Finger Rock Canyon Trail to Mt Kimball

HARD 155 reviews
#3 of 61 trails in

Finger Rock Canyon Trail to Mt Kimball is a 8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until March. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4064 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

waterfall

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

Trailhead to Middle vista Out and back

hiking
14 days ago

Tough hike. Don’t let the short distance fool you-this joke gets up in a hurry. Beautiful views-especially on the way up. You’ll be surprised how quickly you gain elevation.

hiking
20 days ago

This trail is just relentless and awesome! There's no boulder climbing--just a challenging hike. As soon as you get a little break, the trail just keeps going up. I'm not a huge fan of heights, but I had no issues at all. Only stupid thing I did was start the hike at 2p on the hottest day of the year so far. It was brutal for the first half, but you noticed a significant cooling half way up. That got me through!
I'm in good shape, but it still took me 3 hours to top with frequent water breaks due to the heat. Took me a little over 2 hours to get down.

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike in north Tucson. Made it maybe 3-4 miles in but had to turn back due to time constraints. Gorgeous views of Tucson. Amazing Mountain View’s. Rocky but not sure why it’s rated as hard, maybe I didn’t make it far enough up the trail. Easy trailhead to find. Looking forward to going farther when I have more time.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of the toughest hikes in the Catalinas. If you are afraid of heights and cliffs: many people have to turn back at one of a few sections that are bare rock, narrow, and along a drop-off. My hiking partner had to crawl and hands and knees the first time we did it. It's steep and there are quite a few areas where you need to haul yourself up over rocks. BUT it is so worth it! It's great cardio day, amazing views, the pines smell wonderful along the last mile on a warm day. Coming down takes about as long as going up (which is not true of most hikes). Agree with the others - start early because it will take all day. For a half day trip, go to the Linda Vista lookout which is about 3 miles up (watch for the intersection and take two rights).

hiking
1 month ago

Went on a day hike. This is a difficult trail, but the views at the top are amazing. You can even see the biosphere 2 from the top. Bring a monocular and a camera! Also, be sure to wear sturdy shoes, start early (we started at 8:15... we wished we started at 7), bring sunscreen, some salty and high protein snacks, and bring plenty of water. We went through ~4 liters each.

If you’re not ready to go the whole way, there are fantastic views all along the way, and a great cave that is shady in the morning hours ~2.5 miles out. Our first hike out on this trail was 2.75 miles and 2 liters of water was plenty for that. Tip: we leave an insulated bottle of iced water in the car for when we get back from the trail. Enjoy your hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this bad boy on the last day of March! Temperatures were topping off at 90. It also took me 3 hours ascending like the person below, definitely bring tons of water!!! I drank about a gallon. I was pretty shaded going up due to the shadow of the canyon, but the way down is brutal in the sun. I would definitely recommend water, sunscreen, and trekking poles. I stayed at the summit for awhile, just me and another older gentleman admiring the views! I am from Denver so this was definitely a great hike to see some beautiful Arizona mountains and get some training in for 14ers.

Happy hiking!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome adventure! My sister and I completed this in April on a day that was to hit mid 80s. We began at 6am and it took us 3 hours to reach the summit. I went through 6 quarts of water and was very comfortable.
If you enjoy a challenge this is the hike for you!

hiking
2 months ago

Tough trail, but well worth it! The views are amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

Difficult but the spectacular views from the top are worth it!

2 months ago

Very hard hike. Bring enough water and don't go when it's hot- I made that mistake

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Spectacular views. Only went up to the view at a little after 3 miles. Will be back soon to try to go all the way! Pretty rocky and tough on the way up. Coming down is a little hard on the feet and knees, totally worth it though!

3 months ago

Make sure you don't lose the trail. Crosses a gulley about a half mile in. I spent two hours bouldering down there before getting back on the trail. Amazing views around sunset.

3 months ago

Gorgeous. Deserving of the difficult rating though. Started at 6am and didn't see anyone else until about 830.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing view on the top! Deserving the 10 hours hiking.

3 months ago

It is so hard, but it is so beautiful!

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome introduction (for me) to the incredible geological and floral landscape of the Catalinas. I'd highly recommend doing this along with Pima Canyon. Park a car in both places or get a Lyft or whatever. Perfect weather in the dead of winter. Can't imagine it being safe on a hot day.

hiking
5 months ago

A tough hike, but the views are incredible!!!

