This hike is rated INTERMEDIATE or VERY DIFFICULT!
A truly epic climb, Thompson Peak will test even the strongest and fittest of hikers! We'll start at the Dixie Mine trailhead in Fountain Hills. This trail takes us along a very flat route and gets us halfway towards the top of the mountain. You can stop here and turn around, or proceed. Nearly all the climbing is packed into the latter half on the service road leading up to the summit! A grueling steep route takes us to the top allowing us to conquer the highest point accessible in the McDowells. We'll stop for a long break near the top before returning along the same path. You're encouraged to bring a camera, sun protection of some sort, trekking poles and must bring at least 3+ liters of water per person and sturdy hiking footwear. Bring a substantial snack or lunch for eating at the summit.
NOTE: you can turn around (unescorted) at the halfway point making this an INTERMEDIATE hike or continue all the way for a VERY DIFFICULT challenge!
DISTANCE: 5.5 or 10 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN: <200 ft or 2000+ ft
DURATION: 2.5 or 5+ hours
TRAIL STYLE: In and out
DOGS: Yes, if leashed
FACILITIES: Bathrooms and water fountain
WEBSITE: MSC Trailmap MMRP Trailmap
DIRECTIONS: Follow the Google map link above to Golden Eagle Blvd in Fountain Hills. Drive until the road ends at a community gate. There is a parking lot just before the gate on the left side where we will meet. Space is limited so carpooling is encouraged. There is a short walk from the parking lot to the actual trailhead inside the residential community. Note there is a $2.00 walk-in fee per person for the county park system. Bring exact change.