register help

Finger Rock Guard 6475, AZ

161 22 0
Guide 22 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson NW
4.8 of 5 by 4
Warning! Technical climbing skills required. Risks include serious injury to death.  Risks are not eliminated by skill.
Climb Consensus (19) → View
Difficulty 5.6
Climb IV PG Trad
Rock Granite Good
Length 80 ft 1 Pitch
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,068 feet
Elevation Gain 3,418 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,894 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 26.87
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
5  2018-11-17 Tuxon
30  2017-12-29
Upper Finger Rock Canyon
9  2016-12-09 rvcarter
5  2016-05-06 fearnestiv
10  2015-10-23 Mountain_Rat
7  2015-10-23 rvcarter
31  2013-12-28 GrottoGirl
16  2013-12-01 sirena
Page 1,  2
Author climbincajun
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age 41 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Nov, Mar, Apr, Feb → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:08am - 6:29pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
by climbincajun

From Finger Rock Trailhead at the north end of Alvernon Way follow Finger Rock trail northward 1.1 miles to Finger Rock Spring. From here continue northward for 1.9 miles. After crossing some steep slabs near the edge of the cliff, the trail flattens out onto a large, open promontory above the canyon bottom. Here the trail turns eastward. At this point, you will leave the well-traveled trail, and not likely see anyone for the remainder of the hike.

Do not follow the trail as it turns east toward Mt. Kimball. Instead hike northward, down a steep, obscure path and across the wash below. This wash bottom is a nice shady place to rest before the final push that lies ahead, especially if water is running. A faint, increasingly steep route marked by cairns (hopefully) will contour to the north back uphill and eventually around the back side of Finger Rock Guard, the large formation immediately east of Finger Rock. As you approach the formations proper, the trail splits, up and left to the Guard, and down and right to the Finger.

Finger Rock Guard
Follow the left trail up over a short blocky wall. Some technical scrambling will take you through a short labyrinth of rock formations, and eventually out onto the summit of Finger Rock Guard. Technical gear is not required to reach this summit.

Finger Rock
Take the steep right trail, first downhill and then up, ten minutes through dense vegetation until it dead ends at the northwest face of Finger Rock. The views from the saddle below Finger Rock itself are spectacular. The exposure is extreme. The true summit of Finger Rock is a technical climb, details at Finger Rock Summit.

Allow at least three hours for the approach, and a little less for the return. This hike is difficult, steep, and loose in many places. Not for the faint of heart. Plan on a full day of hard work.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike & climb trip to support this local community.

2004-03-08 climbincajun
  • Map
    guide related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Finger Rock Guard 6475
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I had never heard of Finger Rock Guard until I saw the it posted on a hiking club. Went out with three people yesterday to tackle this beast. The route is as described on the other triplogs. The one way distance is around 3.6 miles with 3600 feet of gain, however the first mile of the hike is just a warmup gaining around 400 feet. It's another 1.6 miles to the turnoff. Only one more mile to go, how hard can that be???? Hard.

From there you can see the trail that leads to the saddle just below FRG. Drop down to the drainage and follow the trail to the saddle. It's pretty well mark but some tall grass in places will make you pause to find the route. Once at the saddle take the left trail that has a well cairned route to the summit. Shortly you will come to the part that may leave some hikers behind. There is a small chute with a weathered rope still in place. I decided to take the chute just to the left and a rope there would have been handy since I do have a fear of rocks breaking and then myself falling. Once you get past that section just followed the cairns to the top. Unfortunately I did not make it to the tippy top this time as there is an exposed step to the actual summit where the log register is. Next time.
Finger Rock Guard 6475
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Our semi-annual trip up to the "Guard". Six months is enough time to forget how physically demanding this hike is, but it never fails to deliver on a fantastic scrambling, climbing (non-technical) adventure. The trail is much more beaten in than our first time up several years back, even with the grass which partially obscures it in some places. Drop into the canyon at the sharp right hand turn in the Finger Rock Trail and reclimb the lost elevation to the obvious saddle. From the saddle, take the left-most path up, around, and through to the top. There are lots of twists and turns. There is one place that a 15-20 foot rope is helpful, but if you scramble some, that chute should pose no problem. The last move to reach the top is a little tricky, but manageable without a rope. There is almost always someone in the group that really appreciates the rope.

It is important to reiterate that the right most path from the saddle will take you nowhere. Mike tried it last on one of the last trips up and cliffed out. The climbers trail that is used to reach the west side of Finger Rock (for the technical climb) is reached a good bit further up. Look for the cairns just after a sharp left hand turn.

