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Mount Kimball via Pima Canyon Trail
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mini location map2017-03-19
15 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
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Mount Kimball via Pima Canyon TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2017
DarthStiller
Hiking14.00 Miles 4,550 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   10 Hrs   15 Mns   1.37 mph
4,550 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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The two words that best describe this hike and overall trail are both used in the official description early on: brutal and unrelenting. The first three or four miles, the elevation gain isn't much, so it doesn't seem bad. but the trail is very rocky with very few flat and smooth spots. On the way up, it's not a big deal. On the way back to the car after nearly 14 miles and 4550', it's a killer.

The official mileage for this is listed as 12.2, and some posted routes show similar mileage. In our experience, however, it's a solid 14 round trip. The sign on the trail about a quarter mile in says 7 miles to Mt. Kimball, and the Green Trails map I bought this weekend lists it as 7.2 one way.

We got started just after 6:30am, which allowed us to get about 4 miles in completely in the shade. As we ascended into the steeper parts, the trees began to provide some intermittent shade, but the sun began to be more present. This being the first bright and sunny weather hike of this year, I forgot to apply some sunscreen, so the back of my neck this morning is very red.

Once we got to the top, we took the obligatory pics, then retreated into the shade for lunch. I was planning to use my powerbank to recharge my phone to keep RouteScout running, but I discovered that my USB cord was missing. Somewhere along the way up, I must have lost it while getting batteries or snacks out my cargo pants pockets. I was able to get 9.6 miles total before the phone got down to 7%, at which point finding the USB cord on the trail seemed like a lost cause. Checking where the track ended and how far it was from the TH, the total mileage for the hike on RouteScout and on my Garmin both measured an even 14 miles. RouteScout told me it was 4511' AEG where I shut it off, but the post route now says 4700'. My Garmin said 4328. I'll just go with the listed AEG for this one.

The heat started to pick up as we made out way down. Fortunately we were going downhill, so we didn't need as much water. I was a little low and ran out with a mile left to go, which wasn't so bad. The weather was certainly a contrast from a month go along the Sabino-Bear loop with on and off rain and constant mid-40s.

the end of the hike just seemed to drag. As the trail got less steep, it didn't seem to get any easier to walk with all the rocks to step over and down from. My legs and knees were sore for the last 4 miles. Even the last mile, as you see the houses getting closer, it still feels like forever getting back to the trailhead. It took us about 5.5 hours to get to the top, and not much less coming back down. The amount of time for each mile each way was almost the same. the most time saved on the way down I think was the first two miles at the top. After that, I noticed that mile 4 on the way up took 44 minutes, and 40 minutes on the way down. The first three miles at the beginning took about 30 minutes each way.

We noticed the turnoff for Pima Saddle about 5.5 miles in. We did not go there. Not sure if I will ever make the trip back up there to visit that spot. just from the trail it seemed like too much work for the same views we would get at the top. I was very happy to be finished with this hike once we were done. Very long day and challenging trail. Glad to have done it though.
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  2017-04-23
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  2017-03-19
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  2017-02-19
  2017-02-12
  2017-01-22
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