Sabino Basin Run

13+ miles

Total gain: about 1900 ft.

This route was introduced several years ago as an introductory run for early in the season.

Trailhead: The run starts at the alcove on the east side of Sabino Canyon Visitors Center. $5 fee or Coronado Recreational Pass or National Pass/America the Beautiful Pass

Route: Go east 0.9 to the Phone Line trailhead. Start up Phone Line trail. Shortly you’ll encounter a junction with the Blackett Ridge trail to the right (very interesting, very steep ascent to the ridge, then out to an overlook - stay straight on Phoneline). Continue on and you’ll encounter the junction with the switchbacks down to the canyon bottom (a left turn; stay straight). Now you’re paralleling the road at the bottom of the canyon. Eventually, you’ll cross a rocky spine. You’ll see the junction with the Sabino Primitive Trail. Stay straight and you’ll hit a switchback, the a drop and swing to the west, then a small climb to the junction with the switchbacks that lead to the top of the road. At this point, you’ve run about 4.9 miles. Stay straight again and you’ll be heading toward Sabino Basin. You’ll twist and turn for about 2 miles, with interesting views of the canyon bottom and back range of the Santa Catalinas, then you’ll drop to the canyon bottom at Sabino Basin. Notice the trail sign just past the small creek bed. These days a huge oak forms and arc over the sign. The very large, eroded water course to the left is Sabino East Fork, which joins with Sabino West Fork a short distance to the west. Turn around. If you’re doing the full distance, retrace your steps. You’ll end up with 13 miles and a bit.

A somewhat shorter option is to drop down to Sabino Canyon Road when you reach the top of the switchbacks. That’s about 0.7 miles shorter and easier running if you’re tired.

TTR Official Run Records for "Phoneline to Sabino Basin and back on Phoneline":

Bill Cuculic, M41, 9/23/01 - 1:49:58

Anne Neuenschwander, F, 9/15/13 - 2:21