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Pima Canyon to the Dam
Santa Catalina Mountains

Total Length: 6.4 miles
Highest Elevation: 3750 feet
Lowest Elevation: 2900 feet
Elevation Change: 850 feet
Difficulty Rating: C
Best Seasons: Spring Fall Winter
Hiking Time: 2.6 hours
Dogs: Dogs not allowed

This is a very popular and easy hike through one of the most scenic canyons of the Catalinas. Be sure to go early on nice weekends because the parking lot fills up early. You will probably see a lot of people on the trail unless you go very early or on a weekday.


Directions to Trailhead

From the intersection of Tanque Verde and Grant/Kolb, head northwest on Grant Road and go for a couple of miles to the major intersection with Craycroft.

Turn right on Craycroft and go a number of miles to the major intersection with Sunrise.

Turn left on Sunrise, and continue heading west where merges into Skyline after a few miles.

Continue west on Skyline past the point where it becomes Ina. About 0.75 miles after the road becomes Ina, turn right on Christie. There is a traffic light here, and there should be a sign saying the Pima Canyon Trailhead is to the right.

Go about a mile north on Christie until it ends at a T-intersection with Magee. There is a sign here saying the Pima Canyon Trailhead is to the right.

Turn right on Magee and enter the parking lot for the Pima Canyon trailhead.

Trail Description

Pima Canyon Trail, FS #62
(Trailhead to "The Dam")


Length: 3.2 miles
Hiking Time: 1.25 hours
Highest point: 3750 feet
Lowest point: 2900 feet
Trail goes uphill

This is a very popular and easy trail segment through a very beautiful canyon, which ends at a great spot for lunch. Get here early on nice weekends, or you might not find a parking spot.

The Pima Canyon trailhead has a large parking lot with a drinking fountain, signs, and a memorial to a hiker. The trail leaves the eastern end of the parking lot, and crosses the desert floor, heading towards the mouth of Pima Canyon. This part of the trail is very well marked, and it would seem hard to get sidetracked here. A short ways in you pass signs indicating that you are entering the wilderness area. After about 15 minutes from the trailhead, the trail reaches the mouth of Pima Canyon and starts up the canyon bottom.

This part of Pima Canyon is very spectacular, with steep rock faces rising on either side. Sometimes I think this is the prettiest canyon in the front range of the Catalinas, but then again, they are all incredible in their own ways.

Another 20 to 30 minutes from the mouth of the canyon (about 45 minutes from the trailhead) the trail passes among some big cottonwoods along the stream. There was water here in April last time I was here.

Another 30 to 40 minutes past the start of cottonwoods you reach a small dam, which is surrounded by flat rocks which are perfect for sitting. Most hikers stop here, since it so scenic, and such an obvious stopping place. There are even mortar holes in the rocks that ancient indians used for grinding.

To return to the trailhead, just go back the way you came.



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