Finger Rock Trail is a scenic but very demanding hike. The first section of the trail (~ 1 mile in distance) is fairly flat, and takes you through beautiful desert. This section is also your best chance of seeing wildlife before beginning the treacherous ascent. During the rainy season the river alongside the trail flows heavily. After the final river bed crossing the trail bends nearly 180-degrees and initiates the ascent. The majority of the trail is very steep and there are sections of worn down rock that create very slippery surfaces. Good quality shoes are a must for this trail, and sneakers are sufficient as long as the souls are not worn down. The views of the canyon as well as Tucson itself are breathe taking. Once you reach the saddle, the trail splits to form a Y. To remain on Finger Rock Trail, you stay left on your ascent (East). The steepness reduces significantly at this point, and the terrain changes drastically as you are engulfed into a forest. The trail continues for another 1-2 miles along the mountain tops. The very end of the trail is unclear though, and many people have reported never actually finding the final destination.
In terms of time, if you hike at a fairly fast pace with few stops, you will average about 5 hours round trip. However, you could easily spend all day on this trail if you decided to picnic or simply take your time. Regardless, the hike is enjoyable and you will certainly get a workout.
As for gear, be sure to bring lots of water, snacks and sun protection. This hike is not recommended during the hot summer months because the majority of the trail offers little shelter from the sun. The first mile though, yields a beautiful get away any time of year.
Upon completion of the hike, one of the most satisfying aspects is siting your acknowledgement afterwards, when traveling about the city, because The "finger" is easy to identify from just about anywhere in Tucson.