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Finger Rock to Pima Canyon Trail

HARD 42 reviews
#10 of 34 trails in

Finger Rock to Pima Canyon Trail is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Tucson, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from September until May.

9.9 miles
4,196 feet
Point to Point





wild flowers


no shade

no dogs

Rugged hike with incredible mountain vistas. This point to point hike combines the two most popular "must see" hikes in the Catalinas. From breathtaking canyon vistas, to mountain top views of both Tucson and Oro Valley your camera is sure to get almost as good a workout as you, but beware, all these photo opportunities come at a price, this hike is not for the faint at heart. Finger Rock alone is known as one of the most demanding short hikes in the area, in the time it takes to drink most of your water, and bring as much as possible, you'll have gained upwards of 4500 ft in elevation. Near the summit of the canyon take the "Right turn" when the trail splits, head towards the summit of Mount Kimball. Once at the summit you're at your half way point. The remaining downhill portion will take you through Pima Canyon, providing you with reason to smile as you explain to all the half day hikers where you started from. Plan to leave as early as possible, and don't forget that camera.

19 days ago

I absolutely do not recommend going right now. It is still very snowy and icy on the ledges and there were more than a few occasions where we were very afraid of falling. If you are a very experienced hiker and/or climber and slippery ledges are your thing then go for it but this is my warning.

19 days ago

Would not recommend this hike at the moment. Soooo beautiful but terrifying as the top is covered in snow and the trail is easily lost. Thank God for all trails bc lost the trail about 50 times and almost slid off the cliff in the snow many times. Wait till the snow melts and stick to finger rock for now. Also this hike from finger rock to pima is 16 mi not 9.9.

20 days ago

This is our favorite hike so far. Magnificent views. No dogs. Just gorgeous wilderness all around you. The wildflowers are in bloom now too. Lots of waterfalls....

Initial 1.5 miles of descent from Mt. Kimball on Pima Canyon Trail was extremely challenging. No tracks since last snow on that portion of Pima Canyon trail so I took a few wrong turns. Also, very icy on area around 6.3-6.4 miles on my hike. Next time I’ll hike this route in the Spring! Otherwise excellent trail and nice views!!.

1 month ago

We took the Pina Canyon Trail to Mount Kimball (don’t stop at the Mt. Kimball sign, it’s another 0.2 miles to the boulder and amazing views), and returned via the Finger Rock Trail to the trailhead off Craycroft. Beautiful ever-changing scenery; fairly steep toward the top of both trails; a real knee-jarring return. Able to see Finger Rock from front and back. Recorded 11.6 miles and 7 hours, including a leisurely lunch.

6 months ago

This was a difficult hike. Kicked my butt. I started out early in the day and took my time. Pima canyon itself is beautiful going down. The views of the canyon are stunning. HOWEVER! The pima canyon trail going down is very overgrown for the first 2/3. Really difficult to see the trail for most of it. I lost my way several times. Only my GPS app helped me finally make it to the bottom. Otherwise, I'd come back and do this again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Pretty accurate distance and vertical! Exactly what I expected from those measurements!

Be prepared, this is a hard hike. Unless you’re very fit, this will take you 6-8 hours. Maybe longer. It’s very hot with only the last 3/4 mike with much shade. As someone who loves hiking 14ers in Colorado during the summer, I’ll say the difficulty is pretty comparable to some of the “easier” ones. Great training. Don’t be unprepared!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Kicks your butt!! but so worth it!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Difficult, but the view at the top is totally worth every single switchback!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Wish dogs were allowed... but I get it for the sake of the bighorn sheep.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The distances on this app are very wonky. I finally went with a GPS, and the course is about 20.2km and 5100ft of
Elevation gain and loss (including the undulation). We spent 8 hours to get it as accurate as we could. Great trail, just expect to be out 5-7 hours.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Had a great time on this in the dead of winter. Took us about 6 hours including a few frivolous breaks for playing hacky sack and enjoying the scenery. Can't imagine doing it on a hot day.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Finger Rock to Mount Kimball. Return over Pima Saddle then down Pima Canyon trail. A car shuttle is needed. The first 5 miles are over a 4000’ elevation gain. Bring a 3 liter water blabber & headlamps just in case. Start at sunrise to end before dusk. The loop took us 11 hours including lunch & picture taking. This loop is similar to Hiking Bright Angel trail to Indian Gardens & back the same day.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

