MTB Project Logo

A stiff climb on desert singletrack leads to fantastic views of Tom's Thumb and the surrounding area.


Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

4.7

Miles

7.6

KM

Singletrack

3,775' 1,150 m

High

2,444' 745 m

Low

1,124' 343 m

Up

1,401' 427 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

53%

Max Grade (28°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Not Allowed

There is absolutely no water at the trailhead, so you'll need to bring it with you. I recommend 2 liters at the very least for this ride, if not 3, due to the stiff grades and punishing, shadeless environment along the route.

Description

Jump on Tom's Thumb for a trail experience that will test your climbing mettle.

From the trailhead parking area, the Tom's Thumb Trail starts just on the other side of the shade facility, complete with restroom and kiosks detailing the local flora, fauna, and geology.

After getting geared up and checking your tubeless sealant (there's plenty of thorns if you deviate from the trail here), head up the trail as it meanders along a wide path through vibrant cholla, saguaro, and flowering ocotillo. While at first the trail winds along gentle grades, soon it steepens dramatically and becomes quite tough. Expect to navigate tight, twisting turns up steep switchbacks peppered with loose gravel and sand. Take breaks and spin where you can along this trail, as the grades are long and you'll regret it otherwise.

After roughly a mile of climbing, you'll finally reach your first true break in the terrain as the trail contours the hillside to reach a saddle. Bear right at the saddle to continue climbing toward Tom's Thumb. When you reach a small sign on your right, head right to pick your way along a tricky section of trail to reach Tom's Thumb, or continue straight to begin the steep descent down the trail's western side.

On the descent, expect the trail to dive steeply through steep switchbacks often covered in plenty of rock and chunk. Take it easy through here, as cacti on both sides of the trail can spell a rough landing for an overcooked turn.

After over 2 miles of brake-smoldering descent, the trail reaches a junction with the Desert Park Trail and finally eases its grade. From here, the trail begins to contour along the hillside on the way to its terminus at a junction with the Windgate Pass Trail.

Contacts

Land Manager: City of Scottsdale

Shared By:

Hunter R

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 8 votes

#21146

Overall
  3.4 from 8 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
25%
1 Star
13%
Trail Rankings

#602

in Arizona

#21,146

Overall
43 Views Last Month
2,851 Since Oct 19, 2016
Very Difficult Very Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
38%
63%

Photos

Top of Tom's Thumb!
Oct 9, 2016 near Fountai…, AZ
The rocky trail continues almost all the way to Windgate Pass.
Jan 29, 2017 near Fountai…, AZ
Tom's Thumb - Scottsdale, AZ.
Oct 19, 2016 near Fountai…, AZ
loading

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 39 days ago
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Dec 30, 2023
Hiko Muhic
Very popular with hikers.
Feb 19, 2021
Kyle Riffle
Welcome

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started