History of Sabino Canyon
Sabino Canyon’s history is as diverse as it is fascinating. The Santa Catalina mountain range began its formation over 12 million years ago, 7 million years before the earliest known human being walked the face of the earth. In around 5 million B.C., the mountains ceased formation around the Tucson area, setting the stage for future ecological action. Plant life first appeared between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago, and some of the earliest predominant human occupants of Sabino Canyon were the Hohokam people.
An earthquake centered in northern Mexico in 1887 dislodged an array of massive boulders lining the canyon walls, which crashed down and came to rest in the valley below. In 1905, the Forest Service was first created and began overseeing Sabino Canyon and during the Great Depression, the bridges over Sabino Creek and the Sabino Dam were constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corporation (CCC).
The first trams in Sabino Canyon began operating in October, 1978. From that point on, access to cars was restricted to allow visitors to reach Upper Sabino Canyon by foot, bicycle or tram. Sabino Canyon Tours was founded in May, 1985 and provides young and older visitors alike with the opportunity to experience the exquisite beauty of Sabino Canyon.