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Nice hike which is family and dog friendly. Quick ascent at the beginning gets the blood flowing. Nice views at the top with areas to relax for a bit.

The nicest trailhead I've ever seen.

Long trail. Gorgeous wildflowers! Didn't actually take the trail to Tom's Thumb but got a cool view of it. Took about 4 hours for 11 miles with a couple of breaks.

Got confused in the beginning, so ended up going backwards on the loop.

Hiking down seemed to be more challenging than the hike up, because of all the loose rocks.

Views were OK.

hiking
2 days ago

Hiked this trail today. Waterfall was nothing but a trickle. I will have to come back after a rain. Total distance to the falls from the parking area was 5.9 miles.

Beginner hiker and I made it half way in to the start of the incline. The start was easy after you get going. The desert was very peaceful and overall a pleasant hike in and out. Has some rocky points and washes to cross. Not much wildlife. Lots of cholla along the trail. A few black ant hills. Saw maybe 10 total hikers on the trail.

I went hiking with my boyfriend and our dog today. He is about 28 pounds and this trail was not difficult at all for him, especially being his first time hiking. There are some steep short ledges that can be scary when a biker comers around the corner. Make sure you keep an eye on your pooch as there are many cacti along the trail. Great day!

There is a lost dog, she is tan colored, about 50 pounds, long haired, possibly a shepherd or husky mix. She was spotted here about an hour ago. If you see her, please call her owner- Jon @ 480-593-5029. She is posted as missing in the Next Door App. Her name is Sierra, she is skiddish and has been missing since Friday. Thank you.

Very poor markings on trail, got a little lost but all in all beautiful hike, good running/biking trails.

Not my ideal type of hike, I went counter clockwise. The views were magnificent, trail was perfect. I prefer a hike up like the Peralta. At 2.5 miles I just turned around. Other than that it was absolutely beautiful, barely anyone on the trail only saw 5 people in a span of 3 hours.

14 days ago

Nice hike to a watering hole...water is typically too cold for me, but other folks jumped in just fine. Keep your bikes home unless your only going halfway, saw a kid struggle as his father kept going. You don't need to be in great shape, but helps.

Hiked this trail today. Desert was beautiful. Trail is rocky at times.

Beautiful hike. First half is easy, just stay alert to all the jumping cholla lining the trail. Second half kicks it up to a solid moderate. Good workout! Waterfall still had a trickle yesterday. A great reward of a cool, shaded area at the end. We clocked in at 6.5 miles and took us 3 1/2 hrs to complete with a 20 min rest. Dessert was gorgeously green following the wettest October on record.

I hiked up to Tom's Thumb, then connected to Gateway, took the Saddleback loop and hiked back up Gateway to the Tom's Thumb trail head..I used this hike to prepare for my September Grand Canyon rim to rim. I hiked it during the summer between June through September. I used this approach for the inclines and experience hiking in heat. Gateway going down will give you a false sense that it's and easy trail. Coming back up, almost all the way without shade for 5.5 miles will change your mind. Twice I ran out of water on the trail. Remember, there is no water at the Tom's Thumb trailhead. This route was excellent training for the Canyon. I actually felt that hiking the Canyon in September from north to south rim in one day was easier than hiking the Tom's Thumb and Gateway trail. Take extra water, twice what you normally carry if hiking this combination in the summer.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful and hard hike. The AllTrails rating of ‘moderate’ is incorrect. The trailhead has it rated as ‘extremely difficult’ which is correct. Lots of steep climbs and it is fairly long 6.8 miles. But incredible views and happened upon a rattlesnake and a king snake. Bottomline, leave early, no dogs for sure due to terrain and difficulty, and be in shape!

hiking
23 days ago

I’m a 60 yr old woman who works in an office all week and comes home to sit on the couch more days than not. I usually keep my hiking refrained until weekends. I hiked this trail for the first time today. I was definitely not prepared!! It was much tougher than I had anticipated (those people who say it’s easy lied!) Seriously though, this is a great hike if you want a good workout. It’s long (over 5 miles) with small areas with a bit of climbing over rocks. On my way out, I got too close to some jumping cholla. I didn’t have a stick, so I walked with them stuck in my leg for a bit until I came across another hiker with a stick. He knocked it off and is my new hero. Even though I started early, I was slow, so when the sun was out in full force, I felt it! You need sunscreen; sunglasses; a hat; and PLENTY of water!! I thought I had enough water but was “rationing” it by the time I neared the end of the Trail. Not gonna lie....this trail kicked my lazy butt!! But I just may do it again, but with a partner next time. Solo was no bueno.

Very beautiful after some rain fall.

Loved this hike and the little waterfall was cool and refreshing!

Beautiful trail! Great views the entire way. Tons of flowing water views! Saw tarantula and snakes. Hardly anyone on the trail. Started at 6:30am and took a few hours to do the entire loop. I took lots of breaks for pics though so not sure how long this trail should really take. Great trail the entire time.

