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East End Peak - MSP, AZ

no permit
357 65 1
Guide 65 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.7 of 5 by 21
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 5 of 5
Distance One Way 0.29 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,603 feet
Elevation Gain 459 feet
Accumulated Gain 459 feet
Avg Time One Way 30 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 1.82
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
29  2019-05-27
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell Mountains
16  2019-02-15
Marcus-Boulder-Coachwhip-Windmill-EE-TT - MSP
18  2018-12-29
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb
19  2018-12-29
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb
11  2018-12-29
Hog Heaven - East End - Tom's Thumb
9  2018-12-29
Hog Heaven - East End - Toms Thumb
7  2018-12-29
Hog Heaven-East End-Toms Thumb
4  2018-12-07
Tom's Thumb Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author paulshikleejr
author avatar Guides 20
Routes 77
Photos 542
Trips 405 map ( 1,470 miles )
Age 54 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:12am - 6:31pm
Official Route
17 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
The top of the world (well at least the MSP) ...
by paulshikleejr

Off trail activities within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve are not permitted without written approval from the preserve manager. Otherwise, visitors are required to stay on mapped trails, or risk being ticketed by the occasional mountain bike police patrol.

This spur trail heads east from Tom's Thumb Trail to the summit of East End Peak. At 4,057 feet, this peak is the highest point in the McDowell Mountains.

This is not a developed trail. Portions of the way up described below are somewhat steep and slippery with loose dirt. Use caution and step carefully. Additionally, at times, you may need to find your way around (hopefully not through) flora.

Because this is an off-trail hike, it is advisable that the GPS route for this hike be uploaded into a capable GPS unit to provide guidance as to the general route to follow. Also, all of the embedded photos are part of a larger photoset called "East End Peak - MSP, AZ Nov 10 2012." When viewed in photoset mode (as compared to when called by links in this description), most of the pictures have tags on important elements (such as cairns, which may be hard to see in the photo).

Even though this trail is less than three-tenths of a mile in length, it can be broken down into four short sections.

To access this short rip to the top, you need to hike 1.39 miles of the Tom's Thumb Trail from the new Tom's Thumb Trailhead. After completing 1.34 miles, as you come around a bend, you'll be able to look forward and down onto the insertion point. As you come to the 1.39 mile mark, the starting point of this hike-to-the-top becomes very apparent.

The first 0.13 mile of this hike is best characterized as the "breaking away" leg. You'll understand this as you head up into the brush and rocks away from the popular Tom's Thumb Trail in search of the nebulous start point of the short second "cruising" leg. The actual route of this first leg is somewhat open to interpretation and will be based on the conditions on the ground (as compared to specifically what your GPS device is showing). That being said, your GPS device will be very helpful in keeping you pointed in the correct direction. And, along the rocky and confused way, you'll hopefully see one or two or three or more cairns to help you through.

You'll know that you've made it to the second or "cruising" leg when you see an upward grade relatively free of rocks, large bushes, and trees. This leg is actually comprised of two parts: the 0.05 mile trek up to the ridge and the 0.03 mile saunter across the ridge to the base of the third leg. Make your way up to the ridgeline and then bear 90? degrees right to look across the ridge to the starting point of the third leg.

At the 0.21 mile mark, you'll be up close and personal with the starting point of the third leg, the "climb to heaven." As you look up in the general direction of the "path," you'll see that there isn't actually a path. However, your GPS unit will indicate generally where you have to go and should be referred to frequently. Take care on this section as there is much somewhat sharp and poky flora and rocks and some of the rocks aren't as load-worthy as they may appear. Cairns are fewer on this leg, but there are at least one or two. As you make your way up and around, at some point you'll behold something curious and unexpected. As you reach the 0.28 mile mark and make it to the top, you'll be able to take a close look at the bit of unnaturalness and wonder to yourself, "How did they get that up here?"

When you're done musing on the wonders of helicopters, do the mega-short final leg. Turn east and look for the absolute highest point around (about 0.01 mile away). Move your butt up onto the cheeks. Within the crack, you'll find the log book. Relax and look around: you're at the top of East End Peak and king/queen of the world! (Well, at least ruler of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.) Review the photoset referenced above for a taste of the wonders you'll look upon.

Water Sources

Not allowed.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2012-12-12 paulshikleejr
  • MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 1
    area related
    MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 1
  • MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 2
    area related
    MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 2
  • MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 3
    area related
    MSP Rock Climbing Guide - Page 3
  • MSP - Approved Climbing Areas 2011
    area related
    MSP - Approved Climbing Areas 2011
  • overview map
    area related

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent of 23 deeper Triplog Reviews
East End Peak - MSP
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This is a cool little hike in the McDowells, and it is more difficult than the distance and AEG would suggest. There is one ascent where you go up past Hog Heaven to the Thumbnail that goes up 750 feet in 1/2 mile -- this section will remind you a little bit of going up Flatiron.

We started at the Tom's Thumb TH and went up Mesquite Canyon on a hiker access route. I noticed from a triplog that KBKB had climbed up the Sven Tower I climber crag, so we did that, and I am glad that we did. There are some cool views of Marcus Landslide from that vantage point. After that we followed the Hog Heaven Loop up to the Thumbnail, and from there went across the ridgeline to East End. If you go hiking in the McDowell's, why not go to the high point in the range! From there we made a descent (first to the north, and then to the west) down to the Tom's Thumb Trail. From there we picked up the Lost Wall Loop and made our way over to Tom's Thumb, and continued the loop west of Tom's Thumb and eventually made our way down to the Tom's Thumb trail and back to the TH.

