Tom's Thumb Trail

MODERATE 915 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.

3 days 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
4 days 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
6 days 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
6 days 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
14 days ago

Awesome hike! My favorite valley hike!

15 days ago

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

hiking
16 days 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
17 days 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 !!

18 days 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!

18 days 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.

19 days ago

Wow that was hard

19 days 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.

20 days ago

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

22 days 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.

22 days ago

Great hike. It winds up up up through interesting rock formations to the Thumb. Great scenery all the way.

23 days ago

Loved it. Went with my kids 5 and 7. Tough but worth it

23 days ago

Pleasant hike. Uphill switchbacks with a dirt path pretty smooth.

26 days ago

Love this trail ! Tuff but fun

27 days ago

Great hike, challenging but doable. Hard first part but levels near the top. Saw some wildlife along the trail (deer / rabbit / etc). Most of the trail was easy walking, wide with minimum rocks. Loose gravel coming down could be a problem unless you have good hiking boots.

1 month ago

Great view at the top—lots of traffic. Well worth it.

1 month ago

Views are worth the initial climb. Not too difficult, just need to be prepared for a lot of very steep incline switchbacks for the first 1.5miles. Be careful coming down, as it can be slippery. One of my favorite in the area. Huge boulders at top make for unique views.

hiking
1 month ago

Well maintained parking lot, restrooms, and trail. Trail is mostly uphill with a few flat spots, so be prepared to climb. Views are nice and there are other trails to venture if time permits. Hawks are currently nesting so they've asked hikers to stay quiet at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Went up last weekend. Clean trails, steep in sections. Great views. Highly recommend.

1 month ago

Fun and challenging hike. Right around 5 mi round trip. I’m in pretty good shape and pushed myself to get to the top and back in just under 80 min for a workout (not running). Casually this hike is more like 2.5 hrs if you want to enjoy the awesome views. Best to get there before 8 am to beat the rush.

1 month ago

Great hike up and back with a lot of scenic views along the way. First mile is a little challenging but the reward is worth it.

1 month ago

Beautiful up and back on well maintained trail

hiking
1 month ago

The best hike I’ve been on so far! Absolutely stunning views, maintained trails and a bathroom on site!!! Fun incline workout, Loved it!!!

trail running
1 month ago

This was a great run. The first Mile is hard and really gets your heart rate up quickly. After that it levels off a bit to the top and has great views.

1 month ago

Great trail with amazing views.

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