Hiking Sabino Canyon

Arizona Trip – Day Four

After nine days I let the horse run free
‘Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
there was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
La, la …

Saturday we all got up, ate breakfast and then headed out for a day of hiking. This time: Sabino Canyon.

We got a later start than we planned and since it was the weekend it was PACKED. There were so many people there they were parking down the block and up the street at a school. Apparently it’s a popular place.

We had tons of water bottles and lots of sunscreen. We set out on the trail. It was pretty flat at first, through just sandy trails through cacti and sagebrush. There were shuttles that took people up to the top of the mountain but we are all hikers and shunned that idea!

Michael, Me, Dad

We trekked up the trail and it started to get more inclined. Lots of slate rock. No covering. No trees. It wasn’t very hot–about 83 degrees I think? Which seems like a lot compared to the 40 degree Portland weather–but since the sun was beating down on us it felt hotter.

There was a really nice breeze through the canyon. We followed the trail up the side of the mountain. It was pretty narrow in places but I didn’t feel too nervous. Maybe because my parents were there–the whole protective feeling you get from your folks? Who knows. Usually heights make me really anxious.


I had a great time hiking up the mountain. While it was a nice incline up the side of the mountain, I never felt like I was straining. My quads were a tad sore from my run the other day but I wasn’t crippled. It felt good to hike! It had been soooo long! My body has finally recovered! I felt like I was back to my pre-injury old self!

I had been diligent about sunscreen the entire trip–this last day in Arizona I forgot one spot: The back of my legs. UGH! I always forget that! I got a serious sunburn there. Ouch. 🙁

We got to the top and went back down the other side, crossed a small creek (the water was refreshing compared to the desert), ate an apple as a snack and then eventually made our back to the parking lot.

We probably did about 4 or 5 miles in a loop. It was quite the scenery. Since we didn’t see many of the other hikers on the trail it was quiet and peaceful. I did see a few trail runners. That was pretty cool. I imagine there’s lots of good running in this town.


Hike Stats:

Time: 2:38

Distance: 4-5 miles?

Calories Burned: 643

We once again missed lunch so after our hike we drove a few miles into downtown Tucson for a late lunch at In-n-Out Burger! Oh my god! The last time I was at an In-n-Out Burger was when I was 17 I think? I went on a camping road trip with my aunt and her whole family down in the Redwoods. In-n-Out is a California thing I think, so we got burgers there. I don’t remember being impressed by them but dang that burger was super awesome after a day of hiking. 500 calories that were TOTALLY worth it.

I devoured that burger in record time.

After lunch we went back to Oro Valley, everyone took showers and I spent the rest of the afternoon lounging by the pool in the shade. I started reading my second book: Julie & Julia. Why has it taken me so long to read this book? I’ve had it over a year and finally read it. So good. Loved the movie, loved the book, she’s a funny writer and I enjoyed every word I read.

Lounging by the pool in the shade, listening to the waterfall in the garden and the birds in the trees….it really doesn’t get any better than this. This vacation was SO needed on so many different levels.

Guess what? I did not think about anything back at home. No work, no drama, no stress, no issues, just sunshine, desert, vacation and crisp air.

After a few hours of downtime, we all went to the local BBQ joint for dinner: Bubb’s Grubb. It was our last night in town plus it was my mom’s birthday.

“Bubb’s Grubb” was the week-long joke that wouldn’t die. Guess what? It was freakin’ awesome!

I ate Hushpuppies for the very first time. I loved them! I ordered a beer and the Bisket sandwich for dinner. It came with mac n’ cheese (not as good as the Old Pueblo Grille Mac n’ Cheese) and coleslaw.

The meat was all smoked and grilled outside in a huge grill. It was the size of like four refrigerators. The meal was excellent. It was one of the highlights of the trip, and we all shared a piece of ice cream Turtle Cake for dessert.

It was delicious. When we got back Michael and I sat in the hot tub out back. The night was dark with the Super Moon bright above us. The air was still and it was just us enjoying the night air. It was a lovely end to the vacation.

Perhaps the hot tub was not the wisest move with a sunburn. It hurt a bit afterward. I slathered on the aloe goop, whined a bit, and then fell into a restless sleep. Every time I moved I awoke from the sunburn. But it was a nice souvenir to take back to Oregon.

QUESTION: Have you ever hiked in Arizona? What was your favorite hike?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

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