Phoneline Trail #88
Trailhead: Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
Length: 8 miles roundtrip
Wilderness Area: Pusch Ridge Wilderness
Journal: "The Moan-Whine Trail"
Directions to Trailhead:
In Tucson, take Grant Road east until it becomes Kolb Road. Turn left onto Tanque Verde Road, and continue east until you come to Sabino Canyon Road - turn left, and from there go north approximately four miles until you come to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, on the right. Parking is limited when the weather is nice, so get there early! There is a fee for parking at the trailhead.
This trail starts at the end of the paved road in Sabino Canyon. To get to this starting point you can either walk the road or take the tram. You can also get to the lower end by heading east from the visitor center and following the road to the Picnic Area. This description is of the trail from the top down.
From the end of the road, the Sabino Canyon Trail #23 begins by climbing some really long switchbacks. These switchbacks take 1/2 mile to gain 200 feet. There are usually crowds on the switchbacks, but they thin quickly after you reach the junction with the Phoneline Trail (.5 miles).
From the junction, turn right on the Phoneline Trail. The trail climbs immediately. After about .3 miles the trail establishes it self high up overlooking the paved road and Sabino Canyon. The trail remains at this altitude and follows the contour of the canyon, dipping in and out of some side drainages with very little elevation change.
About 3.2 miles from the start of the Phoneline trail, a spur trail enters form the right. This spur will take you down to tram stop #1 in .3 miles and is an optional way back to the visitor center.
After the spur junction, the trail begins its slow descent to the picnic area. About .5 miles from the picnic area the Blacketts Ridge Trail heads to the east. The Phonline continues to descend somewhat more steeply before ending at the lower Sabino Picnic Area. Walk the Road .8 miles to the visitor center.
Take lots of water. This trail is quite hot and has little shade
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