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Hutch's Pool (via Sabino Canyon Trail)

Hutch's pool
Start of the Sabino Canyon trail
Sabino Canyon trail
Wildflowers along the Sabino Canyon trail
Wildflowers along the Sabino Canyon trail
map: Sabino Canyon trail to Hutch's pool
Elevation plot: Sabino Canyon trail to Hutch's pool


How to Get There
This hike is located near Tucson.

To get to the Trailhead: From the Phoenix area, take I-10 East towards Tucson. Once at the Tucson city limits, take the Ina Road exit East. Continue on this road for 15.2 miles as it changes name from Ina Road to Skyline Drive, and then to Sunrise Drive. Once you reach the intersection for Sabino canyon road, turn left at the light and park in the area just to your right. As of February 2012, the fee to park is $5.
Tucson Area and Southern Arizona

Hike details

8.20 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
8.2 miles for the out and back.
3.00 [Hours]
It took us 3 hours to get to the pools and back with a short (10 min) stop for lunch.
Elevation Change
550 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
about 550 ft total ascent to Hutch's Pool
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back
Special Features
  • Water
  • Wild Flowers


Best Season
  • March
  • April
  • October
  • November
Season Details
This is a true all year hike. Spring brings wildflowers. Fall brings the colors of the changing leaves. Summer allows for swimming (but be prepared for very hot weather!)
Date Hike completed
February 26, 2012


Solitude Details
Despite the packed parking lot, once you get on the trail, the solitude is welcome. Expect to share the trail with 5 other people.


Difficulty Rating
difficulty detail
This hike had some climbing and route finding, but nothing too serious. The pool at the end was a worthy goal. This is an Easy hike.


Be Aware of
$5 to park and $8 for the shuttle (cash only). Parking is a problem so get there early. Some route finding and creek crossing required.

Hike to Hutch's pool via the Sabino Canyon trail near Tucson, Arizona.

The hike to Hutch's Pool is a nice day hike from the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. This area serves as a welcoming environment to the many hikers, bikers, equestrians, and tourists who seek to enjoy the Sonoran Desert. A warning: Sabino Canyon is very popular. On a lovely Saturday morning in February I arrived at the park at 9am to find the parking lot was completely full. Miraculously after a second swing through the parking lot I was able to find what may have been the last spot. So get there early. As of February 2012, the fee is $5 to park.

First, head to the booth to get your shuttle ticket. At the time of this hike, the price was $8 (cash only, first shuttle leaves at 9am and every 30 minutes after that). This saves you 4.5 miles of walking through the popular Sabino Canyon area. The drive is scenic, but I don't enjoy hiking through an area that can be driven through. After about 20 minutes, the shuttle will reach the final stop #9 and the start of this hike.

From the shuttle area, follow the well worn trail North into the wilderness. The trail switchbacks up to start as you climb along Sabino Canyon. About 0.5 miles from the trailhead start is the signed junction with the Phoneline Trail (Jct 1L on the map). Stay left here. If you didn't want to pay $8 to take the shuttle, you could have taken the Phoneline trail from the visitor center to this point, however it adds another five miles of one way hiking. Continuing along the trail you'll enjoy excellent views down Sabino canyon to the South. This canyon with rare desert perennial water supports a variety of water loving desert trees including Cottonwoods and Evergreen Oak. After 2.5 miles of hiking you'll reach the signed junction with the West fork and East fork Sabino trails (Jct 2L on the map). Turn left here onto the West Fork trail #24. There is some routefinding here as you cross the creek, but look for the helpful cairns and you should be OK. The trail continues up the West fork, never far from the running creek. After a total of 4.1 miles of hiking, you'll see a cairned spur trail headed towards the creek. This is the short trail to Hutch's Pool. Turn right here and head towards the creek. Hutch's pool is easily seen, with a nice sandy beach along a deep pool fed by a short waterfall. It's a nice place to relax for a moment or even swim in during warmer weather.

When ready, retrace your tracks and head back to the #9 bus stop.



Swap Start/End
Adding markers to the map ...