Dawn breaks at the Finger Rock Trail parking lot. Today's destination, Mount Kimball, which is above the light pole. Not a dramatic looking peak but at 7200' elevation, one of the highest and higher than the peaks you see in the foreground, despite what the image suggests. Quite a few no-shows this morning so only four of us shove off. Not the strongest I've hiked with but as always, an outdoor loving group who like to climb into the mountains.
The Finger Rock Trail is one of the steepest, most unrelenting trails in the area. I've heard the climb up Mount Wrightson is the only trail that is more difficult. From the parking lot to this point, where the Finger Rock Trail intersects with Pima Canyon Trail #62, there is no respite. The first mile in, the ascent is moderate but as you turn right out of the canyon, it is 3 miles of knee busting steps. At the sign post, hang a left to continue to Mount Kimball and about 1/2 a mile of moderate ascent, the top is reached. Total length was 4.82 miles and 4300' of elevation gain. However, at the top I was expecting panoramic vistas in a 360 degree circle but the pine trees and vegetation limited views so I was kind of disappointed. The rest of the gang arrived and I inquired how close was Finger Rock, a prominet rock spire. Since I was up here I may as well add that peak to my collection but the group guessed it was 1.5 miles away requiring bush whacking. Screw that so I headed down. After an hour of down climbing, I ran into a couple who were headed up to Finger Rock. They told me it was only 1/2 a mile from Kimball via an obscure trail. Argh..... too beat to go back up so I kept going.
Roughly half way down, I paused to take this image of the canyon I was following and around the curve is the parking lot. The impact of jumping down from step to step on uneven rocks takes it's toll on my knees. I see most hikers of all ages using hiking poles as their use eases the impact so I'm going to learn how to use them. So, finished with just under 10 miles and around 5000' of climbing. One thing about these hikes I like other than the views, I can eat a lot of anything when I'm finished and so I did.