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Pima Canyon, Tucson

4.4
#7 of 8 in Nature in Tucson
Canyon Nature / Park
Pima Canyon is a major canyon located in the Santa Catalina Mountains, north of Catalina Foothills and Tucson, Arizona, USA. Pusch Ridge forms the northwestern cliffs of Pima Canyon, dramatically rising from Pima Creek on the canyon floor. Pima Canyon varies greatly in elevation, from 2900ft above sea level at Pima Creek to 6350ft at Pima Saddle. Mount Kimball is the highest peak in the vicinity of the canyon.GeographyThe source of Pima Creek is located below the Pima Saddle, which is at an elevation of 6350ft. The distance from the Pima Canyon Trailhead to the Pima Saddle is about 5mi. The creek flows intermittently throughout the year, usually after substantial rain or snow melt in the Santa Catalina Mountains.Pima Canyon, which is called a desert riparian habitat, has good opportunities for birdwatching. Many desert creatures can be seen, the larger of which are jackrabbits, javelina, and desert bighorn sheep. Because of its proximity to the Tucson metropolitan area, Pima Canyon is described as "overused", especially during the mild local winters. Many varieties of desert plants can be seen along the trail including the ocotillo, prickly pear, palo verde, mesquite, and the ubiquitous saguaro.
Plan your visit to Pima Canyon and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Tucson tourist route planner.
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Where to stay in Tucson

To discover the tranquility of the Sonoran Desert, book your stay at an inn just a short drive from Tucson. Staying on the outskirts of the city allows you quick and easy access to some of Arizona's wildest areas, though it does require a car if you wish to enjoy Tucson's shops and restaurants. For the ultimate in indulgence, consider one of the city's award-winning luxury resorts, which feature full-service spa and fitness centers, championship golf courses, lighted tennis courts, and indoor swimming pools.
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  • Hiked back to the Dam a few weeks ago. Had not been to Tucson for many years and was shocked at how development has encroached on the canyon entrance. It was a shame to see the old horse fence, that w...  more »
  • Go with eyes wide open and each time, you will see new things and wonderful surprises. The desert trail is a great hike and the surrounding landscape is full of so many different cacti and flowers of ...  more »
  • This is a relatively easy 3 mile (one way) hike to an old forest service dam. More experienced hikers can go from here to Mt Kimball.  more »