A super fun, popular hike, Tom’s Thumb Trail is a tough hike that rewards you with great summit views. This out and back trail is located near Scottsdale, Arizona. It has a total distance of 6.3 km and an elevation gain of 376m.
There are many beautiful and exciting trails is Scottsdale and Tom’s Thumb Trail is among the most popular trails. It is rated as difficult, and while there is much distance or elevation gain, the trail itself is difficult. Its main feature is the Tom’s Thumb, an extremely old burst of rock that can be seen from different parts of the valley.
The new trailhead, known as Tom’s Thumb trailhead was opened in 2012. It has decent restrooms and provides plenty of information about rock climbing, day hikes, and flora and fauna. The area is a bit far from the city, so you are likely to see wildlife, like bees and rattlers. You have to bring plenty of water with you, as there is no water supply there. You must bring at least 3 liters of water with you to avoid dehydration. There is a parking area at the trailhead as well.
You begin hiking on a well maintained and smooth trail and you will see varieties of desert flora. After 0.08 miles, you will see an emergency marker that shows the starting point of the Mesquite Canyon Trail. Soon, the trail would be filled with huge boulders that give a dramatic look to the landscape.
You should follow the wee-marked signs that will take you to your destination. You will also see signs directing you to other trail and rock climbing areas, take note of them, so you can plan your next adventure. After about 2 miles, you will reach the junction; take a right from there to reach the summit. The final part of the trail, though still is easy, is not well-marked and you will have to do a bit of scrambling. But, getting to the summit is easy, just move towards the biggest rock you see.
When you get to the top, you will be greeted with the panoramic views of the valley and mountains. Take a break there and eat some snacks. You can explore the caves and take photos of the rock formations.