Tom's Thumb Trail

MODERATE 2357 reviews
#1 of 68 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: 1,236 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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
13 hours ago

Pretty decent trail with a good amount of incline. I'm a beginner hiker and needed to pause to rest a few times on the way up but once you get past the steeper parts near the beginning it's not too bad. It's pretty busy on a nice Saturday, but not overly crowded. The panoramic views and the nice cool breeze at the top make it worth it.

hiking
2 days ago

Not all too difficult of a trail. It should be rated moderate rather than hard. The views are alright and theres not a ton of traffic. A great trail for jogging but besides that I wouldn’t go here again.

hiking
4 days ago

Excellent and beautiful hike. Not difficult, but a good, moderate trail.

hiking
6 days ago

Great, challenging hike. Beautiful views. Great conditions and not too busy on the Monday afternoon I hiked. I'm 20 weeks pregnant so if I can do this hike, you can too. I took frequent breaks and did the entire trail in nearly 2.5 hours.

hiking
6 days ago

Same as the last few times I've done this trail! beautiful views, great workout up and a smooth jog down.

hiking
no shade
6 days ago

Definitely difficult due to the steep climb at the start with no shade - we have to stop several times on the way up in warmer months, and even once or twice when it’s cool. But after the initial steep climb, the views from the top are worth it! Incredible views of the city.

hiking
7 days ago

Pretty chilly because of wind. Lots of people but not too busy to make it crowded.

8 days ago

beautiful out & back hike with interesting rock formations and big walls. Watch climbers defy gravity and enjoy the views to the north and south. If you start in the morning, you're in the shade and it can be a little windy at the top so you may want an extra layer.

rocky
9 days ago

hiking
scramble
13 days ago

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

we had a wonderful time on this trail! so many incredible views and it wasn’t too crowded! we went early afternoon so that we could get shade on different sides of the mountain.

hiking
14 days ago

Back for more since Pinnacle Peak was sooo crowded at the base. Agree with my prior review of this hike

hiking
14 days ago

As I’ve been on the search for interesting and challenging hikes in the Phoenix area, I gave Tom’s Thumb Trail a try on my last trip. The day I chose to hike was aggressively windy and cold! Unfortunately, I did not pack correctly, so was never really warm or comfortable. That being said, it was beautiful, but strenuous hike to the top. The first 1.4-1.5 miles are the most difficult (almost all the incline happens at the beginning), and then the back side is a bit easier. I spent about 1.5 hours total for the hike - if it had been warmer and I had the proper clothing - I may have stayed around the top a bit longer to explore. Trail was very quiet when I went, as I passed no more than two dozen hikers, if even that on my full hike.

16 days ago

Great hike, but very crowded.

walking
rocky
17 days ago

New Years hike lots of people considering how strenuous the hike was. didn't appear to be much until the incline and switchbacks not impossible but a fun hike with great views

hiking
17 days ago

Lots of people

hiking
17 days ago

Lots of people, but fairly easy and fun.

hiking
17 days ago

Great trail about 5 miles round trip, very well groomed with awesome views

hiking
18 days ago

Definitely wouldn’t have marked this hard, unless maybe it’s due to the incline of the initial switchbacks? A quick up and down in less than 2 hours. It sleeted/hailed while we were there, and was a bit windy, but a fun hike overall!

Nice easy trail. Should be marked moderate but even a beginner can summit it if they pace themselves. Try the lookout trail (off from the main trail near the top) for views south to central Scottsdale.

hiking
20 days ago

Well maintained trail and very walkable. The first 1.25 miles is a climb but after that the walking is definitely easy. Great views!

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike! Well marked and great photos!

hiking
26 days ago

Challenging but fun hike! The steep incline at the beginning was quite a workout, but the payoff at the end was well worth it. Once you finish the initial steep climb, the trail evens out and it’s an easyish hike the rest of the way. The trail was well maintained, but busy. I went on a Sunday and it was pretty crowded with hikers. Enjoy!

hiking
28 days ago

I love this trail. Piestewa Peak, Four Peaks, Camelback, Red Mountain, you can see them all. Really nice people on this trail. Scottsdale ...please teach the rest of the world how to do pit facilities. Best ever!

hiking
28 days ago

Enjoyed the Tom’s Thumb hike. 150 FitBit flights of stairs. Lots of loose rocks. Went early in the morning up and back. With the extra loop, it would take five hours. There and back was 2.5 hours at a very slow pace.

hiking
29 days ago

First time on this trail and loved it! Amazing views! Take advantage of the overlooks, they won't disappoint. We had 2 very experienced hikers, two intermediate, and one rookie. The trail itself is easy and well maintained, but the difficulty comes in with the incline. About half way up, it flattens out and becomes easier. Our newbie did fine by taking time and breaks to make it up the incline, and handled everything else with no issues. Be careful going back down on the inclines! Was fairly busy on a Saturday afternoon (we got on the trail about 1230), but wasn't overly crowded or bad.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Not hard, steady incline and steep at time Beautiful rock formations and views all along. Go early, past 10am it gets busy!

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

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