Visible from most Scottsdale locations, the curious rock knob known as Tom’s Thumb stands out among the pinnacles of the McDowell Mountains. Up until very recently, only little known, primitive routes (mostly used by climbers) provided access to the base of this 140-foot landmark. Alas, through the efforts of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the City of Scottsdale, there’s now a beautifully manicured, well-signed network of trails which make visiting Tom’s Thumb a cinch. From the north access point, the trail makes nice wide switchbacks for an (almost) effortless ascent. The route snakes among classic desert terrain and granite outcroppings showcasing the margins of Arizona’s basin-and-range topography as well as Scottsdale’s suburban sprawl. Because of its new easy access and outstanding views, this hike ranks high on the “must do” list for locals and out-of-town visitors alike. - arizonahiking.com
Trail type: out and back
Total Elevation gain: 1300 ft
Distance Round Trip 4.7 miles
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
The attendance limit will be opened up approximately 3 days prior to the event so check back if you are waitlisted. Please ONLY RVSP if you are 100% certain you will be able to attend so we are not waiting for you. Please be courteous!
Directions: From the loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Pima/Princess Road exit 36 and continue 5 miles north on Pima to Happy Valley Road. Turn right (east) and go 4.1 miles on Happy Valley to Ranch Gate. Turn right on Ranch Gate, follow it 1.2 miles then turn right onto 128th St. and continue 1 mile on 128th to the signed trailhead. Meet us at the structure (photo below).
Address: 23015 N 128th St, Scottsdale, AZ, 85255.
Check out directions and map here: http://mcdowellsonoran.org/trailhead/displayLocation/8
What to bring: at least 2 Liters water and/or sports drinks, snacks, a hat and clothing suitable for hiking in the desert in the winter. Sturdy shoes or boots are recommended. Camera. Restrooms are available, but there is no water at this trailhead – make sure you have plenty.