Thompsons Peak

MODERATE 41 reviews

Thompsons Peak is a 9.5 mile out and back trail located near Fountain Hills, Arizona that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2066 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

views

hiking
8 days ago

I stare at the towers on Thompson Peak every morning walking to work. Always wanted to make the climb up there. Started at Dixie Mine Trailhead. Do not let the moderate rating fool you, this is not a moderate hike. The final 1.5 miles has grade approaching 30%. Did not stay at the summit very long due to the RF warnings. The hike down is almost as tough as the climb up. From the bottom I headed back up to Bell Pass to home so don't use my recording unless you plan on shuttling or using Uber to get back to Fountain Hills. There are better hikes in the preserve but this was a must do for me so I can finally stop wondering when I see the dang towers from below

hiking
20 days ago

This trail is a bitch, extremely steep the last 1 1/2 miles, probably in excess of 30 degrees. I can't imagine trucks driving up it. There is a severe radiation hazard at the summit, most likely damaging human tissue and internal organs. From the trailhead I estimate the round trip distance to be 7 1/2 miles. I have done this hike a 1/2 dozen times, climbing the older access trail that is even steeper than the jeep road. The first time I did this was in 1990 when the only microwave serviced the Maricopa sheriff's communcations. Now there are multiple extremely high power microwave dishes. If you value your health, I strongly urge you to think twice before doing this.

hiking
1 month ago

Thompsons Peak is a medium distance trail to one of highest points in Phoenix. Parking is limited at the trail head, but finding a spot typically isn't an issue as there are several more popular access points for the McDowell Preserve.

The trail itself is well maintained and provides nice unimpeded views of the preserve once you have hiked far enough in. Expect to see the occasional mountain biker but most traffic occurs closer to Toms Thumb on the other side of the perserve. The moderate rating is misleading because almost all of the eleveation is gained in the last mile or so of the hike. To get to the summit you will follow the trail and then follow a very steep dilapidated access road the remainder of the way. It is sustained and very steep so be prepared for a workout. However, there is no technical movement required to reach the top.

Views from the top are nice, but can be overshadowed by the Radio Towers constant humming and abundant radiation signs. Its an okay spot to appreciate the view but is definitly not the kind of place you'd want to enjoy lunch.

3 months ago

Steady pace on gradual incline, gets tougher on the last mile, midway and then to the top. Steep, my legs were burning. Great hike to test your endurance, strength and fatigue tolerance. The top gives you a 360 view of Four Peaks, Superstion Mountains, Camelback and Pinnacle Peak. It's best to go with a hiking partner. Not a hike to go after a night of partying.

hiking
3 months ago

Harder than a medium I'd say, me and 3 friends did it in under 4 hours going ~ 11.5 miles with little excursions along the way. Great view at the top though. Didn't see anyone else, and we started at 5:45am

hiking
3 months ago

Why Camelback is marked hard & this is marked moderate blows me away. This is a lot longer and more difficult trail. road or no road... very good hike !

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is a hard one, be ready for it ! Some great views at the top.

8 months ago

Tough climb, especially at the very top. The beginning isn't bad; quite flat. However, this part when coming back seems extensively long. Very few people on the trail (I hiked for 3 hours and saw about 8 groups of people) and there is nice scenery.

hiking
8 months ago

The first part of this hike is through a gated community and then you work your way through the relatively flat Dixie Mine Trail. There were plenty of wild flowers blooming along the way that provided many views. The Thompson Peak Road is easy at first but the last half is very challenging. The steepness is very tough but the view at the top is pretty but polluted.

hiking
9 months ago

The first part through the gated development is too bad. The trail is a great leg workout, as noted by others, with a good but pollution hazed view.

hiking
9 months ago

Not sure how this is a moderate trail. Yes the first couple of miles are easy but easily the last 1.5 miles are an ass kicker! When you get to the top you will feel great because you earned that summit! Not a lot of foot traffic, make sure you take lots water.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail with some serious steep incline hiking the last mile. Take plenty of water and take your time. The effort is worth the view!

I went on 1 Feb 17 and I saw three people total on the trail. Great trail to challenge yourself on!

11 months ago

One of the best leg workout hikes in the greater Phoenix area. If you're able to handle 40-50 degree grades to the summit, the hike to Thompson Peak is for you!

hiking
11 months ago

Not my favorite hike, but I'm glad I did it! I wanted to cross this one off the list as well as train for harder hikes I want to do. Parking on a weekend at the trailhead was problematic, but not terrible. You walk a bit through a neighborhood to the actual trailhead. The Dixie Mine trail is very pretty; I didn't go to the mine, maybe another day. The road up to the top is not too scenic, and visibility was horrible because of pollution. It gets very STEEEEP on parts of the road, make sure your lungs are in good shape. Making it to the top was quite an achievement for me; one of the hardest hikes I have done. I didn't stay up there too long, the radiation signs scared me off. Anyway, I much prefer Sunrise or Tom's Thumb over this hike!

hiking
Monday, December 05, 2016

Great hike with beautiful views from the top. Strenuous. There are no switchbacks. You take a jeep trail to the top. Radio tower and helipad at the summit.

hiking
Monday, December 05, 2016

Great hike with excellent views from the top. Strenuous. There are no switchbacks. You take a jeep tail to the top. Radio tower and helipad at the summit.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Gets steep and challenging. Great views.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Definitely a bit strenuous towards the top and it is about .5 mile from the parking lot to the trailhead so total hike is probably about 8 miles. I didn't go past the RF radiation signs but good views near the top. The Dixon trail at the beginning is also real nice through dry creek beds.

hiking
Monday, April 18, 2016

Iconic and difficult hike in Fountain Hills. This was my second time and one I would say should be done once a year and no more as it is an effort to get there and to hike it. Very doable, but is arduous in parts as the service road you travel after leaving the Dixie Mine trail feels like it has a 45 degree incline and you have to make your own switchbacks going up and down. Spectacular views and you are very proud of yourself when you make it to the top. This can also be accessed from the Gateway TH by way of Bell Pass and Prospector, but that's a long day hike

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