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Tom's Thumb TH to Gateway TH, AZ

Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.8 of 5 
no permit
253 9 0
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Shuttle 8.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,802 feet
Elevation Gain 1,700 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,400 feet
Avg Time Hiking 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.5
Interest Peak
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
22  2018-11-28
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell Mountains
105  2017-04-01 Katzen4
59  2015-04-07
Marcus Landslide Trail - MSP
75  2015-02-16
Marcus Landslide Trail - MSP
3  2014-04-26
McDowell Meander
7  2014-03-14
Tom's Thumb Trail - MSP
4  2014-02-22 soren2004
Author soren2004
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 1
Photos 75
Trips 46 map ( 260 miles )
Age 41 Male Gender
Location Queen Creek, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Apr, Feb → 6 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  5:17am - 7:41pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

Trans-McDowell Hike
by soren2004

This is a shuttle hike from the Tom's Thumb Trailhead to the Thumb and then down into the Gateway Trailhead.

It's easier to hike down from Tom's Thumb than up from Gateway, but either direction works.

The first section up to "Tom's Thumb" is the most challenging part of the hike. Continue on the "Tom's Thumb Trailhead" until the first sign directs you off to the right (north) to the Thumb. After visiting the Thumb, backtrack to where the East End Trail intersects the Tom's Thumb Trail and heads south. The trail is (as of 2014) very well marked.

From there it is downhill until the trail crosses the Gateway Loop Trail. At this point, turn to the west (right) and climb up to "Inspiration Point". This is the second major climb of the hike, but not nearly as tough as the Tom's Thumb initial ascent. Once past "Inspiration Point", it's mostly downhill to the Gateway Trailhead.

Water is not currently available at the Tom's Thumb Trailhead, but restrooms are open. Water and restrooms at Gateway.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2014-02-24 soren2004
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Tom's Thumb Trailhead
    1) 101 (Pima Freeway) to Frank Lloyd Wright
    2) East on Frank Lloyd Right to N Thompson Peak Parkway
    3) North on Thompson Peak Parkway to McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Trailhead to drop off first vehicle
    4) Then North on Thompson Peak Parkway to Pima Rd
    5) North on Pima Rd to Happy Valley Rd
    6) East on Happy Valley Rd until it turns north and changes to 116th st.
    7) East on Ranch Gate Rd to 128th St
    8) South on 128th to Park Entrance

    From Exit 36 of AZ-101 Loop North, head northeast on North Pima Rd 4.7 miles to East Happy Valley Road. Turn right onto East Happy Valley Road and drive 4.3 miles to Ranch Gate Road. Turn right onto Ranch Gate Road and travel 1.3 miles and then turn right onto North 128th Street. After 1.0 mile on North 128th Street, you'll be at the trailhead gate. No water at the trailhead! Bathrooms are non-flush.

    If you just pop in the coordinates of the trailhead, it's very possible that your GPS unit will tell you to wrong turn from Happy Valley Road onto Alameda Road at ( 33.706667, -111.832396 ). Don't do it! Those GPS units don't know that there's a locked gate at (33.694441, -111.813335).

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 34.8 mi, 55 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 135 mi, 2 hours 24 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 149 mi, 2 hours 37 mins
    page created by soren2004 on Feb 24 2014 8:12 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

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