Finger Rock Trail to Mt. Kimball, Santa
||A steep climb (4100 ft elevation gain) up a nice
canyon to the 7255 ft summit of Mt. Kimball in the Catalina Mountains.
||From Phoenix drive south
on I-10 to Tucson. Take the exit for Ina Rd. Drive east until
the road turns into Skyline Drive. Watch for the point where Skyline
turns left and the road becomes Sunrise Drive. Turn left and stay on
Skyline. Turn left onto Alvernon and drive to the end to the parking
lot on the left hand side.
||Passenger Car - paved all
||Low 60's & sunny
||From the parking lot walk up the road a
short distance to the trail head on the right. A short distance past
the signs you will come to the signed intersection with the Pontatoc Trail
which branches right. Stay on the Finger Rock Trail. The first
1.1 miles of this trail you will ascend moderately up the drainage of
Finger Rock Canyon, first passing through the ubiquitous development that
has become the unfortunate norm at the boundaries of these wilderness
areas. After 1.1 miles (1.1) you will reach Finger Rock Spring on
the map, from this point on it's one steep climb. The trail
ascends the drainage on the right and climbs very steeply along the side
of the ridge. While there is no respite to the climb for it's entire
length, there are nice views across the canyon and up towards Finger Rock
(the pointy formation above you that looks like someone giving you the
thumbs up). After 1.9 miles
(3.0 miles) you will come to a use trail which branches off and back to
the right to an overlook called Linda Vista. This use trail leads to the low pass in the rock with
good views down into Tucson and the next canyon over. Continuing upwards on the Finger Rock Trail,
there is another 1.5 miles of steep climbing until you reach the
junction with the Pima Canyon Trail (4.5 miles). Along the way the
trail passes from desert habitat into an area of oak, pinyon and ponderosa
pine, alligator juniper and manzanita. At the signed junction with
the Pima Canyon Trail, turn left and continue 0.5 miles (5.0 miles) to a
use trail (stay right where the Pima Trail begins to descend) that leads a
short ways up to a rock outcropping with good views to the north of Window
Rock, Cathedral Rocks and Mt. Lemmon at the summit. Return the way
you came (10.0 miles).
If you like steep hikes this is the one for you. It's got a nice
canyon and good views and less people than some of the other trails in the
area. The author and his wife completed this hike in just under 6
||Santa Catalina Mountains
- Rainbow Expeditions Inc.
||Click picture for larger
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north from the Mt. Kimball
summit with the Cathedral Rocks and
Window Rock in the background.