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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Take a Hike: Seven Falls trail is a great to get out and see Sonoran beauty

    Steven Gerner (CC BY-SA 2.0)
    A view of Seven Falls in Tucson, Arizona in August 2012.

    Seven Falls Trail in Sabino Canyon takes hikers on a journey through the rugged and natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert.

    Nestled at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the entrance to Sabino Canyon takes only 30 minutes to reach by car from campus. Sabino Canyon and the foothills in northeast Tucson overlook the city and possess a lush desert environment—a refreshing change of scenery from urban Tucson.

    “I had no idea a waterfall like this existed in Tucson,” said Nick Carrera, a public health sophomore. “[It’s] definitely one of the best hikes I’ve done in Arizona.” 

    Relatively flat and long, Seven Falls is about eight miles round trip, but taking the tram from the parking lot to the trailhead can cut off half of the length. Many locals flock to Seven Falls, so don’t expect to hike alone on the weekends. The other hikers don’t distract though, as the hike allows for plenty of off-trail exploration.

    Seven Falls takes at least three hours to conquer, but has no major inclines or rocky paths. Freshly bloomed flowers illuminate the trail and a bountiful amount of saguaro cactuses, among other unique desert plant life, surround the entire area. 

    The Catalina Mountains serve as a majestic backdrop for this breathtaking hike. Unlike some of the hikes closer to the UA and the city center, Seven Falls takes hikers to a picturesque oasis that proves Southern Arizona is much more than tumbleweeds and trail dust towns.

    Although it’s fairly dry right now, after big rains and during monsoon season the creeks return. Since the trail doesn’t require much rigorous hiking, most visitors move at a casual pace. The hike develops into a long single path of twisting turns and hidden creeks following the trailhead. A series of switchbacks meets hikers with half a mile left until the end of the trail. These switchbacks lead up to the base of a series of seven waterfalls, the crown jewel and namesake of the hike.

    A narrow path takes hikers up to the cascade of stones that with enough water, turn into flowing waterfalls gushing down from the top of the mountains. The falls descend down into several pools of water.

     Other hikers often populate the area around the falls, exploring and jumping off rocks into the pools. Despite the fervent human energy buzzing around the water, the secluded area around the falls creates a tranquil environment.

    Even on a busy weekend at the falls, the open spaces provide hikers the opportunity to lay down on the rocks, relax and listen to the sound of running water. The falls only had a light flow of water this time, but after a heavy rain, a powerful flow of water rushes down them.

    Since the hike has no major inclines, the return doesn’t feel like a steep descent and gives hikers more opportunities to explore. Seven Falls at Sabino Canyon is a quintessential Tucson hike that caters to any level of experience.

    More information on Seven Falls and all of Sabino Canyon can be found at

    Follow Sean Orth on Twitter

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