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Phoneline Trail

 4.8 (13)

One of the more popular hiking trails at Sabino Canyon with decent elevation gain & technicality.

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Point to Point

3,654' 1,114 m


2,702' 824 m


1,042' 318 m


187' 57 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (9°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views


The Phoneline Trail is definitely one of the more popular spots for hikers within Sabino Canyon, particularly for weekday or medium distance outings. It features uphill sections, quite a bit of moderately rocky & technical hiking, along with some stretches of fairly smooth trail. A portion of the Phoneline Trail also is used when heading up to Blacketts Ridge. The trail pretty much parallels the Sabino Canyon tram road just up above halfway up the ridgeline, with a few different paths cutting down to the road to create various distance loops if you want to head down the tram road rather than do an out & back. The Phoneline Trail often is used as a return option for the longer Bear Canyon Loop for those not wanting to use the tram road.

Getting to the Phoneline Trail you start out following the Bear Canyon Trail mostly gently downhill to the east from the Visitor's Center in the Sabino parking lot, After crossing over Sabino Creek at just over 0.75 miles you'll see a trail straight ahead which is the start of the Phoneline. Here's where the climbing starts as you begin your ascent, picking your way through the rocky footing. After about 0.6 miles up the Phoneline Trail you'll come to the turnoff for Blacketts Ridge on the right side. Continue straight on up past that.

After another 0.4 miles you'll come to the Phoneline Link Trail on your left that takes you back down towards Sabino Creek and the tram road. Again, continue on straight (right path) up the hill. The terrain begins to level out after a while as the climbing is mostly in this first section of trail and towards the end a bit too.

From the Phoneline Link Trail it's another 2.7 miles to the Historic Sabino Trail on your left side that again takes you back down to the tram road. Keep to the right again to follow the Phoneline Trail until it intersects with the Sabino Canyon Trail. Here you can turn around and head back down Phoneline, take the Sabino Canyon Trail up towards the East/West Fork, or head down the Sabino Canyon Trail switchbacks to the tram road.

This is a very enjoyable trail and one that you'll find popular with trail runners and hikers alike. One great benefit to taking this one in the mornings is that you get quite a bit of shade for the majority of the trail. This is especially nice in the warmer summer months.

Flora & Fauna

Plenty of animals and plants here at Sabino, including mountain lion sightings.


Shared By:

Stephen Woodall

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 13 votes


  4.8 from 13 votes
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in Arizona


37 Views Last Month
8,557 Since Jul 20, 2016



Heading NE on Phoneline
Jul 30, 2018 near Catalin…, AZ
Some saguaros off of the Phoneline Trail.
Apr 7, 2019 near Catalin…, AZ
Breathtaking views into the canyon below.
Jun 14, 2019 near Tanque…, AZ



Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 26 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In


Mar 3, 2021
Charles Paige
Jan 26, 2021
Charles Paige
May 7, 2020
Angel Davis
Mar 1, 2020
DD Demers
Feb 19, 2020
Dennis MacVittie
9.8mi — 3h 27m
Jan 9, 2020
Dennis MacVittie
9.2mi — 3h 03m
Jan 8, 2020
Bonnie Conley
Dec 20, 2019
Dennis MacVittie
5.4mi — 2h 17m