Mountain snowmelt has creeks flowing briskly in canyons around Tucson

Melted snow flowing down from the Catalina Mountains has brought a sort of snowmelt splendor to canyons north of Tucson — with gurgling creeks, tranquil pools, streamside greenery and bushes festooned with berries.

Canyons at the foot of high terrain where snow has fallen — including Sabino Canyon and Ventana Canyon — often have their creeks come vigorously to life when warming weather melts the snow and sends it flowing downstream.

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A creek flowing with mountain snowmelt in Ventana Canyon north of Tucson. — Credit: Doug Kreutz/Arizona Daily Star

Lots of hikers take advantage of the short-lived opportunity to savor the sights and sounds of flowing water in desert canyons.

It’s also a time for caution because rapid snowmelt or heavy rain can make travel in canyon bottoms potentially perilous. It’s best to head out on a dry day with no recent heavy rains.

A parking lot and trailheads for Sabino Canyon are at 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road.

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Hikers in Ventana Canyon, where mountain snowmelt has a creek flowing briskly. — Credit: Doug Kreutz/Arizona Daily Star

To reach the Ventana Canyon Trail, drive to East Sunrise Drive and North Kolb Road. Then follow Kolb Road north to a signed turnoff for the trailhead and Loews Ventana Canyon Resort at 7000 N. Resort Drive. Park in the lot designated for hikers. It’s at the end of an employees’ lot.

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Hikers are taking advantage of the short-lived opportunity to witness trailside greenery flourishing near lively streams. This scene is in Ventana Canyon.

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