Sunday, May 27, 2018

Tom's Thumb Trail - Scottsdale, Arizona


Last week I was looking to do a hike and figured I'd head up to the Sonoran McDowell preserve up in Scottsdale.  It is one of my go-to areas for beautiful, close-by and stress free hiking.

The Tom's Thumb trail head I thought would be difficult to find, but in fact wasn't.  Just drive to this point with your favorite GPS program. There are many signs pointing you to the trailhead and there was ample parking.

The trail head is well marked and easy to find.  There are bathrooms and a shaded pavilion, but there isn't a water source there.  Also, be judicious with your driving, as the road leading to the trail is fairly narrow but you don't need any special cars or equipment to get there.  It is just a wobbly road that'll leave your stomach in a lurch.

The trail starts off innocently enough but after about half a mile, you'll be expected to work.  The trail is popular with runners and was easy to navigate.  There isn't any shade either.  There are several switchbacks to the top, but plenty of places to stop and check out the valley.  The trail also has several markers on it indicating which way you should go.

After about a mile and a half, you've reached the climb and the rest of the hike -- about .75 of a mile is rolling hills or decline.  You'll be surrounded by a lot of beautiful desert fauna and there were a fair amount of people hiking as well -- so you definitely won't be alone.

Tom's Thumb is a rock outcropping.  I am not sure it looks like a thumb, but you can be a judge of that.  It's formation is definitely unique.  The elevation is also up there, just shy of 4000 feet.  It was a bit cooler up there and there was a nice breeze.

I really enjoyed the trail and it wasn't too terrible.  It was 2.2 miles each way and took me about 45 minutes to an hour to reach the top.  There were plenty of awesome views of the Scottsdale valley and beyond.  Just be sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.  I was roasting pretty good.

You can also continue your journey around the park as other trails forked from Tom's Thumb.  You could easily put in 10 - 15 miles in a day there.

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