Tom's Thumb to Bell Pass

HARD 26 reviews
#4 of 13 trails in

Tom's Thumb to Bell Pass is a 11.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Scottsdale, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible from October until May.

11.3 miles 3075 feet Loop

hiking

mountain biking

wild flowers

rocky

30 days ago

Great hike! Did the full loop and loved it. Make sure to bring plenty of water. It's steep in a few places.

2 months ago

Great trail

2 months ago

i love it

5 months ago

Love this hike it's long and you keep wondering when then end is but great scenery and if you get lucky you'll see white tail deer.

5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail, very well marked, not an overwhelming amount of people, especially if you are doing one of the longer loops. My son and I did the 10.4 mile loop from Gateway to Windgate to Bell Pass back to Gateway. There are lots of rocks on the trail so wear good fitting trail shoes. Bring at least one quart of water per hiker for every 5 miles hiked to stay hydrated and take a quick water break every 1 to 1.5 miles. Enjoy this great trail!

6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hard and awesome. so worth it because it is such a challenge.

7 months ago

Great way to get the lead out its a fair hike
Bring water

hiking
7 months ago

Great 1/2 day hike or training for Grand Canyon. You get the double climb - up Bell Pass and then up East End to the top of the ridge and then down Tom's Thumb to Windgate and back on the Gateway loop to the TH. I also like picking up a similar loop from the northern TH, where you take Tom's Thumb down, to Windgate to East End and back. That also has some serious elevation change and lots of beautiful terrain. These hikes will take approximately 4 hours for a seasoned hiker. No shade so go early in the summer months. Also take lots of water if you are bringing a dog.

8 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views!!!

8 months ago

Hiked Gateway to Windgate pass to Bell pass then it meets back up with Gateway to the trailhead. Beautiful views, once at Bell pass I climbed up both summits on the sides. If you do end up doing this (technically not allowed) you will have some absolutely amazing views. The route I traveled took my 4 hours including the two off trail peak hikes. Not that difficult of a hike. The uphills are pretty balanced out, just bring a lot of water and a little snack.....I got hungry! Went through 2.5 L and still had half a mile left.

Happy Hiking

8 months ago

very hard. the trail has uneven terrain wear good shoes. i had 3 liters of water and that barley covered the trip. we loved this hike it was amazing.

8 months ago

Tom's Thumb was a challenge given to me by my boss. After hearing how I was going to be hiking on a medium difficult trail after work, he challenged me to do the hike. This was DIFFICULT! At some points I was so winded that it took me 2 to 3 minutes to recover.
I suggest a camelback, sunscreen, flashlight, protein bar, and sunglasses.There is no place to fill up with water.
Regardless of how long it took me to hike this mountain, I loved every minute of it. This is the greatest hike I've been on in the valley.

hiking
9 months ago

We just completed this trail today but did a variation that starts at the Gateway trailhead. Go in a clockwise direction (good reason for this to be described later). Take the Gateway trail to the Windgate Pass Trail. The Windgate summit is about 3000' and is very well marked. The views are incredible. Take the Windgate Pass Trail to the Bell Pass Trail. You go down a bit and then start a climb to the Bell Pass Summit (even better views). During the hike, make sure to look for the Fountain Hills fountain. It's just incredible from this altitude. Continue the Bell Pass Trail until you reenter the Gateway Loop and follow back to the trail head. Total hike is about 10 miles and give or take 2000' in elevation (but note that you will do two summits so the total elevation change is much greater).

I strongly recommend going clockwise on this loop as going the other way would require a challenging and steep climb for about 4 miles without a break. As always, bring lots of water, snacks and even a salt pill or two. Also, a nice thing about this trail is that you have cell service for most of it. Great 4 to 5 hour hike.

9 months ago

9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

difficult to find. one lane dirt road leading up to trail head. parking lot completely full on sat am. hard climb, loose gravel, more than a few hikers fell, really need hiking shoes with good tread. Otherwise a great hike with beautiful scenery. Make sure to bring enough water.

cross country skiing
10 months ago

Hiked to Bells Pass from Gateway and it was fabulous. A little tight, steep and rocky on the last half mile. Total up and back close to 8 miles.

hiking
10 months ago

Good day hike. Didn't follow this route exactly. Started at Gateway, headed over Bells then came back over Wingate. About 9 miles I think. Needed to start a little earlier in the day to hit Tom Thumb. Love the scenery. Bells gets good and steep coming up counter clockwise.