At the end of Alvernon Road, located in the Catalina Foothills, is a little slice of heaven. It is the beginning of the Finger Rock Trail. A parking lot is located across the street from the trailhead.
The Finger Rock Trail has something to offer every kind of hiker. If you are a seasoned hiker and in excellent condition, you can hike 8 miles up to Mount Kimball. Beware: the trail becomes very steep, narrow and slippery about two miles in. One false step and you can be seriously injured or even killed. We have seen many young people hiking this part of the trail, however, without any hesitation at all.
If you are looking for a shorter and easier hike, you can do what we do: meander in for one or two miles, enjoy the magnificent scenery, stop to take lots of photos, and find a comfortable spot to have a snack before heading back.
We usually hike about 1-2 miles in to where the trail becomes very steep and narrow. There is a large flat rock nearby that makes a perfect spot to sit and enjoy the beauty of the canyon before heading back.
In the winter, the trail follows a rushing stream with small waterfalls tumbling about. Listening to the rushing water adds to the “zen” feeling of this trail. The trail crosses the stream three or four times but there are plenty of stepping stones. A hiking pole helps keep my balance while stepping from rock to rock. By April, the level of the water was significantly lower and most of the rushing waterfalls were merely a trickle. This did not hinder our enjoyment of the trail. The trail was in full bloom with wildflowers everywhere and flowering ocotillo in abundance.
The trail runs through a canyon for 1-2 miles and is slightly rocky before it starts to climb. Magnificent views of the Catalina Mountains, covered with stately saguaro, surround you. The farther you hike, the quieter it becomes. All you hear is birdsong. Behind you, you will enjoy distant views of Tucson. It won’t take you long to discover why this is one of our favorite trails.