Have you ever driven up the 101 North Bound, the part of the Loop that runs through Scottsdale, and see those Mountains that sit out in front of you and stretches to the Right or East as the closer you get to it? These are The McDowell's. Tom's Thumb sits up there, if you are familiar with that. Well, Thompson Peak is the Summit of the McDowell's. How about now every time you drive by the McDowell's, you can say "I Bagged that!"? I'm tired of driving by it and that being one of the few mountain ranges in the PHX Area that I have not Summited yet. Heck, I have done Superstition Peak at 5057 ft, and haven't done this yet. This will top out at 3983 ft.
Yes, yes, yes........ we are squeezing in one more Difficult rated hike here in the Valley before the Heat is upon us until October.
We will be doing this 9.5 Mile Hike, with over 2,000 feet in elevation gain coming all at the 1/2 way point.
This once desolate patch of Sonoran desert is now a neighborhood.
From the trailhead, hike along the main road to the right through private property to the county park boundary, where you must pay a fee of $1 per person. ($2 as of[masked]) Follow the trail to the Dixie mine, clearly marked. This part of the trail is relatively flat but affords fantastic views of Four Peaks and the Superstitions along its entire length. If you don't have time for the summit hike, the hike to the mine and back is lovely, easy, and enjoyable. This section of the trail would provide a good introduction to Sonoran landscape for relatives from out of town.
Once you reach the mine, follow the very large and obvious road to the left and straight up the mountain. The last two miles of this hike are extremely steep!
You better bring plenty of water for this time of the year. 5-6 liters. It could be near 100 degrees upon return from the Summit. Come prepared. AND, yes, we need to start early. It is my duty to keep everyone safe as possible. Honestly we should start before 7:00am, but people will throw a fit about this. We will be departing the parking lot at 7:15am. We wait 15 minute for late arrivals, but that's it.
Hike starts at the end of Golden Eagle road in Fountain Hills just before the approach to a gated community. Trail parking is clearly identified and modern restrooms are here to as well. The first .6 miles are actually are actually on pavement snaking through the previously mentioned gated community. From there it links to the Sonoran Trail, then old jeep trail which it shares a short distance and is where you are on the approach to the Dixie mine shaft (not officially on the Dixie Mine trail), then ends a mile or so past at the juncture with the Coach Whip Trail. It encounters the old Dixie Mine about 2.5 miles or so from TH. Bring 2 dollars for the self pay station. There are restrooms at the parking area.
Did I mention it will be hot? Sunscreen is a must.