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Lost Wall Loop - McDowell Mountains, AZ

Guide 18 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.6 of 5 
no permit
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance One Way 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,809 feet
Elevation Gain 1,098 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,360 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.53
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
11  2020-02-08 Nightstalker
12  2019-11-04 Nate_F
13  2019-01-25
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15  2019-01-11
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9  2018-12-07
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4  2018-12-07
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Hog Heaven Lost Wall Loop - MSP
Page 1,  2
Author cherieb
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 2
Photos 12
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Mar, Feb, Nov, Jan
Sun  5:18am - 7:41pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

This 4 mile loop hike has a lot of wilderness feel for something so close into the Valley of the Sun. Because it arrives on a high ridgeline in the McDowell Mountains it gives some of the best Valley views around.

Begin at the Tom’s Thumb Trail Head and hike about half a mile to the intersection with the Feldspar Trail and then a short distance forward to trail marker TT3 (Waypoint #1 on the associated map). To do the trail counter-clockwise, which some consider better footing on the steeper sections leading up to Lost Wall, turn right/west at this sign on the signed Climber Access Route.

The trail continues across the large wash past an old tank and well (Waypoint #2). Once across the flat wash area begin a slow rising ascent on a low ridge toward the steeper hillside right of Tom’s Thumb. Because the route follows a Climber Access Route and the routes are designed to be minimal list while still keep parties on the designated paths, the occasional use of flagging and cairns are permitted by the City, especially in spots where the trail becomes obscure.

At Waypoint #3 the trail tops out above the climbing crag named Fort McDowell and continues up a broad ridgeline to Waypoint #4 where the access to the climbing crag Half and Half Wall is signed. Continue scrambling uphill through steeper sections and following gullies to the top of the hill and the signed Waypoint#5 which is the access to the climbing crag Lost Wall. If you feel like it scramble to the left across some boulders to arrive at the top of the cliff which drops off under your feet. Be careful not to trip on the rappel bolt anchors at your feet! The views back toward the Tom’s Thumb Trail Head are stunning and the large flat summit makes this a great rest stop.

A short distance further a clear view of the City is achieved (Waypoint #6) and you walk along the ridgeline east southeasterly. Great views are had to the north and to the south. At one point you drop onto the south side and scramble up through some boulders on the trail to reach a point on the ridge line again west of Tom’s Thumb (Waypoint #7). The west side of Tom’s Thumb is less visited than the east by “tourists” so enjoy the views before dropping down to the south again and returning to the ridgeline east of Tom’s Thumb.

At this point you will be reversing what most hikers take as the climb to Tom’s Thumb. Head along the now more crowded and well used trail easterly. Waypoint #8 marks climbing crag signage for Slip and Slide and Waypoint #9 marks signage the intersection with the main official Tom’s Thumb Trail. Turn left/east at this junction and follow past the point Waypoint #10 with signage for Glass Dome.

Waypoint #11 is the intersection with the official City Trail called the East End Trail. Continue northeasterly on the Tom’s Thumb Trail. Waypoint #12 is the intersection with an unmarked Climber Access Route to East End. A looped trail called, Hog Heaven Loop - McDowell Mountains, AZ departs from the Tom’s Thumb Trail at Waypoint #12. For a great 6-mile loop you can combine the Lost Wall Loop hike described herein with the Hog Heaven Loop at this point.

If returning on the Lost Wall Loop to the Tom’s Thumb Trail Head continue on the Tom’s Thumb Trail northerly. You will descend two significant hillside sections with Waypoint #13 marking the Climber Access Route to Gardeners Wall more or less at the bottom of the first steep section. Waypoint #1 is at the bottom of the second steep section and your point of origin for the Loop.

Tom’s Thumb Trail is followed north a short distance to the Tom’s Thumb Trail Head and parking lot.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2014-11-15 cherieb

    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.

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    Map Drive

    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 joebartels on Nov 15 2014 8:30 pm
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