I’ve been hiking the Catalina Mts since I was 5 years old. This has always been one of my favorite hikes. We started out at 5:30 am and came down at 4pm, taking our time and with my partner being a geologist, spent plenty of time looking at different rocks. Today was probably not the most opportune time to do this hike– with temperatures hitting mid 90’s by 11 am, we were getting burnt and dehydrated. That being said, the hike itself was well worth it. Perhaps we would have been back sooner if the stretch from the summit of Kimball to the drop into Pima was better marked. We lost the trail quite a few times, sucking up a lot of time out of our journey. All in all, a great day and a feel good hike with the calorie burn and the amazing views. Bring more water than you think you’ll need. You’ll use it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Really pretty but rough on the joints. Amazing views.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September 24th 6:00am - I arrived at the Finger Rock trailhead with a gallon of water, a liter of gatorade, two Slim Jims (the Giant size, of course), a Clif Bar, a box of Extra Toasty Cheez-Its and fear in my heart. I contemplated what I was doing - Do I really want to hike 10 miles? - then quickly told myself that I NEEDED to hike it (to prove something - not sure what). I started my hike and enjoyed the first little bit (nice weather, good scenery) with the light accompanying soundtrack of Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here' album whispering through the earbud in my left ear (the right one was left out! - good pun, man!) I also decided that I was gonna 'Record' the climb on my All Trails app (not a good idea). The gradual climb soon began to get pretty steep as I found myself traveling deeper into the valley. I'd like to take a moment to explain that I'm not an 'avid hiker' and can confidently say that I haven't gone on more than 3 hikes in the last couple of years. I'd say I'm in decent shape, but my girlfriend told me the night before, "You can't run 1 mile, why do you think you can hike 10?" I also do not have any high-tech gear or hiking boots - I wore a pair of Nike Free Runs - they're grey, I think you'd like them. Anyways, before I get back to the hike, I want to make it clear that I saw a total of 8 people during my hike (one of them being my crying girlfriend - we'll get to that soon). So, I saw my 1st fellow hiker while I was still pretty low - We said hello as he gawked at some birds in his binoculars. I ran into him later up the mountain, but he didn't seem like he wanted to be friend. The views continued to be great as the mountain continued to get steeper. Dust and cacti soon became moist soil and tall green grass, which then became pine trees and such. But before I got too much into the pine trees, I ran into a group of three young whipper-snappers similar in age to me. I was taking a break and eating some Cheez-It's when they came up from behind and we exchanged some small talk. They explained they had never hiked this trail either and that they were planning to hike to the top and back down. I explained that the hike was 'pretty steep' (which meant, VERY STEEP) and that I was planning to hike up and then down Pima Canyon. We debated where and how the two trails connected, as they seemed very far (they were). They went up ahead of me and I chugged some water before moving on. Did I mention that all I had for breakfast was a medium sized banana? At this point, my music wasn't on and I was only recording my hike, but I noticed my battery on my phone had dropped to about 65%. Continuing to hike, I went deeper into the crevice of the two mountains, and when the trail split up to Mt. Kimball, I kept going. In hindsight (like 15 minutes after passing it), I realized I should have stopped to check out the views. I saw my three friends over on the flat portion of Mt. Kimball as I kept on cruising. At this point, there were some pretty cool rocks (they were really big too - like bigger than Dwayne Johnson) and I found myself secluded in the nook of the mountain with plenty of shade and tree cover. It was actually surprisingly not steep here either (which is weird because 97% of the trail is steep). This area was really cool - you're like transported into a different place completely - does not feel like AZ. By this time, my phone was at like 45% and I decided that it was not worth wasting battery to record my hike (Why was I even recording it? So dumb) When I got past all that goodness, I stopped for another refuel break and the lingering three hikers passed me again. I told them that the hike was kicking my butt. They said they'd meet me at the top (we were close, but not THAT close - this trail NEVER ends). By this time, I had already doubted myself multiple times, but another quick pep talk got me back on my feet again. I hiked and hiked and finally I reached the top! Hallelujah! It was just about 10:30 am. Yeah, it took me THAT long. I took a turn off to the left and climbed on top of a big BIG rock (this was quite dangerous and I was probably not suited to do this. Anyways, I got up and it was time for lunch - Clif Bar and Cheez-It's!!! This was definitely the most enjoyable part of the hike. I saw five blue birds flying around (I assumed they were Blue Jays but who knows? Maybe that bird watcher guy from earlier. Which reminds me, I saw two other hikers at this point. They were both going down. One guy was cheating with his ski poles and then there was a lady who was basically running down. So if you're keeping track, that's 6 people total so far) and I literally said "Whoa!" out loud when they flew by. I also got to witness a raven and a hawk chasing each other for a few minutes. They were two different species, but they were friends. At this moment I felt at peace. I took a few pictures and had a quick phone call with my girlfriend. I saw the 3 hikers going back down as I sat high upon the r

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Really enjoyed this hike. Climbed up Finger Rock and down Pima. Took me 5:48 total time. Had no trouble route finding on the way up but did have some trouble staying on the trail going down Pima at the top, especially around the saddle. Had to back track about 25m a few times. Watch for the cairns left by others to help with staying on course. Trail isn't too well travelled at the top. Would like to do it again and go back out on Finger Rock to see how that goes, steeper but much shorter. Started late at 9:00 and took lots of water. An earlier start would probably offer some shade on the climb.

Monday, April 03, 2017

great views. 9 hours

Monday, March 27, 2017

Epic. Took me 7 hours. 4 hrs to pima saddle from finger rock trailhead, then 3 hours down to pima canyon trailhead. Would be a good challenge to try the other direction, might be harder - the pima cyn trail gets really steep at the end. It's easy to lose track of the trail when it turns to a big rock slab at one point; if you do, just follow the wash and the trail will eventually cross it.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This is the toughest hike in the Tucson area so don't attempt it if you're not in shape! Amazing views though. Well worth it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Great hike, although the path was hard to find this time of year. The way down through Pima canyon seems to find no end, the last part is especially hard since it is going to be early afternoon if you started early (6am or so).
It took me almost 3 hours up to Mt. Kimball, then - even subtracting all breaks - it was at least that time to get down through Pima canyon. I had to backtrack twice to get the right trail.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Amazing Hike. I spent eight hours on the trail and was rewarded with over 4,000 feet in vertical gain and breathtaking views.

Hints for a pleasurable Hike:

Bring lots of water. I would recommend at least a gallon per person

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beautiful weather and worth all the hard work on the way up... long trip down Pima Canyon. Beer was tres bien at the end

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