Sonoran Spring: Tucson’s Mount Kimball Loop hike

Sports

Sonoran Spring: Tucson’s Mount Kimball Loop hike

Tucson’s Mount Kimball Loop
Brittlebush lights up the Finger Rock Trail, named for the skinny pinnacle shown. Mount Kimball is tree covered to its right.
Thomas Ward stands on the summit of Mount Kimball, elevation 7,258. Cathedral Rock and Window Peak crown the view of Pusch Ridge Wilderness.
Fairydusters, often the first in spring, are now in full explosion.
This hike can be done in either direction but the visuals are best by beginning in Pima Canyon, cresting Mount Kimball, and returning through Finger Rock Canyon. Follow an established trail all the way.
Trail basics

Travel: This hike requires a short shuttle between the Finger Rock and Pima Canyon trailheads. In Tucson, zero-out your trip meter at Sunrise Drive and Swan Road. Drive north on Swan for 0.9 mile to Skyline Drive. Turn left/west and travel to Alvernon Way at 1.9 miles. Turn right/north. Finger Rock Trailhead parking is on the left at 2.8 miles. Drop a vehicle here. Zero-out your trip meter again and go south on Alvernon Way for 0.9 mile to Skyline Drive; turn right/west. Sunrise merges with Skyline at 1.7 miles. In 3.5 miles, Skyline turns into Ina Road. Avoid Pima Canyon Drive and turn right on Christie Drive at 4.4 miles. At 5.8 miles, turn right on Magee Road. The parking lot is on the right.
Distance and Elevation Gain: 11.8 miles; 4,500 feet of climbing for the through-hike; 10.0 miles; 4,200 elevation gain for Finger Rock Trail out-and-back
Time: 6½ to 9 hours
Difficulty: Trail, steep and rocky, giant vertical; navigation easy; no exposure; carry all the water you will need; no dogs
Maps: Tucson North, Oro Valley, Arizona, 7.5 Quads; or, Pusch Ridge Wilderness, Coronado National Forest, USDA Forest Service, 1:24,000
Pusch Ridge Wilderness Bighorn Sheep Closure: It is prohibited to travel more than 400 feet off designated Forest Service trails from January 1 through April 30, bighorn sheep lambing season.

Sonoran Spring: Tucson’s Mount Kimball Loop hike

Brittlebush lights up the Finger Rock Trail, named for the skinny pinnacle shown. Mount Kimball is tree covered to its right.
Thomas Ward stands on the summit of Mount Kimball, elevation 7,258. Cathedral Rock and Window Peak crown the view of Pusch Ridge Wilderness.
Fairydusters, often the first in spring, are now in full explosion.
This hike can be done in either direction but the visuals are best by beginning in Pima Canyon, cresting Mount Kimball, and returning through Finger Rock Canyon. Follow an established trail all the way.
Reader Comments
click here to add your event
Area Events