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Phoneline Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and bird watching and is best used from September until May.

Length 9.4 mi Elevation gain 1,433 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Bird watching Running River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky No shade No dogs
Description
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Getting There

Enchanting views of the Sonoran Desert & an abundance of wildlife. First you should stop into the Sabino Canyon Visitors Center and wet your appetite for the Sonoran Desert on the multitde of displays and reference material. What follows is an easy yet visually stunning trek that will take you through all that our wonderful desert has to offer. From bobcats to deer and everything in between, your eyes and your camera are sure to get their moneys worth. The terrain is fairly flat, and most people do just fine in a pair of jogging shoes, it goes without saying to bring some water, and in the summer....bring twice as much. All ages appreciate this trail, and on the weekends you'll have plenty of company. A small fee is necessary to enter the park, but keep in mind, your pass is also valid at Mount Lemmon and Madera Canyon.

Catalina Ranger District 520 388 8300

From downtown Tucson, take Oracle Road (U.S. 89) North, and turn right at Ina Road (East). Follow Ina road which will turn into Skyline Road, and then turns into Sunrise Road. Sunrise will dead-end at Sabino Canyon Road, turn left and the entrance to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area will be on your right.

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Reviews (381)
Photos (682)
Recordings (372)
Completed (846)
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Jason Schlueter
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Hiking
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Yessica Wheeler
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Hiking

This is a great loop if you want to have a little bit of everything. Some altitude, views, riparian area, desert, you name it. It gains altitude but very gradually. It's not a difficult hike.

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Nathan Kaisler
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Hiking
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Bryan Robichaux
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Hiking
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Mark Williams
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Hiking

Incredibly beautiful. We missed the first part of Phoneline but caught it after a few jogs. Great trail, very beautiful. Bring lots of water for sure!

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Rachael Williams
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Hiking

Beautiful!!

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Veronika Antolini
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Hiking

Excellent

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jeremy bogard
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HikingRocky

Beautiful trail! We started hike at 5:30am to beat the heat and it was perfect. We had shade the whole way in. We took tram road back and stopped and enjoyed the water for a little bit.

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Mason Le
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RunningBugsRocky

Scenic throughout, it’s not Blackett’s or Seven Falls but I was thoroughly impressed with the scenery. Most of the trail is runnable but it can be steep and rocky at points throughout the middle of the trail. Come early and you’ll be rewarded with some shade, but after 9:45ish the sun is up and you’ll get hot quick. As always, come prepared pack plenty of water and a snack for this one.

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Mindy King
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Hiking

A+ for the amazing wild flowers on display and beautiful weather! (also, please disregard the last mile of my recording I accidentally forgot to turn off the recorder before I started driving away)

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Jana Sorenson
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HikingNo shade
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Laurence L.
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HikingRocky
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Frank Maglin
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Hiking

Hiked this trail from tram stop #9. Most of the trail descended from where we began. Beautiful views indeed! One water crossing at the end of the trail. Water depth was slightly above the ankles.

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Beth Luby
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HikingRocky

Do not believe the people saying to wear gym shoes. This is not a “flat mostly dirt trail”, it’s a regular hiking trail with rocky sections and occasional rock scrambles. Beautiful views and we did have some shade in the afternoon. We took the tram out and hiked back. Be aware the start/end of this does not put you out at the visitor center. It is an additional 0.8 miles between the trailhead and the visitor center.

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Marinella Sene
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HikingRocky

Good long hike. Great views of the large rock formations, the cactuses and everything that Sabino Canyon is about.

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Kirk Lawrence
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Hiking

Great morning hike, awesome views as always. Perfect Weather this time of year. Arrived about 930 AM and parking lot starting to fill up so plan ahead on arrival time during weekends.

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Bill F.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 5, 2020
Hiking

Usually do out and back on Phoneline, but today returned on the tram road. This app is saying 9.5 miles. Maybe. Also, wet feet all day. Love phoneline. Nice Agaves.

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Felicia Menten
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Hiking

Lovely as always! Nice gentle climb, good footing. Busy, but fun on a Saturday.

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Zach Saufley
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Hiking

Beautiful conditions today!

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Lindsay Titus
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HikingRocky
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Kristin Melvin
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Fantastic hike! One of my favorites! We took the shuttle from the Visitor Center up to the top (Stop #9), then took the .5 mile not too awful switchback up to the trailhead, then did the 3.5 mile (give or take) down Phoneline Trail to the connector switchback that takes you back down to Stop #2. Mostly a nice, easy flat trail gradually heading down the canyon but rocky at times. Once back down via the connector at Stop #2, we walked the hot road back to the Visitor Center but you can continue down another mile on Phoneline to the lower road. Be aware that if you are afraid of heights and narrow trails at times right on the edge, this may not be the trail for you. It literally is carved into the canyon wall. The views are absolutely breathtaking. Highly recommend!

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Simone Reiser
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Hiking

Gorgeous day, gorgeous trail, very few people up on the trail. Ate lunch in the shade of that gorgeous cliff face at the start of the trail and birdwatched. Along the way, saw desert tortoise, king snake, hawks, lots of grasshoppers! I should have brought more water but we refilled at stop #1. we came down by stop #7. would've been even more perfect if it was a hair cooler.

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Casey Witman
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HikingRocky

We started early (6:45am) and had enough shade until the sun came over the canyon wall, so the temperatures were really comfortable. There were some wildflowers, and we saw one snake (that didn’t appear to be a rattler) in the tall grass toward the end of the trail about half a mile before the switchbacks down to the end of the tram road. Overall this is just a really unique trail to do again and again.

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Amy Wilson
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Hiking

Beautiful trail!! One of my absolute favorite trails to hike in Arizona! Early on, the barrel cactus had their crowns on display. The cholla and sahuaro are quite beautiful too! I actually took a left on the paved road near the first stop and ended up on the Sabino Canyon Dam trail. From there, took the Phoneline connector to the Phoneline trail. There is some elevation gain getting up onto the trail and then it flattens out. The trail is narrow with significant drop-offs so I do not think this is a good trail for children. The sahuaro here are impressive. In my opinion, Sabino Canyon is the best place to view the sahuaro, even better than Sahuaro National Park. As for trail traffic, I only saw one other hiker out on the trail. Of course, I went on a Monday afternoon with monsoon clouds looming. Luckily, I made it down to catch the last tram of the day before it left. Those monsoon clouds brought thunder and lightening and a downpour! Not something I was willing to risk with 7 bridges and 4 miles left to complete. I have seen the bridges on the tram road flood. No bueno! FYI: the tram accepts credit card payments onboard ($5) and if you have an America The Beautiful Annual Pass, then the parking is free!

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Jeanne Zetah
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 15, 2019
Hiking

Actually walked to bridge, dam and back up to Tram Rd and Rec Ctr and then home. Need to add 20 min for 1st mile from home to Sabine Canyon. Good to get moving again!

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Chand Nandani
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Hiking

Steep at times. It’s right on the ledge of the canyon and can thing out a lot towards the end. Moderate the perfect description.

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Brent Omdahl
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Hiking

Great trail. Great for running

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Los A
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HikingRocky
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Todd H.
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Hiking

Nice hike with good views. We walked up Sabino Canyon Road and returned on Phoneline trail. I look forward to repeating this hike in the spring or fall when the weather is cooler.

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