Sabino Canyon Dam
Sabino Canyon, United States
Sabino Canyon Dam Reviews
A Place to find Water in the Desert Mar 22, 2010
Sabino Canyon Dam is located about 8 miles down Bear Canyon Trail. It is an easy hike to the Dam that offers some of the most inspiring views of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness in the distance. Elevation gain is quite minimal as you hike up bear Canyon; the views of the Sonoran desert in the foreground is something to savor. The history of the Sabino Dam is quite interesting; In 1887, an earthquake that hit northern Mexico was of such magnitude that it shook Southern Arizona with a great force. It was reported in Tucson that great clouds of dust rising from the Santa Catalina Mountains were seen at the time, the result was large boulders falling down the canyon walls into the valley. If you visit Sabino Canyon, you will see the effect of the quake in the streamed nature of it's rocks and hills and depressions in the ground.
Improvements to Sabino Canyon came in the early 1930's giving hope for a bigger dam to the Tucson citizens. The vision was that of a dam that would support fishing, boating and many other recreational activities. In the fall of 1934, the Emergency Relief Administration had crews in the canyon to build the new road beyond the old Rattlesnake Canyon picnic ground. By fall of 1935, 4 bridges had been built. The Works Progress Administration then assumed responsibility for the project, building the remaining bridges and laying the road up the wall of the canyon to approach the proposed dam site. By middle of 1937 the expected funding for the project has still not been secured so the road project came to a halt. The ERA crew decided to build a smaller dam in the lower Sabino Canyon. The small lake formed by the ERA dam was enormously popular with Tucson's citizens; it gave the citizens an opportunity to fish and swim. Today the dam is still one of Sabino Canyon's most popular attractions, although the lake has long since been filled in with ilt and plant life. The shaded, shallow pond and water falling over the small dam are frequented by hikers like me, bird watchers and people having picnics.
There are a great many hiking trails that lead to water in the desert, the dam tops it, but if you hike to Seven falls aftter the monsoon months, you will see a huge water fall there.
Part of the 2010 Travels & Adventures! travel blog
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