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    Bear Canyon Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    25.4 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    881 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Bear Canyon Trail is one of the main routes in Tucson’s Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. The entire trail is almost 25.7 km long, but most hikers on the route will turn around at Seven Falls. If you’re just bound for the falls, use our Bear Canyon Trail to Seven Falls Guide. This guide details the entire length of Bear Canyon Trail. It’s excellent for its ease of access from the city and for its diverse, beautiful terrain. It’s a longer trek, but it’s worth doing to experience the scenery throughout the entire canyon. Dogs are not permitted on this route.

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    Route Description for Bear Canyon Trail

    The Bear Canyon Trail travels through the entire length of Bear Canyon (as the name would suggest) in the beautiful Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. It’s conveniently accessible from the northeastern edge of the city near the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. The scenery is excellent, the trail is varied and a bit challenging, and the waterfall and swimming hole on the way make for delightful stops. Tall saguaros and big prickly pears line your path, and the canyon is known for its diversity of bird species, so birders and casual enthusiasts alike will want to keep their eyes on the sky.

    This route can get very hot during the heat of the day, so start your hike early. Also, bring more water than you think you might need and wear sunscreen and a hat as you hike.

    From the visitor center, take Bear Canyon Trail #29 towards the canyon. At the fork, stay right. Stay right again across Sabino Creek. There are restrooms and picnic tables with a view of Bear Canyon. Past the shuttle stop, you’ll encounter the first of seven creek crossings. Keep in mind that these crossings can be challenging if there’s lots of water in Bear Creek, so water shoes are recommended. The wash may be dry at certain times of the year, but other times it will be flowing. Look for cairns on the crossings to help you stay on track.

    The Seven Falls Overlook is before the falls. Stop here for a moment to take in the view. The falls are most often flowing between October and May, but may also flow at other times if there’s been recent rain. Continue past the falls, where the trail is almost guaranteed to be far less busy. After some final climbing out of the canyon, the trail ends at a T-junction. Turn back here and retrace your steps.

    Getting to the Bear Canyon Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Bear Canyon Trail is in the parking area for the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Bear Canyon Trail Elevation Graph

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    Bear Canyon Trail Reviews

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