Thompsons Peak is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Fountain Hills, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,066 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
13 days ago

Did this trail today 7/5/19. The first part of the trail is easy, until you hit the road heading up. Once you get to the first paved segment on the way up it's a workout. Great view at the top, didn't see one person either way. The trek back down was a workout too. Once I got back to flat ground I have to admit my legs were done. Pushed through to the end and if you can, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Will I do it again....not for a while.lol

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Good practice before GC hike but have to say I got hot even at 730am. Bring lots of water and trekking poles as they helped for part of the way. Not crowded at all. Ran into mountain bikers mostly.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike to help with training for the Grand Canyon or the San Francisco peaks etc. if only for the last 1-1.5 miles which, as has been pointed out in previous reviews, are at a very steep incline. Once you turn left on the utility access dirt road to Thompson peak from Dixie mine trail, you get a minor elevation gain with the upcoming steep trail looming in the background. This hike is all about getting over the mental/physical hump of the steep incline which is partly paved almost to the towers. As another person pointed out, make sure you wear super grip rubber soles as this will make all the difference on both the ascent and the descent. Watch out for the RF radiation up top as I lost a clump of hair!

hiking
3 months ago

Most of the trail is easy. But the last 1mile is really hard. And we found rattler on the trail. So be careful when you walk on the trail.

4 months ago

Don't know Luke's problem. You can't actually drive to the top. That's reserved for specific personal. Definitely one of the most difficult hikes of the mountain range.

hiking
4 months ago

Boring. Any trail that you can drive to the top on should never be rated difficult. Very misleading, most experienced hikers will find this boring. The view at the top is good but considering the area it’s just okay. Giant cell tower complex up top too and the machines can be noisy.

4 months ago

Tuff hike and worth it, very scenic desert Oasis. Wear proper hiking shoes, preferably one that's alil bigger for the hike down very steep incline.

hiking
5 months ago

Believe the hype, it’s a burner. Going downhill was worse than the uphill in my opinion because it was a knee crusher. After we passed Dixie Mine we didn’t see a single other person, very secluded and nice. The radiation warning was a little unnerving but we still rested at the top for awhile. It was also a bit muddy today after the recent rain, but the incline is mostly paved and thus not slippery.

5 months ago

Did to Craig's review

5 months ago

I will echo others by saying this is an easy hike until the last mile, then it's serious cardio time. Coming down was harder than going up, I was zigzagging to try and take some pressure off my knees. Some much younger hikers in way better shape than me were doing the same thing. The views at the top are spectacular, but be aware there are warnings posted about RF fields exceeding FCC rules for human exposure. I didn't feel real comfortable after reading that so I spent less than 5 minutes there before heading down. I can't see doing this trail again anytime soon. Too many other great hikes in Phoenix.

hiking
6 months ago

The towers were taunting me driving around Scottsdale so this was a must do for me. After you get past Dixie Mine trail, it gets hard! There are 3 large sections of paved trail that go straight uphill until you get to the towers. We had to walk backwards coming down to take some pressure off our knees. It’s extremely steep and will completely burn out your legs. (A young male in a CrossFit t-shirt was also complaining about knee pain!) It was definitely a good workout and nice to accomplish but I don’t think I’d do it again! Lol. Way better views on different trails.

hiking
6 months ago

Based on the reviews, me and my friends were fortunate to catch Thompson Peak on a bright, clear Sunday morning. The beginning is flat but beautiful desert flowers and cactus. It will lull you into a false sense of security. After you get off Dixie Mine trail head and start towards the towers it goes from easy to lightly moderate, but switches into hard and almost doesn't stop. The last mile is tough. Paved but a steep incline. The sense of accomplishment was high for me. Great view from the top.

trail running
10 months ago

The last mile up to the peak is a knee-burner, and the way back down is a quad bomber. This is a great trail for the occasional hard training session, but due to the somewhat bland scenery following the Jeep trail up to the top, it’s not my favorite. For an extra bonus hard run/hike, come at it from Gateway and go over Bell Pass first. You’ll feel it on your way back for sure, but it’ll certainly harden your body and mind for the next challenge.

hiking
Monday, February 19, 2018

This hike starts super easy and flat then you get to a straight up hill cement walk. I am an in shape 25 year old and it destroyed my legs! View from the top was nice.

hiking
Saturday, December 09, 2017

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
Monday, November 27, 2017

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
Friday, October 27, 2017

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.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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
Sunday, August 20, 2017

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
Saturday, August 19, 2017

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
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday, April 09, 2017

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
Saturday, April 01, 2017

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
Monday, March 06, 2017

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
Sunday, February 26, 2017

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
Friday, February 03, 2017

Great trail with some serious steep incline hiking the last mile a 30-35 degree inclines. Take plenty of water and take your time. The effort is worth the view! The RF warning signs at the top convinced me not to hang out long and I ended up resting beneath the peak about a quarter mile down. I went on 1 Feb 17 and I saw three people total on the trail. Great trail to challenge yourself and for most (including me, a trail to check off and probably not revisit). This is absolutely a HARD trail hike given the last mile. Experience in hiking is important due to the work you need the last mile and the remoteness of people once you commit to the final ascent.

Monday, December 26, 2016

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
Sunday, December 18, 2016

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!

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