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Man Climbing to the Peak of Tom's Thumb

A Grateful Hike

February 20, 20232 min read

Tom's Thumb Trail

Playlist: Dead Ahead-A Grateful Hike

Are you ready to test your limits and take in some gorgeous views? Then, Tom's Thumb Trail tucked away in Arizona McDowell Mountains may be what you're looking for.

The Hike

The trailhead is located in Scottsdale, AZ, and features several small hills and valleys along the way, making it perfect for those looking for a good workout. The hike is 3.6 miles long and takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete. You will find yourself traversing through some tricky terrain which may slow down your progress at times. Your ascent to "the thumb" is a 1214 ft gain which will place you at just shy of 4000 ft. Not bad for a trail hike just 30-40 minutes from central Scottsdale!


You never like to see a fellow hiker stumble or fall on a trail. On this particular afternoon, a woman who was part of a hiking group was laying across the trail. I stopped and asked if she needed help but the group stated that they had the situation was under control and had already made a call for some assistance. About 30 minutes later, I saw her being airlifted out.

Views from the top of Tom's Thumb Trail, Scottsdale AZ


Wear high-hiking boots! I didn't, and it was a mistake that cost me some tender ankles. The trail was a bit steeper than I had anticipated. Needless to say, I experienced a bit of joint pain around my knees on the way down. -A word of caution for those with arthritic conditions.

I hiked in and out with just a waist pack and a liter of water, which was enough for me in 68-degree weather. A water camelbak pack may be better for some. Sunscreen and a hat are highly recommended for this trail.

Climbing Tom's thumb

The Pay Off

Tom's Thumb Peak Stands 4,068 feet above sea level and offers hikers an incredible 360-degree view of their surroundings that will leave them breathless. After trekking up its steep incline, hikers will be rewarded with stunning panoramas filled with awe-inspiring landscapes.

Tom's Thumb Trail has something for everyone who loves an Arizona mountain hike. So if you're looking for a great hiking experience near Central, then check out this exhilarating experience– you won't regret it!

blog author image

Christopher Markakis

Christopher Markakis is a Business Development leader with many years of experience in Sales & Marketing. He has also worked extensively in Film, Television, and Video Production. Christopher loves working with people and helping them grow and achieve their goals.

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