Finger Rock Trail is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Tucson area and one of the most easily recognized landscape quirks of the Tucson skyline. Anyone who has been to Tucson most likely can pick out the 100-foot tall rock structure that resembles an index finger pointing to the clouds above. This 8.2 mile out-and-back trail is located in the Santa Catalina mountains as a part of the Coronado National forest.
Because of the challenge it presents (the elevation gain is 4,038 feet) and the breathtaking views you will see if you make it all the way to the top, the Finger Rock Trail is one of Tucson’s top-rated hikes.
Where is the Finger Rock Trailhead located?
Take Ina Road east until it turns into Skyline Drive. Continue on Skyline Drive and then turn left (north) on Alvernon Way. Turn left into the trailhead parking lot right after passing East Ina Road. If you reach East Playa de Coronado, you’ve gone a little too far.
What are the hours?
Dawn to Dusk
Why would I visit the Finger Rock Trail?
- To hike
- To backpack
- To trail run
- To horseback ride
- To see the amazing views and (possibly) some wildlife
How much does it cost?
Admission is free!
Where should I park?
The Finger Rock trailhead has a small parking lot at the foot of the mountain on Alvernon Way. Be sure to arrive early on weekends and holidays as it does tend to fill up.
What is the length/distance of the hike?
Finger Rock Trail itself is about 4.1 miles one way, but you can really tailor this hike to fit how much energy you want to expend. As the hike progresses, it gets gradually steeper and rockier.
From the trailhead to Finger Rock Spring is approximately 1 mile of fairly level terrain. The rest of the hike gets steeper and is challenging going up and coming down.
How much time should I allot for this hike?
8+ hours to complete the entire trail and arrive back at the trailhead.
Can I bike the trail?
Neither mountain bikes nor motorized bikes are permitted.
Is there water to play in?
There is occasionally water in Finger Rock Spring about 1 mile from the trailhead.
What should I wear?
Dress for the weather. Recommended – (1) comfortable, closed toe shoes or boots (2) light layers (3) sunscreen (4) a wide-brimmed hat or visor, and (5) sunglasses.
What should I bring with me?
WATER, snacks or a lunch, extra sunscreen, a phone, and a camera
Are bathrooms available?
Not along the trail. If nature calls, you will have to answer in nature. ;)
Which days are most and least crowded?
Be sure to go early on the weekend and/or on holidays because the parking lot fills up early.
What is the best season for hiking the Finger Rock Trail?
October through April is the ideal hiking season in Tucson due to cooler temperatures.
What kinds of plants and animals might I see?
Saguaro cacti, rattlesnakes, javelina, jackrabbits, bighorn sheep, birds, lizards, Palo Verde trees, mesquite trees, wild flowers
Is outside food allowed on the Finger Rock Trail?
Absolutely! There are not many spots that are ideal for picnicking, however, so bring food that you can eat while you are on the move. As with all hiking trails, be sure to stow your trash in a backpack or pocket until it can be properly disposed of.
What restaurants are located NEAR the Finger Rock Trail?
Our top restaurant picks within a 5-mile radius are:
- Wildflower, 7037 N. Oracle Rd. (4.0 miles away) – American cuisine, lunch, dinner, happy hour
- Blanco Tacos + Tequila, 2905 E. Skyline Dr. (4.1 miles away) – Modern Latin American cuisine, lunch, dinner, happy hour
- Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, 2985 E. Skyline Dr (4.4 miles away) – American cuisine, $15-$18 lunch, $28-$32 dinner
- Vivace, 6440 N. Campbell Ave (4.4 miles away) – fine Italian dining, $18-$26 at dinner
- AJ’s Fine Foods, 2805 E. Skyline Dr. (4.5 miles away) – salad bar, soup, sandwiches, sushi
BABIES & KIDS
What ages would be best suited for a hike on the Finger Rock Trail?
This hike is best suited for older children, teens, and adults unless you are only planning on reaching Finger Rock Spring. In that case, all ages would love the hike!
Should I bring a stroller?
We would recommend a baby carrier instead. The trail is much too rocky for a stroller.
What about my dog?
The trail leads into the Pusch Ridge Desert Bighorn Sheep Management Area so dogs are not permitted.
Can I follow the Finger Rock Trail on social media?
You can follow the Coronado National Forest on Facebook.
What else do I need to know before I go hiking on the Finger Rock Trail?
- Don’t forget to wear sunscreen – even on overcast days!
- Always be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back before setting out on the trail.
- Bring more water than you think you will need!