Tom's Thumb Trail

MODERATE 952 reviews
#1 of 48 trails in

Tom's Thumb Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Scottsdale, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1236 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Tom's Thumb Trail is a short switchback trail from Tom's Thumb trailhead up to Tom's Thumb spur at the intersection of the Windgate Trail. Hikers are treated to gorgeous views of the southern Mcdowell Mountains and urban Phoenix. The trail is managed by Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. There is no water at the trailhead so bring plenty of liquid to stay hydrated.

5 days ago

My favorite place to hike. Well maintained trails, beautiful views, and you get a great workout too. Can't beat it definitely 5 star material

13 days ago

Great trail. Too many black flies in May

14 days ago

Good 10.5 mile loop if you mix in the Wingate Pass and East End Trails.

15 days ago

The Thumb was actually really cool to see! The approach at the beginning was a little steep, but overall not too hard. Great hike!

hiking
17 days ago

Lookout points along the trail provided a scenic opportunity to take pictures and rest. The trail was harder than expected. Lots of steep uphill areas. We did not finish and turned around half way through (which we anticipated based on other reviews). However, it was a beautiful view and we are glad to have done it (even if we didn’t finish).

19 days ago

Nice trail with views.

20 days ago

Fantastic hike but very little shade on your way up. Not overly challenging but a fantastic view at the top!

hiking
24 days ago

Absolute gorgeous hikes with incredible views around every corner! Got to go back this morning for a sunrise hike and it was magical to watch the light as it painted the hills around every corner. And well worth the super early rising to avoid the direct sun exposure as we snaked up the switchbacks too. This hike was so beautiful, and the geological structures so immense it makes you feel like an ant in the grand creation. Definitely a new favorite place on this planet.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike with well maintained trails and scenic views. Agree with moderate rating. Heart rate didn’t get up super high but we did run some of it to make it more of a workout. Great nook in the “thumb” at summit to take water and snack with shade. Many switchbacks make the elevation change much less challenging than camelback hike.

hiking
25 days ago

This trail is absolutely breathtaking and we will be back! Word to the wise - the park hours are serious they close at sunset - meaning a gate closes at the entrance to the park area and you may have to call to get out. We didn’t realize and had planned to do a sunset hike thinking we could stay after sunset while it was still light so it was a very quick stop but the sunset was sooooooo beautiful I would highly recommend timing your hike so you’re walking out right at sunset. Gorgeous area, wildflowers, a sweet bunny, we will definitely be back.

hiking
25 days ago

One of my favorites!

27 days ago

Great trail for trail running. I did part of the east end loop as well. Great views

hiking
29 days ago

I love this trail. It’s pretty steep for the first 1.5 miles but then levels off. The views are amazing!

1 month ago

Such a beautiful hike with amazing views. I give it “two thumbs up”.

hiking
1 month ago

Family of five with three kids in elementary school had a blast on this hike. First mile is mostly up but then flattens out for second mile to Tom’s Thumb. Beautiful views and a well-maintained trail get two thumbs up ;)

1 month ago

Great Hike. Well maintained trail all the way up. The steward at the top was very friendly and provide good info about the area. Took the dog with and had to keep him on the leash the whole time due to high traffic and previous reviews of snakes being more active near the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike just an hour out of Phoenix. Uphill the entire way out, but it’s a well kept, smooth, dirt trail, so not too strenuous. Some steep cross-backs. No trees, so being water if it’s warm! Hiking among the pebbles of giants.

hiking
1 month ago

Decent sized parking lot. The center at the trailhead does not have water, but they have restrooms.
The first 1.2ish miles of the hike are a good leg workout (pretty uphill) but the rest isn’t bad.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Excellent views of the valley. Bring plenty of water. No water at trailhead.
Def worth the climb. Fair description of trail.

Hiked this last Sunday 4/8. Great hike, but you MUST bring water especially if you start after 10 am and it's projected to be over 85 degrees out! Very uphill.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! My favorite valley hike!

1 month ago

Lovely views. But, start early and bring plenty of water!

hiking
1 month ago

As a person who is not in excellent shape I found the first mile and a half a bit challenging. It reminded me alot of climbing Black Mountain in Cave Creek. It is a slow but steady climb. Once I was past the 1.5 mile mark I found the climb easier . Maybe that’s because I was distracted by the scenery and the many wonderful vantage points. The path is very wide and easy to follow. Indications along the way were clear. I truly enjoyed this trail and will hike it again.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Heavily trafficked - get out early! Beautiful views - yucca in bloom- saw two rattle snakes - be cautious as the snakes are starting to appear !! Good variety of terrain - Highly recommend !!

1 month ago

My favorite hike in the valley, good climb, great work out. You can connect to several other trails to make it much longer if you want. The back side and the East End trail have a lot less traffic. Unbelievable views!

1 month ago

Beautiful!! And great views .We did the hike with our 3 kids- ages 11,7,7. It was a bit challenging for the younger 2, but they were happy they did it. Bring water to the trail head. We did see a rattlesnake at the end.

1 month ago

Wow that was hard

1 month ago

This has been my favorite trail so far. We took our boys, 10 and13. My 10 year old complained quite a bit in the beginning (inclines were hard for his little legs), but he made it and was so happy to see Tom's Thumb! This is an absolutely gorgeous trail. Just make sure you have shoes with good traction for the way down. Dirt trail, so there are lots of spots for sliding. This is a must do.

1 month ago

Great trail but today there was hissing and rattle snakes. Be careful out there .

1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes in AZ better than camelback in my opinion. If you want a good day hike start from the very bottom on the longer side and go down the same way. Lots of good sights to see and a cool spot to chill and look out next to the thumb.

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