“This is a very scenic, very difficult out-and-back to the summit of Mt. Kimball.”
— Jim Johannsen
Birding · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Finger Rock Trail is a great way to explore the Catalina Front Range, offering runners incredible views of Tucson and the surrounding area at the expense of tough trail conditions, plenty of elevation gain, and a heat only the Sonoran Desert can provide. Along the way, you'll pass the trail's namesake: Finger Rock. Towering over a hundred feet from top to bottom, Finger Rock is a skyline spectacle that will be hard to miss, and even harder to pass up making the off-trail trek to its base.
Starting at the Finger Rock Trailhead Parking Area off Alvernon Way, the trail crosses the road and heads north past a series of enormous houses into the hills beyond. At first, the grade is rather mellow, offering you a chance to get warmed up before tackling the vicious, loose-footed climbs ahead. After reaching Finger Rock Spring, the going really gets tough, so if you're already feeling less than stellar, you might want to consider stopping at the springs, enjoying your surroundings, and heading back down.
If you're feeling good and ready to continue on, follow the trail as it climbs steeply over rocks and through spiky desert flora. There are several sections that require you to use one or both hands to climb over boulders in the trail. At times, the trail can be hard to follow through this section, so keep a keen eye and be sure to bring the Trail Run Project mobile app
with you to make sure you're on trail.
After fighting your way up the trail, you'll eventually reach a fork in the trail. Head left at the fork onto the Pima Canyon Trail #62
for a short ways before taking the short Summit Access Spur
to the top.
After making it up almost 4.5 miles of trail and over 4000' of elevation gain, you deserve a break (and a snack!) so sit down, take a load off, and enjoy the view.
When you're ready to head down, simply descend the way you came.