Weather was perfect, my four companions were great and didn't complain. Good day on the mountain. It was good to see my old friend the Finger, which will now be off limits because of the Bighorn Reintro project till May 1st.
Finger Rock Guard 6475
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I love this hike, but do it only once or twice a year because, frankly it's tough. It seems that the trail is more obscured this year due to grass. It is difficult to follow in spots, even though I've been up here 10-12 times. There are a good number of cairns to help find the way, but the best advice is to just keep heading to the saddle onthe NE side of the guard. At the saddle, don't be tempted to continue straight (there is nothing but heartache down there), but turn left and take your time. There is one spot where a 15 foot rope comes in handy, especially for shorter people.

We had most of the usual Saddlebrooke group (Bertie, Margaret, Sharon, Neil, and Ray), two of whom had come up with me the first time about 8 years ago. Our special guest, Matt (Mountain Rat) fit right in and had a great time (even tho his triplog at ... ___1 suggests he doesn't get many opportunities for this kind of rock scrambling). I couldn't believe he was going running afterward.

The views from the top of the guard are unique in every direction. The finger itself is hard to make out against the backdrop of Prominent Point (check out Matt's pics). I admire everyone who has climbed the Finger. My climbing group would like to try it sometime, if we can find a mule to carry our gear up.

Beautiful day, fantastic hike, great friends, life is good.
Finger Rock Guard 6475
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Quite the day. I met up with Roy and his gang at the TH and we proceeded up the Finger Rock trail. It would seem that I was the only one in the group of 7 who had not done this one before, so I felt like I was in good hands. I was feeling pretty good today and really did fine as far as the hiking went, but when it came to the climbing parts (there are 3 in particular) I was at a pucker level floating between 7 and 10. Not being a climber, I didn’t really see some of these spots as being even passable. In fact, I’m still kind of amazed that we went where we went and returned without issue. The views from the summit were unreal, except for Finger Rock itself which look like a tiny tower of rock below. I would probably have enjoyed the time up top much more had I not been preoccupied with the whole having to do the down climb thing. Next time I’ll certainly take a more relaxed approach to it, and as far as I’m concerned, that could be any day
All in all, a day to remember. We didn’t set any speed record, but I for one had a blast with some great company. Thanks, Roy for guiding the way. Good Times. Good Times…
Finger Rock Guard 6475
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Eight hardy souls from Saddlebrooke braved the heat and the grassy trail to make what has become our annual trip to Finger Rock Guard. It was a little warm so we took lots of breaks, but the breeze was great except for the last couple of miles back along the wash. I was concerned that the trail would be overgrown, but it was pretty clear the whole way. Fantastic day. No pictures; can you believe no one took a camera? There is some flowing water at the bottom of the canyon before heading up to the saddle, but you may not be able to count on it more than a few weeks.
Finger Rock Guard 6475
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
My dad and I hiked up to the guard. i haven't been here in years. the wall climb up on the guard seems to have eroded some since my last visit and i'm no longer too fond of it :scared:

otherwise this remains a spectacular semi-bushwhack in pusch ridge with unbelievable views of Finger Rock as well as upper Pima Canyon and Mt. Kimball. Tons of flowers in Finger Rock Canyon at this time, with purple being the dominant color. the water is almost all gone.
Finger Rock Guard 6475
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I've wanted to do this for some time....climb up onto the summit of the Guard, the prominent peak just east of and looking over Finger Rock. My buddy Phil and I went for it today.

This is a blast. A tough, STEEP climb up to the backside of Prominent Point. The route is easy enough to follow, and some hearty soul has cairned to route quite well too. You gain a good 1500 feet or so after dropping down into the wash as you climb up the other side of the canyon. When you break out onto the saddle at the back base of Prominent Point, the views down into upper Pima Canyon are absolutely outstanding. Looking over at Table Mountain in profile and the Coyotes Teeth is just wicked. :o

The climb up the Guard can be done without ropes but it is not easy and there certainly is some exposure and considerable rock climbing to do. That being said it is very fun, you just have to be careful. The views from the top rock. The finger is a little hard to see though, as it is slightly below you and in profile against the adjacent peak wall.

Beautiful day in Tucson today, even a little snow left up along the way.

Permit $$
no fees or permits reported

if incorrect tell us about it

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike & climb trip
Finger Rock Trailhead is a large signed trailhead in the Foothills of North Tucson. There is a County Parks Parking Lot here open daylight hours. A permit is required for overnight parking. From Tucson, take First Avenue North to Sunrise. East on Sunrise to Skyline. East on Skyline to Alvernon Way. Drive to North end of Alvernon Way. The parking lot is on the left just before the road curves.
$17 3L Hydration Bladder
help comment issue

end of page marker