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Tom's Thumb TH to Gateway TH, AZ

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Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > Phoenix NE
3.8 of 5 by 4
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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
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Mar, Apr, Feb → 6 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  7:22am - 5:19pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
3 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Tom's Thumb TH to Sunrise TH
0.0 mi away
16.8 mi
3,906 ft
Lost Wall Loop - McDowell Mountains
0.0 mi away
4.0 mi
1,360 ft
The Lookout from Tom
The Lookout from Tom's Thumb North
0.0 mi away
5.1 mi
1,672 ft
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell Mountains
Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell Mountains
0.0 mi away
4.4 mi
1,508 ft
Marcus Landslide Trail - MSP
Marcus Landslide Trail - MSP
0.0 mi away
3.9 mi
550 ft
Mesquite Canyon Trail - MSP
0.1 mi away
0.2 mi
21 ft
Caballo Trail - MSP
Caballo Trail - MSP
0.2 mi away
0.4 mi
52 ft
Feldspar Trail - MSP
0.4 mi away
0.7 mi
5 ft
Rock Knob Trail - MSP / MMRP
Rock Knob Trail - MSP / MMRP
0.4 mi away
1.1 mi
5 ft
East End Peak - MSP
East End Peak - MSP
1.0 mi away
0.3 mi
459 ft
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
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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 are currently open and available at Gateway.

    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
    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. No water at the trailhead! Bathrooms are non-flush.

    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 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
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