Pima Canyon

Tucson, Arizona

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2 Reviews
3 out of 5
A day hike or backpack up Pima Canyon to Mt. Kimball. As the trail penetrates deeper into the canyon, towering walls of metamorphic rock guard the rims, and the vegetation grades from low desert cactus forest to desert grassland. The canyon walls draw apart, then constrict to form a steep and rock-walled valley. The last of the big cacti fall away as the path rounds a stony hillock and then begins to climb along the east wall of the canyon. A great prow of stone divides the canyon ahead, and at its base are good exposures of banded gneiss. Water can often be found on the surface in this reach of the canyon. The main path climbs across the summit of Kimball Peak to reach a ledge perched above a hair-raising dropoff. Mount Kimball is not an imposing peak, but by virtue of its strategic location it commands views in all directions around its summit. The most striking vista is to the east, where the rugged crests of Window and Cathedral rocks rise in front of forested Mount Lemmon.

Pima Canyon Professional Review and Guide

"A day hike or backpack up Pima Canyon to Mt. Kimball. As the trail penetrates deeper into the canyon, towering walls of metamorphic rock guard the rims, and the vegetation grades from low desert cactus forest to desert grassland. The canyon walls draw apart, then constrict to form a steep and rock-walled valley. The last of the big cacti fall away as the path rounds a stony hillock and then begins to climb along the east
wall of the canyon.

A great prow of stone divides the canyon ahead, and at its base are good exposures of banded gneiss. Water can often be found on the surface in this reach of the canyon. The main path climbs across the summit of Kimball Peak to reach a ledge perched above a hair-raising dropoff. Mount Kimball is not an imposing peak, but by virtue of its strategic location it commands views in all directions around its summit. The most striking vista is to the east, where the rugged crests of Window and Cathedral rocks rise in front of forested Mount Lemmon."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Tucson
Distance: 15.2
Elevation Gain: 4,295 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: Backpack or day hike
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 2,970 feet
Top Elevation: 7,200 feet
Local Contacts: Pusch Ridge Wilderness, Santa Catalina Ranger District, Coronado National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Tucson North, Oro Valley; Santa Catalina Mountains Hiker's map
Driving Directions: Directions to Pima Canyon

Recent Trail Reviews

3/8/2009
0

Nice hike into a scenic canyon. Variety of plants and birds present. Fairly busy trail with mostly hikers but also college kids jogging. I would do again, but not during peak hours during the weekend.


4/24/2004
0

We have hiked on this trail twice in the last couple of weeks and both times ended the hike by saying we have to come back. The scenery in the canyon is extroadinary. Wildlife in the form of birds, lizards and snakes is abundant and the scent of mesquite and desert wild flowers in the heat of the day is intoxicating. The trail is easy to follow for the most part. The farthest we hiked was to the dam which is a great place for a lunch and snooze before heading back to the car.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018