Explore Challenge - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
2 days ago

I hiked this trail for the first time on Wednesday around 4:00pm and it was not at all busy we only saw about 10 other hikers. This is a tough trail in the beginning, lots of steep switchbacks. But, once you get past that part it’s a lot easier and oh so worth it for the views. It’s a gorgeous trail and it was very clean. It can be hard on the knees coming down but we took our time and I would do this trail more often if I lived closer.
My step counter was 11993, 4.4miles, and 111floors.

This was an awesome hike! Totally enjoyed the climb!

Lived in AZ for 30 yrs and finally attempted this trail. All I can say is AMAZING! Add it to your list and make sure you take plenty of time to enjoy the views. It was challenging but very rewarding. Enjoyed every minute of it.

This hike was the most challenging I have ever done. More rock climbing than hiking, really. Quite technical in many areas and not for the faint of heart. Nonetheless if carefully approached, can be successfully completed by those of good balance and reasonable fitness. Gloves are highly recommended as much of the “hike” required 4 points of contact. Though short in distance, long in effort!!

Great workout, beautiful views along the trail.

Used to be my favorite trail—beautiful and solid workout. Nowadays it suffers from far too many visitors on it’s narrow trail and too many off-leash dogs and owners who don’t pick up their dog’s poop.

At the top are views that make all the strenuous breaths worthwhile. We had a beautiful day and met so many nice people along the way that the time flew by us. The climb up was a bit scary at times, particularly at the very top just before you reach your destination where there was a 6 foot rock face you had to literally climb. But, it is doable even though many people turned back. We were glad we challenged ourselves and were rewarded with awesome views. We also recommended once you are on top to check out the lesser peak for even more views and less people. The trip down was easier for me than my sidekick but my legs were shot so I used my arms to lower my body down most of the rocks. One last tip, bring gloves. I did and was so glad my hands didn’t take the brunt of the abuse from the rocks.

A little busy for me. Plus a lot of people that were amateur knocking rocks loose that made me wary. Otherwise beautiful, diverse, difficult, and Arizona at its best. The crowd made it less than 5 star for me.

Challenging, but worth it. Scenery from the top is amazing.

Took 5 hours from start to finish, that included half an hour at the top.

Love to take guests on this trail!!

Loved this trail! it is a bit challenging and technical but great one. Lots of people with dogs only I worry a bit for small ones but they seem happy. moderate crowded.

Loved it! I agree with the rating of the trail based on terrain. At time your hand over hand and not a sure footed as you’d like. The way down can be dangerous if your hasty. Beautiful views, the top is worth the work. I will go back.

Nov 3, 2018
HIKED to the TOP.. Awesome and challenging. Not for those who like inner city hikes.

Tips:
Wear leather hiking boots with good ankle support. Avoid wearing sneakers there is Cholla cactus on trail.

HIKING POLES for balance especially when getting through the big rocks.

3 Liters of water minimum.

Good Snacks to keep up you energy.

4 wheel drive vehicle to get you to the trail head.

good hard hike to the top. well worth it great views will be doung it again

Siphon Draw presents the best valley hike in my humble estimation. I found the up, not as hard as some have written. Truly, if you just take your time this is very doable if you can make it up Camelback without rescue.

The down here is harder than the up, particularly with my so-so knee. At about 3600' or about 500' above the basin, the ground turns very loose and slippery. This poses the greatest danger of the whole hike as falling becomes a very real possibility if you aren't very careful.

One note of significance, is that loose rocks can tumble down very easily on much of the trail. Please be careful of those below you and keep a mindful eye on those above you.

It’s a lot of work. Just make sure you are comfortable with heights and being able to climb up and down rocks. Trail is confusing as mentioned but people are more than willing to help you out if you’re not sure.

Third time hiking here, first time to the top! Really quiet day/low traffic. It was awesome to take in the sounds and scents of the wilderness all the way up. With stops and chill time at the top, this was a 5 hour hike requiring decent strength and flexibility for climbing large step-like boulders, navigating narrow crevasses, and ascending/descending steep, gravelly inclines. Good shoes help!! I was wearing an worn pair of sneakers which didn’t provide a lot of stability, but had thin soles that made gripping rocks easy. Expect to use your whole body on this one! Magical at the top and good core workout.

