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Bear Canyon Loop

Difficult

Trail

16.9 mile 27.2 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,465' 751 m
Descent: -2,456' -749 m
High: 4,818' 1,468 m
Low: 2,683' 818 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 28% (15°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Chad Dailey

An amazing trail loop starting at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center.

Chad Dailey

Features Views

Overview

This route is a spectacular loop starting at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and featuring some great views along the way.

Need to Know

Water sources are fairly reliable for desert standards. Water fountains are located along the North Upper Sabino Canyon Road, but you'll still want to make sure that you bring plenty of water with you.

Description

Start by heading towards Seven Falls then continue along Bear Canyon Trail #29. The boulders, sycamore trees, and water make Bear Canyon worth the trip. The trail will cross over a side draining canyon and climb above Seven Falls to continue further up Bear Canyon. The trails environment soon changes to a grassy, more shallow canyon. After climbing the trail you'll end up on the east side of the canyon. If there is water, there will be a number of pools and falls, and the colorful trees will be sprawled out to take in the moisture. This section of the trail is a great change of pace and provides for unique environmental changes all the way to the end.

The Bear Canyon Trail #29 will connect to the East Fork Trail #24A (part of the AZT - Passage 11 - Santa Catalina Mountains). Head west along Trail #24A until intersection with Sabino Canyon Trail #23.

Head south on Sabino Canyon Trail #23. The trail curves back and forth, following the contour of the hills. You'll pass a junction with the Phoneline Trail - stay to the right here to continue on the Sabino Canyon Trail #23. After a series of switchbacks that provide a view through the canyon overlooking the city, the trail will connect to the top of North Upper Sabino Canyon Road which you'll hike back to the visitor center to complete the loop. An optional bonus would be to skip road and exit Sabino Canyon along the Phoneline Trail, which adds approximately 1.25 miles.

Note: The trail can be difficult to follow between Seven Falls and the AZT / East Fork Trail junction. Use the Hiking Project mobile app to help find your way.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Jan 12, 2020
P money
Really amazing loop with great views. The trail was well marked. The main obstacle was the hoards of people on the trail to 7 Falls 16.8mi — 3h 42m
Jan 20, 2019
Cassie Tuholski
Dec 5, 2018
Todd Burgman
Dec 4, 2018
Todd Burgman
Aug 12, 2018
Dave Leddy
Pretty good loop though in truth the best of the hike was up to 7 Falls at 4.5 milesl. Take plenty of water, cover up skin, and start early. 16.9mi
Apr 14, 2018
Galina Perkins
Seven Falls Trail hike with my handsome husband 9.2mi
Feb 24, 2018
Annarose Peterson
8mi
Nov 23, 2017
Ben Becker
19.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 16 votes

#447

Overall
  4.6 from 16 votes
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Hike Rankings

#25

in Arizona

#447

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249 Views Last Month
9,213 Since Aug 15, 2016
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Photos

View looking at Seven Falls!
Sep 9, 2017 near Tanque…, AZ
Along the ridge on the Bear Canyon Trail
May 1, 2015 near Tanque…, AZ
River bed at Bear Canyon
May 1, 2015 near Tanque…, AZ
The East Fork trail junction at the terminus of Palisades #99 trail.
Oct 6, 2019 near Tanque…, AZ
Up and into the entrance to Sabino Canyon a few miles before the pavement
Aug 7, 2017 near Tanque…, AZ
Along E Fork Trail towards Rattlesnake Pt
Aug 7, 2017 near Tanque…, AZ