Hutch’s Pool Hike
Hutch's Pool is a popular spot tucked away in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. The route there travels through the Sabino Canyon in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, known for its rugged desert beauty and plentiful wildlife. This is a rewarding trip that ends at a great swimming hole. While it can be done in a day, we recommend splitting this one up over two days and spending a night on the trail. If you plan to do it in a day, get a very early start and don’t hike in the scorching summertime.
You’ll be able to filter water from the river, but water levels vary depending on the time of year you choose to visit. Bring plenty of hydration with you and wear sun protection.
Join our newsletter
Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers
Route Description for Hutch’s Pool Hike
Hutch's Pool is a hike through the Sabino Canyon to a natural swimming hole. It’s conveniently accessible from the northeastern edge of the city near the Pusch Ridge Wilderness and offers awesome desert mountain views. The scenery is excellent, the trail is adventurous and varied, and you can dip your feet–or everything else–to cool down once you make it there.
This route goes through the canyon along the river, where tall saguaros and big prickly pears line your path. This area is known for its diversity of bird species, so birders and casual enthusiasts alike will want to keep their eyes on the sky.
This canyon 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. We generally recommend avoiding hiking around Tucson in the summer months as it presents a risk of heatstroke.
This area doesn’t allow dogs, so leave your pups at home.
The hike starts at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. From the center, head along Sabino Walkway #53, staying straight through all junctions as you approach the canton. You’ll follow along the tram road for a while (you could take the tram if you wanted to speed up the beginning of the hike a bit).
Keep walking along the road as it curves along the river. There’s a water refill where the Phoneline Link Trail #27A splits off to your right if you need it.
Further along the tram road, there are restroom facilities available. The restrooms mark the beginning of the more intense middle of the hike. We recommend filtering water here if you need as you’ll be above the river until near the end of the route after this point.
You’ll begin to ascend the canyon walls, crossing a stream before beginning a short sprint of switchbacks. Keep left after the last turn to continue north through the canyon, now hiking above the river.
At a junction in a flat area, stay left. From here, it’s not far to Hutch’s Pool. The water might be inviting, so feel free to take a dip if you’d like. There’s a beach to rest on that makes for a great picnic spot.
Once you’re ready to leave the pool, retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
Hiking Route Highlights
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
The Sabino Canyon is a large canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest. The Sabino Canyon Recreation Area is a popular destination for local hikers and adventurers, providing walking trails, hiking routes, and biking trails. Hutch’s Pool is in this recreation area, and the area all around is known for its desert vegetation and a wide variety of bird species.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a shuttle at the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area?
Yes, there is a shuttle that runs from the visitor center, offering a narrated, educational 45-minute tour in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. You can take this shuttle to shave some time off your hike, but it doesn’t start running until 9 AM.
Is Hutch’s Pool dog-friendly?
This hike is not dog-friendly.
Are there bears in Sabino Canyon Recreation Area?
Bears and mountain lions live in the mountains near Sabino Canyon, but interactions with humans are rare.
Can you swim in Hutch’s Pool?
The pool can be used for swimming. The water is not tested or monitored for bacteria levels so swimming is done at your own risk.
Insider Hints for Hutch’s Pool Hike
- The day-use fee in this area is $8 per vehicle or $10 for a weeklong pass.
- You can take the tram back from its northernmost stop to make your return trip easier.
Getting to the Hutch’s Pool Hike Trailhead
The trailhead for the hike to Hutch's Pool is near the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center.
Hutch’s Pool Hike Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Hutch’s Pool Hike Reviews
Add a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
- Bear Canyon Trail
- Sabino to Phoneline Loop
- Phoneline Short Loop
- Seven Falls and Phoneline Loop
- Sabino Lake Loop
- Sabino Lake, Creek Trail, and Rattlesnake Loop
- Phoneline Trail
- Seven Falls via Bear Canyon Road
- Blackett’s Ridge Trail
- Blackett’s Ridge Trail from Bear Canyon
- Sabino Tram Road
- Bear Canyon to Seven Falls Trail