Kino at Sabino

On February 15, 2019, a group of 7 students from Kino School traveled to Sabino Canyon National Recreation Area to see the effects of a recent winter storm and learn about water in the desert.

I am so grateful that the students were willing to be flexible due to the weather. It had rained over 4 inches on top of Mt. Lemmon the night before (which was our original destination). Although this made perfect conditions to view the flooding at the base of the mountain, it limited which trails and roads we could explore. What a great teachable moment!

What’s interesting about the geography of Sabino Canyon is that you’re not able to see the impacts of heavy rains right at the entrance. You have to walk in a bit to even see a little bit of water, and then it really gets going. About a mile and a half in, we made it to the first water crossing and had no intentions to go across. It was obviously not safe!

After backtracking a bit, we headed down the Bluff Trail to the Sabino Dam to get a great look of the flooded creek. It was very easy to forget that Sabino is actually a creek, not a river! We ate a peaceful lunch at some covered ramadas since the sun had appeared by this time.

The day continued with the same aimless but purposeful wandering as we had started, and we found ourselves in and out of the creek bed, the rocky hillsides, and the shrubby bajadas.

The students, tired from our walking and the intense sun, circled up near the visitor center to share what they had learned throughout the day. All seemed to enjoy the first-hand lesson in the power of water and its importance in the desert. It was an experience to be had!