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Hutch's Pool, Santa Catalina Mountains

Summary: A pleasant hike to a popular swimming hole in the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Directions: From I-10 take the Ina (pronounced eye-na) Road exit #248 near Tucson. Turn east onto Ina Road and follow it as it becomes Skyline Drive and then Sunrise Drive. After 14.5 miles, when you reach the end of Sunrise Drive and a stop sign, turn left. The Sabino Canyon Visitors Center and parking lot are immediately on your right. There is a $5 per car entry fee ($20 for an annual pass).
Road Conditions: Passenger Car
Navigation: Easy
Length: Starting from the visitor center - 15.8 miles
Taking the shuttle to the Sabino Canyon Road end - 8.2 miles
Tickets for the shuttle are $7.50 per person (as of this writing). The shuttle runs until 5pm.
Date Hiked: June 2005
Weather Conditions: Sunny & warm
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: If starting from the Visitors Center, simply walk up the paved road. It's 3.8 miles to the end and there are a few interpretive signs along the way. Once at the end of the road (3.8 miles) pick up the Sabino Canyon Trail as it heads up a series of steps to switchback steeply up the hillside. After 0.5 miles you'll reach a junction with the right branching Phoneline Trail (4.2 miles), turn left (remaining on the Sabino Canyon Trail) which leads upstream at a fairly level grade, high above Sabino Canyon. Eventually the path drops down into Sabino Basin to the junction with the East Fork Trail, which heads straight, and the West Fork Trail which heads left (6.2 miles). Stay to the left and follow the cairns across the dry wash to pick up the West Fork Trail on the other side. The path winds it's way through grassy hills above Lemmon Creek (which will be on your left), then eventually drops down and crosses the drainage (so that it's now on your .. uh right). After ~45 minutes or so, look for a cairned and fairly well worn use trail that branches right leading down to the creek (note: if the trail begins climbing steeply and you find yourself very high above the stream bed, then you've probably missed the turn off). Follow the spur trail a short distance down to the stream, then walk up canyon a ways to find some nice pools, falls and swimming holes (7.9 miles). When ready, return the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author has been to the pools on several occasions.
Maps: Santa Catalina Mountains - Rainbow Expeditions Inc., available in the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center ($6). Recommended!
Books: None used
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
Hutch's Pool.