Sabino Canyon is located in the northeastern region of the Sonoran Desert known as the Arizona Upland. In its entirety, the Sonoran Desert extends south throughout the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. The Upland, including Sabino Canyon, has higher elevations than much of the Sonoran Desert, and, perhaps most importantly, receives an average of 12 inches (30.5 cm) of rain annually. For a desert, this is an abundance of rain, which together with the flow of Sabino Creek yield a riot of marvelous wildlife and plant varieties, many unique the world over.
The logo of Friends of Sabino Canyon emphasizes Sabino Canyon’s three life zones — the desert dominated by the iconic saguaro cactus, the riparian corridor adjacent to Sabino Creek, and the mixed conifer forests of the Santa Catalina Mountains that crown Sabino Canyon with an elevation of 9157 feet (2791 m). Winter snowfall in the higher elevations provides a store of life-giving water for Sabino Canyon as the land begins to dry out before our dramatic summer rains.
In addition to our unique desert, the water rippling through Sabino Creek’s riparian corridor, and the spectacular mountains that make Sabino Canyon so special, are the volunteers committed to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of this natural treasure.
The benefits provided by the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area fulfill a sense of emotional balance for visitors in myriad ways. Some embrace a challenging hike, others seek contemplative meditation alongside the creek, and some enjoy the panorama of Sabino Canyon with a sightseeing tram ride through the Rec Area. Sabino Canyon is a special treasure for all of us.