We did this trail yesterday, starting at 6:56 a.m. I highly recommend starting early to stay out of heat and for the gorgeous sunrise you encounter on the drive out. Starting early also let us see 2 deer and 1 wild boar. The first decision is whether to go counter-clockwise (CCW) or clock-wise (CW). If you go CCW you will have a gentler ascent , but a rocky, steep decent. If you go CW you will climb steeply , but your desent will be gentler. Which ever works best for your body is what you should do. I think the moderate rating is accurate, mostly due to length, not due to tecnicality. For either direction, you will find the following helpful: long pants or zip-offs, good boots or trail shoes, poles, water, snacks, sunscreen. For the rest of this I will comment on the CCW direction as that is what we did. CCW, you have a gentle incline on ascent with a good trail, and great views. About 1/2 way through you get to the streams. Around the streams you encounter knee-high grass which often obscures the trail. I would not step blindly onto the path without using a pole to beat around checking for rattlers as they were out yesterday. We encountered one who alerted us of his discontent. Also KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEASH so it does not get bit and just out of courtesy to others. Someone mentioned that this trail gets boring. We did not find that at all. Again about 4 miles in, the topography changes and you get more streams and a greater variety of vegetation, but that only last a little while then the awesome mountain views are back. This is also the same area where the grass has overgrown the trail so you need to be on vigilant snake alert. The cactus and ocotillo were all so pretty and lush. You will want your long pants here or you WILL end up with lots of scratches from the plants crowding the trail. The descent is steep and rocky so poles and good shoes/boots will be very helpful on the slippery scree. Going CCW, just remember to bear left. The trail is relatively easy to follow Sometimes you have to walk through a stream bed or cross a stream more than once to pick up the trail, watch for carins, but if you don't see them, just explore around close to the last known trail and you will spot it. Don't go off on a trail you aren't sure about without considering the options and using a little common sense. I'm not sure how people got so lost as some stated. We did use the All Trails app to confirm we were still on track a few times, but overall didn't think following the trail was hard. I feel the trail is a bit longer than stated, but unfortunatley forgot my watch so did not track it. My GPS said we had gone 324 miles...so apparently I forgot to reset that! LOL. My phone said 12.4 miles, but I know that isn't right. My hiking sense and the time said it felt more like 9 miles. We weren't trying to set any speed records, stopped for snacks a couple times, and took lots of pictures and we were on the trail about 5 1/2 hours.

My favorite McDowell trail - rugged but beautiful and very doable!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views on either side. The whole trail is 8 miles in and out and I only did 5.5 miles in and out. Took me 3 hours total given I’m not an experienced hiker and needed plenty of rest and time to enjoy the views. It wasn’t a busy trail I only saw one other person which was nice. It was a cloudy/cool day with a high of 61 when the sun popped out but I was still sweating. Definitely carry lots of water and be prepared for some good steep climbs.

Waterfall looked nice. Not a ton of water but definitely enough to get wet!

I may have been slightly not ready for this trail but did it anyways. Took the suggestion of going clockwise and happy with the choice. The big Up was kinda brutal but didn’t slow me down much. The views on this trail are incredible. The creek beds were all flowing thanks to the recent rain and fun to romp around in. I took my time and came in just under 5 hours. Only passed about 12 people going opposite direction. Came out measuring 9.4 miles as well. This was my longest hike yet and I think I managed alright. NO SHADE THO almost got me. It was only 79 degrees when I finished but I got a pretty nasty burn. Cant wait to do again when cooler out!

Good morning hike! Had the trail all to ourselves

Went there yesterday and the waterfall was flowing! It was so wonderful!

Did this loop counterclockwise, but will do it clockwise if I do it again. Started at 8:00 and completed it in 3.5 hours, and was 95 degrees when I got back to the car. Beautiful views, only saw 4 other people out there, trail was well marked. Cairns show the way when there were wash crossings, and signs were at every trail intersection.

Depending on your fitness I would rate this between easy and moderate. A few areas maybe a bit challenging to those that may be out of shape or do not maneuver well over rocky terrain. The views of the Superstitions are surreal, coming from someone who has a view of them every day. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen as most of the hike is in the direct sunlight. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. You wont be disappointed.

1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Cliff jumping is great! Word to the wise when the trail says cross the river don’t... go to your left and follow the river bed. It will take you to the swimming hole. If you go over the river you’ll continue on Bell Trail with some good elevation climbing into the forest. This spot is great if your training for a big hike or going for distance and want to see more of the canyon! Super Beautiful but be aware it’s dry and literally continues on forever. We went three miles past the river mostly incline.

We just moved to Phoenix a couple weeks ago and this was my first time trail running. Beautiful scenic views on the way to the lake, great place to swim, not too much elevation change for a first trail run. I really enjoyed this trail, I'll be back! :) <3

This is right between easy and moderate. Also, I'd give this trail 3.5 stars (if I could). Great view of the backside of The Flatiron, but the highlight is the very end of the trail. The end of the canyon is cool and green. I will definitely return after the next rain.

As an aside please read into the historical angle to this trail. There was definitely a twinge of sadness for the bitter demise of the Peralta family at the end of the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this. I ended making it a loop (Gateway to Windgate to Tom’s Thumb to East End to Bell Pass to Gateway = ~15 miles); part of the reason I love this area is how customizable the trail options are. Started out early and most of the incline was in the shade, and hardly anyone was out and about. Highly recommend. Great views, interesting terrain, and very well-marked (with maps available too!).

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