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Mount Kimball Out-and-Back



8.7 mile 14.0 kilometer loop


Ascent: 4,125' 1,257 m
Descent: -4,124' -1,257 m
High: 7,227' 2,203 m
Low: 3,102' 945 m


Avg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 37% (21°)


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Trail shared by Jim Johannsen

This is a very scenic, very difficult out-and-back to the summit of Mt. Kimball.

Jim Johannsen

Features Birding · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


The Finger Rock Trail is a great way to explore the Catalina Front Range, offering hikers 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 Hiking 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.

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May 23, 2020
Colin Stacy
Spent plenty of time at summit. Look for Cairns and other formations to find proper direction. 8.7mi — 8h 00m
Apr 19, 2020
Chas Heisler
Dec 31, 2019
Matt Gish
Difficult climb with larg rocks, wet and slippery sections, and lots of snow. Lost the trail in the snow near the summit. 7.9mi — 5h 28m
Oct 3, 2019
Mark Rosen
May 26, 2019
Max Knotts
Mileage in description is not even close to accurate 10.7mi — 6h 10m
Apr 27, 2019
Crescent Remaniak
Mar 27, 2018
Matt Swanson
Feb 18, 2018
lisa picard

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 11 votes


  4.6 from 11 votes
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in Arizona


78 Views Last Month
3,678 Since Mar 24, 2017



Hiker and Tucson from Pusch Ridge Wilderness Finger Rock Canyon
Sep 21, 2017 near Catalin…, AZ
Beautiful red granite cliffs await along the way.
Mar 24, 2017 near Catalin…, AZ
From high on the Finger Rock Trail, look over your shoulder to the south to experience pleasant views of suburban Tucson.
Mar 24, 2017 near Catalin…, AZ
Nice sunset over Tucson
Dec 26, 2017 near Catalin…, AZ
On Mount Kimball with Mount Wrightson looming in the background
Nov 2, 2017 near Oro Valley, AZ
Looking down on Pusch Ridge with Pusch Peak clearly in the middle from Mount Kimball
Nov 2, 2017 near Oro Valley, AZ