The pools of water hidden in the rocky canyons of the Santa Catalina Mountains can be a true delight – Miner’s Pool is no exception!
- Hike Type: Loop
- Hiking Distance: 6 miles
- Elevation Gain: 600'
- Elevation Loss: 600'
- Highest Elevation: 3,800'
- Lowest Elevation: 3,200'
- Location: This hike is located in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona. Part of this hike is in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness.
- Start/End: Sabino Canyon Visitor Center (City's Edge Hikes)
- Driving Distance from Speedway Campbell: 11.3 miles
- Driving Time from Speedway Campbell: 25 Minutes
- Vehicle Access: Paved Roads/Passenger Car
- Fee: Yes ($5 or Interagency Pass - Coronado National Forest Fee Information)
- Dogs: No (Pets, glass containers and camping are not permitted inside the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.)
- Bikes: No (Pusch Ridge Wilderness)
- Off-trail hiking in the Santa Catalina Mountains can be hazardous and challenging - make sure you understand the skills you need to stay safe, be cautious and know your limits!
- Plan on getting wet! Also plan on you gear getting wet and being submerged!!
- Pusch Ridge Wilderness: Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness.
- Pets, glass containers and camping are not permitted inside the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.
- East on Speedway (3.0 miles)
- Left onto Swan (5.0 miles)
- Right onto Sunrise (4.1 miles)
- Left onto Sabino Canyon Road - the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center is just after the turn on the right. This is a busy area and on popular days the parking area can be completely full (if the parking lot is full it can be tempting to park on the wide shoulder of Sabino Canyon Road north of the parking lot - but that area is signed as 'No Parking' and the Pima Country Sheriff's Department does occasionally ticket cars parked along Sabino Canyon Road).
The Miner’s Pool is located in Sabino Canyon between the end of the Upper Sabino Canyon Road and Sabino Canyon where it turns west towards Hutch’s Pool. I think the best way to experience this area is to do a loop: End of the Upper Sabino Canyon Road/Tram Stop 9, Sabino Canyon Trail to the junction with the East Fork Trail and West Fork Trail, down Sabino Canyon and back to the End of the Upper Sabino Canyon Road/Tram Stop 9 (described briefly below and the route shown in the map below).
Plan on getting wet – plan on all of your gear being submerged! You may well be able to stay dry – especially with low water levels and good climbing skills, but counting on staying dry would be a mistake!
The mileages and elevations below are approximate (don't expect the values below to match your GPS exactly).
- Park at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center
- Take the Tram – or hike – to Tram Stop 9 at the end of Upper Sabino Canyon Road
- Hike up and take the Sabino Canyon Trail to the junction with the East Fork Trail and West Fork Trail
- Start following the canyon!!!! From here be very careful – there are few obstacles to work around in the first 15 minutes or so, if the slippery wet granite and off-trail scrambling makes you uncomfortable turn around and pick a different destination!
- Continue to follow Sabino Canyon downstream and enjoy the water
- Miner’s Pool is located at a very narrow spot in the canyon between two very impressive rock walls – while in the area be sure to check out the old bolts, this is a great spot for a break
- Much of the hiking below Miner’s Pool is a bit more strenuous with more effort required to find a reasonable route down the canyon.
- Keep your eyes open for a trail back up to Tram Stop 9!
This loop might take longer than you think – if you are doing the ‘deluxe’ version (paying for a tram ride rather than hiking to/from the end of the road) I suggest trying to make the first tram of the day – you could do this hike in less than a full day, but combine the slow off-trail travel, initial hiking miles, and GREAT GREAT GREAT places to stop/rest/enjoy/explore and I don’t really think you will want to…
Other options – while you could (obviously) head up and back via Sabino Canyon to Miner’s Pool (I would rather loop…) – or do the route described in the reverse direction – it is worth noting that there is an unofficial route off the Sabino Canyon Trail that can take you down into Sabino Canyon very close to Miner’s Pool (but you will miss some amazing sections of canyon above Miner’s Pool!).
- (Printed Map) Green Trails - Recreation Map - Santa Catalina Mountains.
- (Printed Map) Southern Arizona Hiking Club Maps
2011 Sept Sabino Canyon Loop
2006 Sept Sabino Canyon
- 2014/7/27 – Format Update
- 2014/3/1 – Changes for move to WordPress