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Tom's Thumb from Gateway

Difficult
 3.6 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Great views of Scottsdale with challenging elevation and technical trail.


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Map Key

12.6

Miles

20.2

KM

Loop

3,777' 1,151 m

High

1,695' 517 m

Low

2,591' 790 m

Up

2,588' 789 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

49%

Max Grade (26°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Cave · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Finish this loop and declare "I'm a true hiker now!" This route climbs to the key feature of the middle McDowells.

Description

From the Gateway trailhead, head across the bridge and up the sidewalk to the start of the trail. After about 1/2 mile, the trail splits for the Gateway Loop Trail. Take a left and head north around the loop clockwise. The trail wraps around a little hill and then starts up the first small climb after about another 1/2 mile.

After a couple of minor climbs, the Gateway Loop Trail will roll for a couple miles and then meet the start of the Windgate Pass Trail at about mile 2. Head up the Windgate Pass Trail over a couple minor climbs and rollers past the Horseshoe Trail until you meet up with the Tom Thumb Trail intersection at about mile #3. Take a left and start down a lazy downhill rumble around the valley and then start back uphill just after the stream crossing.

There are a couple mines off to the right that look dangerous and smell funny...just sayin'.

From the stream crossing, you've got about a mile and a half of steady climbing on switchbacks and smooth trail. This is the toughest part of the climb and the elevation pours on. Breath hard and it'll be over soon.

At the top of the climb, Tom Thumb appears. From there it's a quick mile across the meadow to the feature. Turn around and hike home following the signs to the Horseshoe Trail and back to the trailhead.

This is an awesome hike. Enjoy!

Contacts

Land Manager: City of Scottsdale

Shared By:

Tom Dobson

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 5 votes

#3985

Overall
  3.6 from 5 votes
5 Star
20%
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60%
3 Star
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1 Star
20%
Recommended Route Rankings

#149

in Arizona

#3,985

Overall
14 Views Last Month
5,938 Since May 15, 2015
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Photos

Destination...Tom Thumb
May 15, 2015 near Fountai…, AZ
Surrounding mountains from Tom's Thumb Trail
Jul 24, 2019 near Fountai…, AZ
The thumb. Get there!
May 15, 2015 near Fountai…, AZ
Bridge along the Desert Park Trail
Apr 12, 2015 near Fountai…, AZ
McDowell Sonoran Preserve border. From the Desert Park Trail
Apr 12, 2015 near Fountai…, AZ
Lookout Point
Apr 12, 2015 near Fountai…, AZ

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Nov 16, 2019
Tom Helm
Apr 20, 2019
Josh Smith
Apr 7, 2019
Michelle Chuang
Apr 4, 2019
Rachel H
16mi
Nov 24, 2018
Ramon Young
Feb 3, 2018
Aaron Taylor
Sep 17, 2017
Randy Brick
Feb 15, 2017
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