Tom's Thumb Via North Side Loop Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews

Tom's Thumb Via North Side Loop Trail is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked loop 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 best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1154 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Tom's Thumb is the prominent granite bump in the McDowell Mountain preserve. Easily visible from the Scottsdale area, Tom's Thumb Trail from the north side provides some great views of Phoenix as well as looking out toward Four Peaks and Weavers Needle. The trail is very well manicured and is a great hike except for some steep elevation gains.

hiking
12 days ago

Toms Thumb is a moderate to difficult trail in the McDowell Preserve. Though it is a bit of a hike (no pun intended) to get out there it is well worth the drive. Once you arrive at the shared trail head you will find ample parking and no-flush restroom facilities.

The hike itself is absolutley beautiful and offers rare unimpeded views of beautiful desert landscapes from within the city limits. The first mile or so does include switch-backs of various difficulty so boots are recommended but 3+ liters of water is mandatory. The terrain flattens out, eventually winding down into a small gulley and then back up to the actual Thumb.

To get to the Thumb itself you must follow a relatively primitive but very obvious "Climbing Access Trail" for about a quarter if a mile. I highly reccommend this added bit to see the thumb up close. On cool winter days one can often sit and watch trad climbers scale the 60ft summit block.

hiking
1 month ago

3 months ago

5 months ago

6 months ago

6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike up to the top and back. Many, many different wildflowers were in full bloom. Beautiful views from the top. I would rate the hike as difficult!

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Great morning challenge!! Lots of up and down! Trail gets a little hard to follow near the top because so many people have walk off the trail. They do have volunteers at the top and bottom and even in between to ask questions! Lovely scenery and huge rocks! There is a breeding pair of Prairie Falcons up at the top please be respectful of their space!

8 months ago

8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

This is a good, but rough, hike. Completely worth it, but get ready to work for the reward. It starts out flat, but then you quickly start to ascend to the top. A series of switch-backs and uphill steps that don't really let up until you get to the top. But once you get there it suddenly seems worth it. The views are stunning, and the natural formation of the rocks is amazing. We did the hike mid-week and only saw about 15 people the whole hike. The parking lot is big and there are large restrooms at the information center. Be sure to bring plenty of water!

9 months ago

9 months ago

Tough incline, never lets up until close to the top. Heavily traveled so early is better, view form the top is well worth it. Once you get to the top many don't know but there is a small hole where rocks have fallen, crawl inside and you will pop out on a cliff with an amazing view and have sitting room for two to three, i

10 months ago

fun ramble. good views from the top.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Starts easy but u are sure in for a climb. Thank you to the Dc boys that helped me on the way back.

11 months ago

11 months ago

11 months ago