Summary: A long and strenuous hike to the summit of Mt Kimball. This hike passes through Pima Canyon, one of the most scenic and rugged canyons in the Santa Catalina Mountains.
The first 3.2 miles of this hike, up to the Pima Canyon Dam, is one of the more popular hikes in the Catalinas. This portion of the hike is not very steep and serves as a great introductory hike to the Catalinas for novice hikers. The next 2 miles of the trail, up to Pima Spring, starts to get more difficult as the trail becomes rugged and increasingly steeper. The hike to Pima Springs makes for a nice day hike if you are not up for the summit. The final section of the trail is very steep and difficult to follow. Keep and eye open for a metal trail marker pointing to Pima Saddle. From Pima saddle the trail is faint and hard to follow, so watch for the cairns leading to the summit. At the summit of Mt Kimball you will be welll rewarded with one of the most spectacular views in the front range.
Trailhead: From Tucson drive north on Oracle Road (US 89) until it intersects Magee Road. Turn right (east) on Magee Road. Magee Road dead-ends at a parking area. The Pima Canyon Trailhead, also known as the Iris O. Dewihirst Trailhead, begins at the east end of the parking lot.
Trail Guides for Mt Kimball: Pima Canyon Trail:
Tucson Hiking Guide
by Betty Leavengood (Pruett Publishing Company)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Santa Catalina Ranger District (520) 749-8700
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Rob Brinkerhoff, who has posted 33 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by JD on 2/24/2015
Went up Pima Canyon for the first time. I must have made a wrong turn, I ended up scrambling up a faint and steep dirt trail, to look over to see Oro Valley and Biosphere 2 in the distance. I should have either gone straight of right somewhere. I did not plan on doing a 10-12 mile hike that day, but made it back with a little water to spare.
Reviewed by mb on 7/9/2014
i have tried several times keep losing the trail but it is beautiful and i am determined to keep trying
Reviewed by Brady on 8/4/2013
Hiked up and down Finger Rock. Pretty steep, pretty long, extreme workout! Rough on the feet. Trail was extremely easy to follow. Make sure you check out Linda Vista - about halfway up. Excellent scenery, interesting mix of vegetation.
Reviewed by Bill on 3/29/2013
I hiked up the Pima Canyon Trail and went down the Ventana Canyon Trail - it took me ten hours to do this. This was clearly the highlight of my spring break visit to Tucson! I would agree with others that this is not for the faint of heart and you really have to pay attention and follow the cairns (despite this, I got lost briefly). The vistas are wonderful and the chance to see the changing life zones of a desert "Sky Island" so very cool. There was water today in various places which made it very nice both esthetically and for the thirsty. That won't always be true so hikers have to be prepared. The trail difficulty is threefold in places - steep grade, poor footing, and indistinctness. In sum, I highly recommend this!
Reviewed by NK on 12/30/2012
Hiked on 12/29/2012. Went up Finger Rock to Kimball and then down Pima Canyon. This was my 1st major hike. All I can say is it is not a hike for a novice, even hiking with experienced hikers. Especially not with snow and ice. It was a very difficult hike. However, the views are spectacular and even though every part of my body hurts, it was a very exciting day and worth the 12 hours it took to complete it.
Reviewed by DME on 10/14/2012
We went up Finger and down Pima on 10/12/12. Great workout to Kimball. Route down Pima was overgrown but we only lost trail a few times for a brief period. Cairned a couple of vague sections. This is a very difficult trail, rough and hard on the feet. But incredible scenery and a lovely, remote stretch of the Catalinas.
Reviewed by KMF on 8/31/2012
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Reviewed by AD on 5/16/2012
Trail becomes hard to find after a few miles, got lost and were about a mile off the trail. Trail need to be better marked.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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