OverviewMt. Kimball is one of the highest peaks along the southern front of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Catalinas rise just north of Tucson, Arizona, and their forested summits often carry winter snow while far below, Tucson is warm. Like many of its neighbors, Mt. Kimball is a "sky island" - its lower slopes are desert, and only as you climb higher do thicker vegetation and forests begin to appear.
Mt. Kimball from Finger Rock Canyon. Finger Rock itself is at left; Kimball is behind at right.
Although it does not present a forbidding face from most directions, Kimball still towers almost a vertical mile above Tucson and is a long, steep day trip for many hikers. The summit of Mt. Kimball also provides spectacular views into the heart of the Catalinas and of the surrounding southern Arizona desert.
Getting ThereThe two main routes up Mt. Kimball are Finger Rock Canyon and Pima Canyon.
For Finger Rock Canyon, take Skyline Drive, a major road that parallels the Catalinas just south of the foothills. From the intersection of Skyline and Alvernon take Alvernon north. The road dead ends at the Finger Rock Canyon trailhead.
For Pima Canyon, the trailhead starts further west. Skyline turns into Ina road here; the intersection of Ina and Christie is just west and is also on this map. At that intersection, go north on Christie. This street dead-ends at Magee. Turn right here, and park at the lot (it's called the Iris Dewhirst trailhead) straight ahead of you.
Red TapeNo dogs are allowed on either the Pima Canyon or the Finger Rock Canyon trails. Off-trail hiking is sometimes subject to seasonal closure, but given what off-trail hiking is like in this area (wading through fields of shindaggers and other sharp plants) this isn't usually a problem. Other than that there's no red tape.
The Highest Catalina Summits
|Rank||Peak||Elevation||7.5 minute Quadrangle|
|1||Mount Lemmon||9,157||Mt. Lemmon|
|2||Mount Bigelow||8,540||Mount Bigelow|
|3||Marshall Peak||8,300||Mount Lemmon|
|4||Cathedral Rock||7,957||Mount Lemmon|
|5||Green Mountain||7,904||Mount Bigelow|
|6||Samaniego Peak||7,700||Mount Lemmon|
|7||UN 7693||7,693||Mount Bigelow|
|8||Window Peak||7,468||Mount Lemmon|
|9||Rose Peak||7,303||Mount Bigelow|
|10||UN 7281 "Guthrie Mountain"||7,281||Mount Bigelow|
|11||Mt. Kimball||7,258||Oro Valley|
|Mule Ears||7,060||Mount Lemmon|
|12||Rattlesnake Peak||6,653||Sabino Canyon|
|13||Prominent Point||6,628||Tucson North|
|14||UN 6512||6,512||Agua Caliente Hill|
|Finger Rock||6,420||Tucson North|
|16||Table Mountain||6,265||Oro Valley|
|17||UN 6191||6,191||Agua Caliente Hill|
|18||Airmen Peak||6,100||Agua Caliente Hill|| |
|19||UN 6060||6,060||Mount Bigelow|
|20||UN 6053||6,053||Mount Bigelow|
Clicking on the small picture by a peak will take you to a picture of that peak.
Clicking on an underlined peak will take you to that peak's page on SummitPost.
An elevation in red is interpolated.
A more expansive list of the Catalina summits can be found here.