This is probably my favorite little hike in the McDowells!
East End Peak - MSP
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Second time up Hog Heaven. Such a fun trail! I highly recommend doing it in a clockwise direction. Perfect day to be out in Scottsdale. Signed the register on East End. Stopped by Toms Thumb and checked out the climbing access route down to Gardeners Wall. Surprisingly, fewer hikers on Toms Thumb than I was expecting.
East End Peak - MSP
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This was my first trip to the top of East End, the top of the McDowells. It was a crowded Saturday and Veteran's Day; over 100 people I saw on Tom's Thumb Trail. Very busy. Once I got on the summit trail to East End, however, there was not a person in sight. Perfect for Solitude!
The turn off of Tom's Thumb Trail is easy to miss, thanks to other hikers on this site, I found it! It is a short trek to the top, but very steep and slippery. You may get poked and scratched a bit on this trail. I t is not a maintained trail, lots of cacti and brush!
The view is awesome and the weather was great. I looked down upon all the hikers headed to the thumb and wondered if anybody down there knew about this great hike. I guess it's a well-kept secret! With Thompson Peak, East End, The Lookout, The Thumb, and Sunrise out of the way, all that's left is Drinkwater, McDowell, and the Twin Peaks further South! I love the McDowells! :y:
East End Peak - MSP
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From the Gateway trailhead I went up Gateway to Windgate, over the pass to Windmill, to East End up to East End Peak, over to Tom's Thumb trail, and back down via Windgate and Gateway.

Only saw three people the first half of the hike including Karl and Kathy. Good to see you all! The second half of the hike was pretty busy. Passed by about 150 hikers and one MTB.

Wildflowers are out but not a very good showing. Hopefully just a couple weeks early.
East End Peak - MSP
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Been wanting to do this loop since it was first posted! Today my A-Team hiking buddies Maria and Dan joined me for some fun in the sun, wind, and cold. I had the official GPS route loaded, which did come in handy in a couple of places, but the trail itself was pretty easy to follow. Signed the summit register on East End peak, more entries than I was expecting. Threw in a side trip to Tom Thumb and the Ogre's Den (which has been completely cleaned out :( ).
East End Peak - MSP
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East End Tom's Thumb x 2 & Lookout
Great early morning hike out with @Crzy4AZ @SpiderLegs and @Barrett. We parked at the Tom's Thumb TH then scaled East End at 4067 feet. Then over to Tom's Thumb. From the Thumb @Barrett and @SpiderLegs went to explore the Tom's Thumb pseudo Ogre's Den while @Crzy4AZ and I went over to the Lookout which surprisingly I'd never been to. Then we went back up to Tom's Thumb, retrieved the guys and then made our way over to the real Ogre's Den. Pretty cool little place...

After that Laurie went back to tend to her #tenderchickens and our day was done. Still ended up over 7 miles and almost 2400 AEG.

Very nice to meet Barrett and excited to meet another Hieroglyphics enthusiast!
East End Peak - MSP
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First trip up East End Peak, woo hoo! I had not been out to the Tom's Thumb TH for a few years, hit this up on the way back from Tucson, started about 4:30 or so. Cruised up the trail to the peak spur, this has become a fairly well defined trail by this point. There are definitely some scramble spots close to the top, it helped to use my hands on some of the boulders but certainly nothing technical. I did not even need my gps to follow the route, but was glad I had downloaded it to HAZ tracks just in case, once again a great tool! I spent a little while scrambling around the top, signed the register and headed back down. I slipped a few times on the way, there are a few scree spots, but thankfully no major tumbles. On over to Tom's Thumb, first time over here this year. Took a nice break in the shade, then headed back to the van. McDowell high point conquered, I have now done 3 of the 5 big peaks in the area. Now I just have to get in the McDowell/ Drinkwater loop one of these days...
East End Peak - MSP
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
No work today so why not another Summits on the Air activation. There wasn’t much of a trail from the Tom’s Thumb trail to the top. Good thing I had my GPS. It appears most of the trail has served as a water channel with the recent rain. Really washed out. Good views from the top. Fun hike.
East End Peak - MSP
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Did Marcus Landslide and Feldspar with the Trail Mix hikers this morning. Got back to the trailhead and decided to hike up to Lookout via Tom's Thumb trail. Got to the East End Peak split and decided it was time to conquer the tallest peak in the McDowells! The path to the top was easy enough to follow, but it's steep and loose, which was a bigger problem on the way back down! I was the only one on the register for today, at that time. Great great great hike today!! I was BEAT by the time I got back to my Jeep!
East End Peak - MSP
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Exercise hike after dropping kids off at school. From TH to East End junction in 32 minutes. Went up East End peak unofficial trail a little ways to have a quiet brunch/lunch then back down to TH. Some lupine along trail edge higher up.
Was irritated to see/hear two different couples playing music from their phones on speaker as I was coming down.

lupine here and there

Permit $$

Map Drive
Connector trail - Not Applicable

To hike
Take 101 to Pima/Princess Exit, head north on Pima Road. Turn right on Happy Valley Road. From 4-way stop (intersection with Alma School Rd), stay straight another 2.3 miles then turn right onto Ranch Gate Road. Go 1.2 miles and turn right onto 128th Street which dead ends at the new Tom's Thumb Trailhead.
page created by PatrickL on Dec 12 2012 5:54 pm
3 pack - loud whistle
go prepared
help comment issue

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