Finger Rock Trail 42

Coronado National Forest, Arizona

Elevation Gain6,754ft
Trailhead Elevation3,082ft
Elevation Min/Max3077/6889ft
Elevation Start/End3082/3082ft

Finger Rock Trail 42

Finger Rock Trail #42 is a hiking and horse trail in Pima County, Arizona. It is within Pusch Ridge Wilderness Area and Coronado National Forest. It is 5.4 miles long and begins at 3,082 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 6,754 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. This trail connects with the following: Esperero Trail.

Finger Rock Trail #42 Professional Reviews and Guides

"As with other parts of Arizona, the Basin and Range region of the southeastern portion of the state is a truly unique land. The area appeals to hikers of many persuasions because the geography here is typified by a number of sharply rising mountain ranges that oversee broad desert basins.

The Finger Rock Trail offers the quickest access to Mount Kimball—the top of the Santa Catalinas’ impressive front range. This steep and rugged route reveals some interesting geological formations and provides some particularly spectacular vistas of Tucson and beyond."

"An alternative route to the summit of Mount Kimball, using the trail up Finger Rock Canyon. This trail is shorter than the Pima Canyon Trail.

From the Finger Rock Trailhead, walk a few feet north up the road to the Finger Rock Trail, which heads north along the national forest boundary into the mouth of spectacular Finger Rock Canyon. The trail climbs the gentle slopes at the mouth of the canyon through typical Lower Sonoran vegetation—catclaw, mesquite, and saguaro and cholla cacti.

Special Considerations: This hike has 4,110 feet of elevation gain. Carry plenty of water during the hot summer months as the trail stays well above the canyon bottom with little access to seasonal water."

"Finger Rock is a major landmark on Tucson’s mountainous northern horizon. Th is steep, diffi cult, but clear trail climbs Finger Rock Canyon almost a vertical mile up into the Catalinas, never getting close to the pinnacle it’s named after.

Instead, it continues much higher, reaching a satisfying but uncomplicated summit from which you can see everything north of Tucson (but not the city itself). You’ll enjoy climbing through changing ecosystems, from stands of saguaro to a pine forest."

"This hike uses the Finger Rock Canyon Trail to reach a seasonal spring in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. The outing is especially enjoyable during or just after a wet winter, when a seasonal stream fills the normally dry wash.

Once in Finger Rock Canyon, the trail turns northeast and generally follows the bed of the canyon, passing seasonal Finger Rock Spring and seasonal pools along the way. This idyllic spot is the destination for our hike."

"A hike up a rugged, scenic canyon in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Pusch Ridge Wilderness. It’s a steep climb but worth it. As you ascend, the vegetation changes from saguaro-forested desert to pinyon pine–juniper forest. After about 3 miles, the trail swings east into a basin; watch for a spur trail that goes east to Linda Vista Saddle.

This beautiful saddle with its sweeping view is a good destination for a shorter hike. It’s been a long climb, but from this vantage point you can see much of the front range of the Santa Catalina. Permit: To protect bighorn sheep, no dogs are allowed at any time. Day hike group size limit is fifteen persons; overnight group size limit is six persons. From January 1 to April 30, no camping beyond 400 feet from system trails. No hiking on unofficial trails."

Finger Rock Trail #42 Reviews

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The middle section of this trail is very steep and eroded making it necessary to climb up and around rocks. It thus takes some extra time both up and back. It is best to go first thing in the morning as the parking lot is small and the mountain is shaded on the way up. They flowers, views and solitude were amazing if your ready for a tough trail.
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Four of us did this hike to the top of Mount Kimball. It was a difficult climb, but with very nice views along the way and at the top. Having an adjustable hiking pole helps, especially on the way down. A 2nd pole might get in the way.
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My favorite near Tucson trail thus far. Worthy of Falcons difficult ratng especially in the triple digit temps of the Tucson summer. I've only made it as far as Linda Vista Saddle on my two visits. However, I like to be off the trails by noon in the summer. What I hear most from other hikers is "I wish we would have started earlier." This is not a trail to attempt in the dark even with a head lamp. The trail is rocky, steep and narrow in spots. There are plenty of blind footfalls for snakes to lounge in so stay alert. We ran across a Mojave Rattlesnake on our second hike. Bring more water than you think you need. Most of the springs that I am aware of have been dry for nearly a year now. This one was no exception. Besides.., it's at the bottom of the canyon. Remember if you climb down into the canyon, you have to climb back out :) All of that out of the way, the flora, fauna and geology are AMAZING. The view is spectacular. If you are photographing with a DSLR, a wide angle lense and a polarization filter are a must for capturing the true beauty of the landscape. This is bighorn sheep country so a decent telephoto lense wouldn't be a bad idea either.
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OMG -- One of the most challenging trails I have been on (okay I am overweight, 51 and out of shape but it would have been hard if I was 18, svelte and in shape) It was worth the effort. Beautiful views and interesting change in vegetation as you ascend Mt. Kimball.
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This is the most difficult trail I have ever hiked. The trail is very steep - there is almost a mile of elevation change in 5 miles. Often you have to make a large step over rocks, so a pole would be helpful. We didn't have one, and I injured my ankle, and the person with me injured her knee. Due to the steepness and difficulty of the trail, I recommend doubling your estimate of hiking time for a normal 10 mile trail.

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Trail Information

Coronado National Forest
Nearby City
Coronado National Forest
Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Ranger District, 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Rd., Tucson 85750; (520) 749-8700;
Local Contacts
USGS Oro Valley
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018