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 difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking 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: 1,236 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

views

wild flowers

over grown

rocky

no shade

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Definitely a challenge, but after you’re about 3/4 of the way up, it flattens out. Coming down is a bit tougher on the knees. Overall, it’s great hike and 10/10 recommend! SO gorgeous!!

hiking
3 days ago

I enjoyed this sooooo much. Very challenging but manageable if you’re in decent shape and you have good stamina. The views are just stunning. The trail features a LOT of very steep, grueling switchbacks. I definitely had to stop a couple times. But, it was so worth it.

hiking
bugs
4 days ago

Excellent little hike, a bit slippery on the way back due to the loose granite. It's not like Piestewa or Echo with the rocks and steps. Well worth it if you haven't tried it yet.

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike, but I can't quite understand why it's rated hard. Moderate for the inclines, but it's not difficult at all. Wonderful views and breeze at the top!

hiking
no shade
5 days ago

I hike this several times a week. Great cardio. Steep. Go early in the summer.

hiking
6 days ago

Accidentally left my recording on after leaving.

hiking
fee
6 days ago

Beautiful, breezy, no bugs today

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike, unbelievable scenery and views. Bring a ton of water, and do NOT dress in anything that will expose your back, shoulders or legs. A girl got heat exhaustion when I was there, she wore a tank top and short shorts. This allows the sun to dry you out and dehydrate you MUCH quicker than you'd realize. Hiking pants which are light and still let's your legs breathe is best, and dark clothes only attract the sun even more. Be smart, dress smart instead of to impress.

hiking
8 days ago

Very steep in the beginning. Fun to run down.

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 days ago

Fun trail, lots of views, fortunately it was cool out (78°) and there was a solid breeze. I would rate this a solid moderate, hard perhaps if there was more heat. Took 90 min round trip, add in another 15 min at the top for views. Fortunately no bugs or gnats, I’m guessing because of the winds

hiking
10 days ago

What a workout! I thought I was in shape, but this trail tested my stamina. I need to do more cardio! But it felt great. The uphill was difficult at times and I had to take breaks in the spots designated to do so. Go early! It gets crowded but the fellow hikers are SO nice and courteous. The views are breathtaking. The only downfall... WHAT’S WITH THE GNATS? They get 10x worse at the top. My legs and feet were sore the next day, but a good sore! I’m going again next week.

hiking
11 days ago

One of best hike trail in Phoenix area.

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail, beautiful vistas at the Top of the Thumb! Good thigh and calf workout. Lot of gnats.

hiking
bugs
12 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail. First mile is a pretty steep climb then it levels out over the next mile. I started at 6 and there were only a few people on the trail. Started back down at 7 and passed people coming up ever few feet. Definitely get there early.

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail. Start early. Vigorous first 1 mile or so. Worth the effort.

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

I loved it. It was wasn’t bad early in the morning with the heat.

hiking
bugs
rocky
16 days ago

It is a great workout and a great run. There are great views. There are lots of rock structures. There were many bugs, so every time I took a break, the bugs would attack me.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful hike! Gets crowded so head up early.

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

Use hiking shoes or trail runners with good grip for loose rocks. The initial incline is a heart pumper. It get easier towards the mid section to the end. Lots of people so you will likely need to stop and allow others to pass from time to time. I started at 6:30 AM to avoid the summer heat, which I would suggest to all. There are a lot of ant colonies on this trail. I had a few run ins with small lizards, one rattler and another snake that was copper colored. You may want to run down this one — it’s really fun. Just keep an eye out for snakes who may be crossing the trail. I got lucky because the guy in front of me spotted the rattler and we both stopped to allow the snack to retreat back into the cactus off to the side of the trail. Because they are very good at alerting you with their rattler, I advise not listening to music so that you will be aware. There are additional trail options connected to this hike to add another 3.2 or so miles onto your trip out and back. There were also mountain bikers on this one. Take plenty of water - 1 liter for every 2 miles at least.

hiking
bugs
no shade
22 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

Fun hike. Elevation at the beginning but quick on the way down!

hiking
23 days ago

Loved this trail, it was absolutely stunning. Everything was in bloom, I've never seen the desert so green. Nice elevation gain at the beginning. Trail was easy to follow and well marked. Start early as it gets hot on the trail. Neat rock formations at the top. Plenty to look at and off shoot trails if you want to venture to other areas.

hiking
24 days ago

Very challenging! Little shade, wear sunscreen for sure and a camelback full of water is ideal instead of just a bottle. Best times of the year for me Jan-May.

hiking
bugs
no shade
26 days ago

I forgot to restart the app when we turned around, it’s about 4.4 miles round trip. Perfect if you need something that will kick your butt. We started around 8 and finished just before 10:30. Start early!

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