5 months ago

One of my favorites! It's tough but the views and scenery don't get much better!

hiking
5 months ago

Really great. It's tough though, so be prepared!

hiking
5 months ago

Did this back in April '17. Started around 5:30 AM and finished by noon with a break at the summit. Much shade to the top, had 1 or 2 issues going off course but second was my fault as I went off exploring (never a good idea). Not too brutal going up but going down was a different story. Extremely hard on the knees and the ground was dry but slippery. Had to make sure footing was perfect every step which was a nuisance. I slipped on the way down and cut myself fairly bad. I took a couple stumbles leading to almost sliding off some steep cliffs. Very hot and no shade on the way down. Overall, very scenic and challenging. Bring at least 3L water, I ran out the last 1 mile which was brutal! Start early! I saw several families beginning the hike as I finished close to noon. Also, watch where you park! I came back post-
hike and a cactus had fallen by my car, have a gold ball sized dent! Could've been much worse!

5 months ago

Absolutely stunning. We did the easy 5-7R pitch to the top. The "skateboard rock" was pretty cool too. I'm 58, so this trail in my mid twenties would have taking me half the time. Because of this we left the trailhead at 5 am, and got back at 6 pm. So 13 hours all in, lunch, rest breaks, etc... Pretty brutal approach lol. Take lots of pictures!!! Enjoy

hiking
5 months ago

A strenuous trail that is hard on the knees when coming down. There is slippery granite at a few points. Steady elevation gain. Keep following the path at the Mt. Kimball sign to the end for amazing views of the Oro Valley and surrounding ranges. Start early and pack enough water. On our way down, we saw quite a few locals walking in, probably to watch the sunset.

hiking
6 months ago

great hike to Mt. Kimball. strenuous but never too steep a grade. Lots of variety.

hiking
7 months ago

Great Hike. Very strenuous. Have hiked plenty but this one kicked my butt and the trail is not for the faint of heart as there are plenty of areas that follow the edge of the mountain. Lots of scrambling over jagged rocks. I wouldn't even think of wearing runners. My feet couldn't take it. Stopped a lot for breaks and didn't quite make it to the summit (total 5-6 hours). Did take an alternate path at about 3.1M that led to a great view of the city and called that good. Did not see anyone past the two mile markers. Next time i'll start earlier than 8 and come down Pima Canyon trail. Also, though there was full sun toward the top, the elevation gain minimized the temperature. Got hot again as you descended the trail. Just about stepped on a small snake. Other than that, no four-legged wildlife. Saw several folks hiking with no water or pack. Who does that and why? Tried the record option on all-trails. It completely drained my battery. Glad I brought a portable charger.

7 months ago

Quiet- Beautiful- Serene

hiking
7 months ago

I know this trail pretty well since I've hiked it to Mt. Kimball over 1600 times in the last 37 yrs in the course of a phenological study. The trail is accessed from Tucson, not Oro Valley and CANNOT be used for horses beyond the first mile. (The Forest Service has done improvements on the first 1.5 miles to permit access for mules carrying herbicides to fight the invasive buffelgrass. The trail actually goes to Ventana Canyon, but I have been told by numerous hikers that the trail beyond the junction with Pima Canyon Trail (which you take up to Mt. Kimball) is very difficult to follow.

The trail does not go to the Finger Rock formation, although there is a wildcat spur that takes you there--this is prohibited from Jan 1-Apr 30 since it is not a legal trail.

backpacking
8 months ago

SPENDING THE NIGHT in the canyon, there are two regulations you should be aware of. Over night parking permits can only be obtained online and require dates and car information, processing is about two days, so plan to reserve your permits accordingly.
Link http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=26888

Also, group limit is 6 persons. There is only one safe spot to set up camp on the trail within the first 4 miles. that spot will only accommodate about 8 people. You will not be able to camp on the trail. it is well used even in early morning, and there are steep drop offs just at the trails edge.

Fantastic view of the city at night. Its even better in the early morning.
BYO Firewood- when permitted.

11 months ago

Shade in the early AM

hiking
Monday, May 15, 2017

Fabulous trail! Challenging and scenic. The trail is in the shade in the morning which staved off the heat until later. We started this him at 6am and spent most of the at up in the shade. About half as much on the way down.

hiking
Friday, May 12, 2017

I'm a newbie having only hiked 4 times in a month and this was very challenging for me. But dang that scenery. Only did 1.6 miles. That massive chasm with those huge boulders all collected at the bottom, man.

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