreshed.

    Another fun thing to do is take the moonlight shuttle (weather permitting) to the end of the road. Words cannot describe the beauty of the canyon at night in the light of a full moon. You may need to reserve seats. Check with the station for times and prices.

    Another nice site for more information and beautiful photography of the Sabino Canyon area is the "Friends Of Sabino Canyon".


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