Sabino Creek

To provide comments on this watershed for consideration in the Floodplain Management Plan, contact Greg Saxe
Planning Manager
(520) 724-4633.
Sabino Creek’s headwaters are near the summit of Mount Lemmon and the community of Summerhaven. Originating at nearly 9,000 feet above mean sea level, it descends steeply through canyons before spilling out onto the bajada foothills and then into geologic floodplains associated with the Tanque Verde Creek. Flash flooding is a significant risk in this area. This watershed is comprised of 140,539 acres and contains 3,821 acres of SFHA, 3,646 acres of locally identified floodplain and 12,232 acres of Pima County Regulated Riparian Habitat.

Flood Hazards


Click HERE to view the watershed map
Click HERE to view the outreach brochure
Click HERE to view the hazard map

Floodplain Studies

Floodplain Study FP-025-1993 - Mt. Lemmon Culvert Study, CMG, Drainage Engineering, Inc., 11/19/1993, and Final Drainage Report for Summerhaven Village Center, CMG Drainage Engineering, Inc., 9/13/2005.

Floodplain Study FP-045-2003 - Summerhaven Hydrologic and Hydraulic Analysis, URS, 12/30/2003.

Erosion Studies

There are currently no erosion studies in this watershed.

Areas of Interest (Known Issues, Gaps, Problems and Needs)

Issues Provided by Public and Stakeholder Input

No issues have been identified to date.

Issues from the District Flood Response Manual

8.12.1 Data Gathering Needs
• No site specific issues identified.

8.12.2 Frequently Flooded Structures and Properties Subject to Damage
• Woodland Wash and other area channels do not have enough capacity to convey the base flood. (T13S R15E Sec. 23)
• 3591 N. Bear Canyon Road (114-27-4380) (T13S R15E Sec. 27)
• 3537 N. Camino Seco (114-28-015D) (T13S R15E Sec. 28)
• 3720 N. Camino Seco (114-27-445C) - Repetitive Loss Property, with claims in 1993 and 1999. (T13S R15E Sec. 27) 
• 8525 E. Cloud Road (114-28-016B) (T13S R15E Sec. 28)
• 4575 N. Palisade Drive (114-19-010U) (T13S R15E Sec. 22)
• 4830 N. Hidden Valley Road (114-12-083A) (T13S R15E Sec. 16) >
• There are erosion concerns on Sabino Creek near Cloud Road (T13S R15E Sec. 28)
• Springs may appear and septic systems may be adversely affected after significant moisture and/or sustained flows along the eastern Santa Catalina mountain front. (T13S R15E Sec. 13-16, T13S R16E Sec. 16-18)

8.12.3 Infrastructure
• Snyder Road is potentially subject to damage along the eastern portion of the Santa Catalina mountain front. Snyder Road is also roughly the breakline between steep slopes and shallower slopes, and is an area of concern with respect to sediment deposition filling channels and causing flows to take unpredictable and uncertain flow paths. (T13S R15E Sec. 14)

8.12.4 Safety Concerns
• Rio Vista Drive conveys flow. (T13S R15E Sec. 23)
• A wall along the west side of Houghton Road blocks flow. (T13S R15E Sec. 14) 
• This area contains numerous wash crossings that may become impassable. Paved crossings are subject to flood damage and may be severely damaged. Snyder Road between Harrison Rd. and Soldier Trail is particularly problematic. (T13S R15E Sec. 24)
• Woodland Wash crosses Harrison road and Bear Canyon Road over at-grade crossings that are hazardous. (T13S R15E Sec. 22)


Recommendation of Actions and Floodplain Management Strategy

This section to be completed based on feedback received through the planning process.