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Thumb Peak - Castle Dome Mountains, AZ

Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.5 of 5 
no permit
21 3 0
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,158 feet
Elevation Gain 1,240 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,246 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.33
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
11  2018-03-28 Jim_H
10  2015-12-12 chumley
Author chumley
author avatar Guides 81
Routes 688
Photos 15,667
Trips 1,597 map ( 11,879 miles )
Age 48 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:49am - 7:36pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Thumb your nose at the big eye
by chumley

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Thumb Peak is the second-highest peak in the Castle Dome Mountains and offers excellent views across the entire range and distant views across the entire Kofa NWR and much of southwest Arizona.

Getting to the hike likely takes longer than the hike itself. Check drive directions for details.

To gain this peak, begin at the end of the road near the Big Eye Mine deep in the Kofa Wilderness. Follow the wash upstream about 100 yards as it turns to the right. Turn left and climb out of the main wash on the small ridge above the wash that enters from the left. For the first half mile or so, it is easier to hike on the ridge above the drainage as the footing is flat and the vegetation well-spaced. At the 0.4 mile mark, you approach the main drainage coming down from the mountain above. Stay to the left along a narrow knife ridge and continue up the main drainage to about the 0.75-mile mark.

You may find more success staying out of the drainage, but the side-hill footing can get annoying. Dropping into the drainage is a more direct fall-line climb, but features more brush and occasional catclaw. Pick your poison.

After about 3/4 mile and climbing about 600 feet, you will turn sharply to the left and climb a very steep slope directly to a notch in the ridge. The very imposing cliff face below the summit will be on your left. There is a small spire on the ridge, and you should aim for the obvious notch to the left of it. This section climbs 500 feet over a quarter-mile.

Once on the ridge, cross over to the east side and traverse along the slope to the northeast corner of the peak, where you can scramble the final 100 feet to the summit. There is a short 10-foot climb that some may consider an easy class-4. Exposure is minimal, and if you've made it this far, the climb should be no problem for you. Once on the summit, enjoy the views, sign the register, and head back the way you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2015-12-14 chumley
    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
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Travel on US 95 from Yuma 30 miles north or from Quartzsite 50 miles south to the signed Castle Dome Mine Road (The first two miles are paved and the remainder is well-graded gravel). Proceed 8.5 miles from US95 to an unsigned road that veers off to the right. Reset your odometer and follow this road as it snakes in a predominantly southward heading, passing private property around the 3-mile mark at the Colorado Mine, before turning east around 6 miles. The road crosses many sandy washes and travel is slow but steady.

    At 9.75 miles the road enters a narrow canyon which offers a short technical section that experienced drivers may accomplish in 2wd, but most should not attempt to pass here without 4wd. At the 10 mile mark, the road enters a wash before exiting a half mile later. At the 12.5 mile mark, the road enters the Big Eye Wash where it meanders until the road ends at the Big Eye Mine at the 15-mile mark. This road is surrounded by the Kofa Wilderness and all old side roads are marked closed. Staying on route is not difficult. Driving time from turning off Castle Dome Mine Road will be a minimum of 1 hour.
    page created by chumley on Dec 14 2015 10:43 am
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