The plan was to repeat a hike I did last year but with a different hiking partner. As it turned out there were new and extended trails that caught our interest and a 6.5 mile hike became a 9.6 mile hike.
We started at the Thumb Butte parking area and followed trail #315, Watertower Trail, to its end at trail #317, Ridgetop Trail (N34 33.519 W112 31.071). We turned right here and followed #317 to the end at a gate. We turned around and followed #317 to its junction with trail #316, Pine Lakes Trail (N34 33.370 W112 31.390). We turned right onto #316 and followed it until it appeared to end at Windy Walk Lane, a gravel road (N34 34.167 W112 30.861). Just before this point the trail continued right on a less obvious track. Following that we came to a zip line station at the top of a hill (N34 34.029 W112 30.926) and a gravel road. We turned left on the gravel road and at a point where the road veered left (N34 33.961 W112 30.956) we turned right onto a small trail which led back to #316 near a gate. We turned left on #316 and followed it back to the junction with #317. We turned right onto #317 and followed it until it ended at a street in a residential area and then retraced our steps to the 316/317 junction. We followed #316 south for a short distance, then turned right onto trail #318, West Trail (N34 33.354 W112 31.383). We followed #318 until it ended at trail #332, Javelina Trail, a gravel road and part of the Prescott Circle Trail (N34 32.928 W112 32.217). We turned left here, crossed Country Road 65 to the beginning of trail #367, Miller Creek Trail, directly across from #332 (N34 32.819 W112 32.075). We followed #367 until it ended at trail #326, Thumb Butte Connector (N34 33.007 W112 31.552). We went left at this fork and followed #326 back to the parking.
This was a varied hike with some shade and a lot of sun. There are areas of low shrubs and tall pines, some alive and some dead. There are some hills and washes but not too many and with no long climbs. There are nice views in many directions. The hike can easily be modified to shorten the distance due to the many trails in the area. The map available at the fee station is pretty good but at the time we did the hike, it didn't show the extended trail #317 from #316 out to the residential area or the loop at the end of #316, but my GPS route does show these.