We woke up to rain, which put only a slight damper on our plans to hike. Since we were headed to Seven Falls hike in Bear Canyon, which crosses (you guessed it) seven small waterfalls, a little bit of extra water didn’t deter us!

I was excited to hike around Tucson – I had heard from several people that the landscape is incredible, especially when surrounded by the state-famous Saguaro cactus.

The Saguaro (pronounced sah-wah-roe) cactus is synonymous with the American Southwest. Fittingly so, as the Saguaro is actually contained to a small geographic region (the Sonoran Desert). Imagine any old Western film, and you’ll conjure up images of a cowboy riding between tall cacti sporting two large arms.

This is the mighty Saguaro – a massive plant that can grow up to 15 to 20 feet tall, and live for more than 150 years. The famous arms can take up to 75 years for a Saguaro cactus to develop.

Our hike started from Sabino Canyon Recreation Area in the Coronado National Forest. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit the RV through the parking lot entrance! So, while the wide open parking lot remained untouchable, we went back down the road a bit, and parked at a shopping center. It was just a quick bike ride back to the park, and we were on our way!

The signs for Seven Falls are few, and we actually got lost right at the beginning. (We did spot two deer, though, while on the wrong trail, so it was worth it!)

I had found this guide the night before, from the Arizona Sierra Club, and it proved incredibly helpful.

An unusual aspect to the park, though not necessarily disappointing, was the prevalence of paved roads right alongside the dirt hiking trail for about half of the distance. These are for a park shuttle that can get you to the base of the mountains, so there is no public traffic.  Just keep your eyes towards the mountains on your left, and you should forget the roads are even there!  

It was an incredible hike, especially in our weather conditions. The wind was fierce, and occasionally there would be a slight drizzle – nothing to make the hike unpleasant. Instead, it amplified the vastness of Bear Canyon, and the stark beauty of the Saguaros against the rock.

Seven Falls isn’t a strenuous, or particularly challenging hike, but it is beautiful and peaceful. Just as we made it back to our bikes, the slight drizzle turned into legitimate rain. That quick, easy bike ride from before? Oh, now we were pedaling into gale-force winds, heavy rain, and quickly dropping temperature. This is minimal exaggeration – when we made it back to the RV, the temperature had fallen to 38*. At one point, I am pretty sure it was hailing! Cory kept laughing at me, as the more often than not, the wind cancelled out any of my pedaling efforts. I’m pretty sure I actually moved backwards at one point or another.

Needless to say, I wish we had been able to fit into the parking lot right next to the trails!

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2 Responses to Seven Falls Hike – Tucson, AZ

  1. Anna says:

    beautiful pictures as always. happy trails to you!

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