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Tom’s Thumb Trail


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Full Day - Sunday April 14 - CANCELED

Tom’s Thumb Trail
Date: Sunday, April 14
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve – Tom’s Thumb Trailhead
Cost: $57 (includes lunch)


photo of tall granite spire

Granite Spire in the northern region of the McDowell
Mountains known as Tom’s Thumb


The hike will begin at the picturesque Tom’s Thumb Trailhead on the northern slope of the McDowell Mountains, and expose hikers to the rich natural history of the area. The ascent on the Tom’s Thumb Trail leads to a popular destination known as The Lookout. From this point, hikers will be enthralled by the 360 degree vantage point, including views of the Verde River Valley, the Mazatzal Mountains, the landmark fountain in Fountain Hills, and the Valley of the Sun. Participants will learn about the area, and the coordination that has occurred over the years between the City of Scottsdale and Maricopa County regarding trail connections over their shared boundary lines.

Participants will also learn how the community came together to advocate for the land to be preserved, and for the construction of the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, and trails in the area, which provide public recreational access to the lands that the public taxed themselves to protect.

Length and Difficulty

The distance from the trailhead to The Lookout, is a 5 mile round trip, with an elevation change of 1,150 vertical feet. This route climbs the north face of the McDowell Mountains, and is steep with a smooth but sometimes slippery trail surface. This hike is rated as difficult.

Leaders: Dan Gruber, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy; Brian Gootee, AZ Geologic Survey; Scott Hamilton, City of Scottsdale.

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Thank You Symposium Sponsors!




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