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Finger Rock Day Hike
Tucson, Santa Catalina Mountains
March 21, 1998
by Darleen Lindquist
FingerRock1a
It’s a great day to hike in the Santa Catalina Mountains!

Headed for Tucson from parking lot at Einstein’s in Ahwatukee at 7:20 a.m. took our group picture at 9:15 a.m. in the parking lot at the trailhead and started out on our hike.

finger2a
The trail starts in saguaros.
FingerRock2a
We really had to climb to get up here.
The trail starts in saguaros and climbs through the Upper Sonoran Zone into a habitat of yucca, live oak, juniper and agave and gets more difficult as you go along into Pusch Ridge Desert Bighorn Sheep Management Area.

The lower level of the hike is easy, and is followed by a small creek with water flowing slowly in most places with some wonderful little falls along the way and some cool shaded areas you can sit on large rocks and if you wish, soak your feet in the cool water of the stream. We needed to cross the creek a few times stepping on some large rocks to cross. Nothing at all like the 7 Falls hike.

The trail then turns into a very challenging rocky and rough climb upwards, and a lot more difficult. Dramatic vistas of Finger Rock, the sheer walls of the canyon, Tucson, and the mountains beyond add to the lung busting grades to give hikers plenty of incentive to stop, take a breather and look around.

FingerRock3a
Enjoying our picnic on the rocks.

There were many varieties of flowers blooming with an assortment of colors. All very beautiful. Sighted many little lizards, at least four different types of butterflies, crawly bugs. Also sighted a bird we couldn’t identify. But when I got home I checked my bird book and found it to be a Phainopepla, uncommon; is mostly found in arid scrub, especially near streams. It has a black, tall crest, and long tail.

Everyone was back at the trailhead by 4:30 to start our return to Phoenix with a stop at the Dairy Queen at Picacho Peak exit.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated January 11, 2018