I hiked this trail a couple weeks ago on a Sunday. It was my first ever hike. Was told by many I picked a tough one for my first ever hike. It was very tough for me. Very steep. I stopped quite a bit on the way up. Sometimes to rest others for the many scenic overlooks. Just about everyone was very friendly. It was quite crowded. Some runners too. The top was amazing with great views. There was a couple people on the top of the thumb too.

hiking
17 days ago

Started at Trail 100 went back-way to Trail 306 to loop back to visitors center. Definitely a moderate/hard hike incline with good views along with the urban vibe. Trails clean and marked well! Friendly staff, bathrooms and don’t forget to grab a map! Good Times!!!

Greta trail, I hike on average 10-15 miles per week and this was still pretty difficult for me. I stopped a lot but it was so worth it at the top! I went in December and the weather was perfect. Very traveled on the weekends, so best to go early.

Really great, challenging hike! It is very long when starting from the Saguaro Parking Lot in Lost Dutchman's State Park...6.82 miles! This is not a hike for beginners and dogs should not go past Siphon Draw! Wear shoes with trail rated treads. I saw a group of kids that were in Vans and my hiking friend said she saw one in cowboy boots...how the group leaders' allowed this baffles me! Be prepared for rugged terrain and over a mile of boulders! Don't do this trail alone, or join a group you run into. Do this hike when it is cool... remember 3 miles there and 3 miles back...you don't want to be coming down in high heat conditions, nor going up! Bring plenty of water and some snacks. Take your time and allow 5-6hrs to complete! Enjoy the views!

Amazing trail

Totally worth it! Easy to drive to, not far off the highway, little parking but had the trail all to ourselves. No shade on the trail until you get to the cave and experience that little temperature drop. The first 1.5 miles is really mild. It isn’t until the last .5 miles getting to the cave that it gets more challenging. There are a lot of loose rocks on this trail. It can be tricky at times to keep with the trail so I do recommend using the app and looking out for cairns. The cave does smell but the views are spectacular. I brought a flashlight so I could check out the back of the cave. The hike took an hour and a half or so then spent a good 20 minutes just enjoying the cave and the views.

hiking
19 days ago

Hmmm...We tried to do this hike, but, as sometimes happens, we went off where things looked interesting. I am not sure where or what hike we were, but we started in the parking lot and ended up on 1A until we found a marker that said "Irregular Link", which sounded cool, so we headed that way. We ended up having to turn around after about an hour and a half because we had somewhere to be. The first part of our hike was deciding in that it looked like it was going to be disappointingly boring, but it got better and better, especially when we got into the Irregular link. Loose rocks, good steep inclines, narrow pathways in some spots, great views. I only have it four stars because of the first quarter of the trail and because it was hard to decide which hike we were on. It was pretty.

Solid hike, at times hard to stay on the trail because it’s not marked but definitely a workout for the quads and calves :D

Went 2 miles farther along ridge at the top

on Tom's Thumb Trail

hiking
21 days ago

Definitely a hard hike but well worth it at the top. About half way up, when in doubt stay left. There will be small black “X” on the rocks. Eventually they disappear but there are small white paint circles on some of the rocks as you continue.. They were helpful a few times when unsure where to go. One of the best hikes I’ve ever done

This was a great hike and enjoyed the views going up for sure. Tried to get to the trail this past winter and failed due to the sandy beach stopped me In my tracks. This time did a dry run to the trailhead with my jeep And made it there and back and had a good time in the jeep. Went back today with my hiking buddy and it was nice. Took about an hour to get to the trailhead and one other couple was on their way out. We hike about 3 miles out and never could find our way to the peak. Turned around due to making sure we had enough water for the trip back (took 3 liters with us and another bottle of pedialyte as well). There were a few shades spots we stopped at to drink and take in the views. Hoping next time we do make it to the top!

This is the best hard, pure ‘hike’ in the Valley. Hike- meaning the views are stunning, lots to see on the way up. It is grueling but as long as you take it slow and steady, you should be fine. I only would recommend this to experienced and/or very fit individuals. Bring lots of water and some carbs/protein to refuel. It will take a good 4-5 hours to complete if done slowly and taking in the sights.

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