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Thimble Peak, AZ

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Guide 45 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson N
4.6 of 5 by 14
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,730 feet
Elevation Gain 2,375 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 22.38
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Yes
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6  2019-01-12 clayncallaway
2  2018-04-17 Pivo
10  2018-03-11 friendofThunderg
5  2018-03-10 JuanJaimeiii
7  2018-03-10 fricknaley
2  2018-02-24 jladderud
4  2017-12-23 Peter_Medal
16  2017-01-29 Pivo
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Author hans_schenk
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age ?
Location Tucson, AZ
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Preferred   Oct, Nov, Feb, Mar → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:07am - 6:28pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Summit a spire
by hans_schenk

Note: Class 4, a fall may be fatal.

This is the back way to the peak, which has been described as the easiest way for hikers. It is also the shortest. Follow the old road heading toward Sycamore Reservoir. You will follow this road for .8 mile ntil you reach a saddle. At this point the road continues, but the way is barred because they are trying to revegetate the road. A trail parallels the road and advertises the way to sycamore reservoir.

Follow the trail into the valley for 1 mile until you get to a trail intersection. There is an old sign that points the way you came and says "Parking 1 mile". Do not follow the trail to the left, it heads to Sycamore Reservoir dam which is about 100 feet down the trail. If you do follow this path, just turn around and go the other way. Instead, take the right fork and follow it along the creek bottom for about .6 mile until you see a fork to the left marked by a big cairn in the middle of the trail. This is a short cut to Bear Canyon trail. If you miss it, you will come to another signed fork in the trail in .5 mile. Follow the signage towards Bear Canyon. The shortcut will rise out of the valley and meet up with the Bear Canyon trail in .6 mile. Note where the shortcut comes out on the trail so as to not miss it on the way home.

Follow the Bear Canyon trail for about 3/4 to 1 mile until you get to Thimble Flat. This is easy to tell, because it is a flat grassy meadow with a good view of Bear Canyon and of Thimble Peak. At Thimble Flat, a cairned trail forks to the right. Take this trail. This trail will eventually lead to the edge of a precipice and peter out, but pay close attention because there is a small cairn in the grass and a faint trail forking to the right after about 100 feet of being on this trail. Take this new cairned trail and follow it all the way to the base of the rock that is Thimble Peak. The trail is faint and follows the edge of a deep gulley until it finally rises to climb the final hill beneath Thimble Peak.

There are two summits, the north and south peaks, separated by a large chimney like gulley. The north peak can be fourth-classed up a gulley with a couple hard moves for non-rock-climbers. But this peak is 10 ft lower than the other. The south peak can be climbed by scrambling to the west side and up the chimney-like gulley. Again, there are a couple of hard moves required. Once you get up as far as you can go without seriously thinking of dying, there will be a 10 foot orange slightly overhanging wall on your right with a bolt in the middle of it. To the right is an arete with a small triangular shaped ledge one can traverse to. The best option is to come with a rope and meager rack and climb straight up the orange wall. Up above there is one rappel bolt to get back down. Apparently some folks traverse to the ledge and into a deep crack and then up. This way is really exposed and I don't recommend doing it without a helmet, rope, and protection. Return the same way and enjoy your climb to Thimble Peak!

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.

2003-02-08 hans_schenk
  • sub-region related
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 13 deeper Triplog Reviews
Thimble Peak
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Carrie and I left the pups at home to do Thimble today. We thought the hike was only going to be 10 miles, but that was because someone was looking at the description for Thimble from another trailhead and somebody else forgot how many miles it was the last time they did it. Anyways, we committed to the longer day and it turned out fantastic.

We beat the crowds to Seven Falls and the hike up canyon was great. It is hard to beat that area when water is flowing. From the falls we started the climb towards the intersection with the official route for Thimble Peak. The final push to the summit smoked me a little, but the little bit of extra work to get to Thimble was worth it. A nice summit with some great views! Had the ladder not had a top rung that I initially could not see, I may not have been able to do it and actually almost skipped the final climb due to still not entirely trusting my shoulder, but it proved pretty easy once Carrie pointed out the additional rung and I was up in no time. The hike down was quick a part from a quick stop at a scenic little cascade in Bear. That canyon was nothing short of spectacular today with the running water and dramatic clouds. Seven Falls was a zoo by the time we passed by there a second time and the trail was pretty crowded, but we knew that was coming and just pushed on to the trailhead. In the end, A nice quick big mile day today and not entirely by design, but it turned out perfectly and I left very impressed with the area.

Note: The AEG seems a little high, but it is out of Route Scout and it was "synced," so not entirely sure what is going o there.

Thimble Peak
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i had kinda been itching to check out the thimble again and JJ mentioned it on our last hike so it seemed like a good chance to visit again. route out there is very easy to follow now. top notch views as always and the weather was as nice as could possibly be. nice to see a little water flowing in the crick. ha

thanks for coming down and roaming around JJ. good times :DANCE:
Thimble Peak
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I had to head to our southern Arizona yard on Tuesday, so I ended up camping out Tuesday night in Tucson so I could get a good hike in. I was going to camp right by the trailhead, but there was a whole troop of rednecks there when I pulled in about 7:30 so I kept going. I ended up camping up on Incinerator Ridge, oddly enough I happened upon a nice campsite that I had been at with my wife some 16 years earlier. Pretty chilly up at 8000', there was a good wind going most of the night but I slept pretty well. Got started at the trailhead about 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Everything is really green out here, you can tell the monsoon season has been good to the mountain. The trail is pretty overgrown from the Sycamore Reservoir on, Bear Canyon wasn't too bad, but the 'trail' over to the Thimble is really overgrown. I would strongly recommend having a GPS route if you are going to do this one anytime soon. There was a decent use trail to follow, but the grasses were so grown it it could be hard to find at time. I ended up getting off track quite a few times, but for the most part it is hard to go too far off course. I made it over to the Thimble and scrambled up to the first big rock shelf. I skipped the climb to the very top, it looked doable, but I was a bit dubious being solo and having seen no one on the trails. Awesome views all around for sure. Made it back to the van before one so I could head back in to town for a quick lunch and the usual drive home. Fun hike, I really like the Reservoir area.

No big shows, but many things in bloom here and there. Grasses of course, Fern Acacaia, a few Penstemons, and Fleabane Daisy
Thimble Peak
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I did the Seven Falls hike and Sabino Canyon tram ride quite a few times as a kid, but hadn't been back in forever. This looked like a good reintroduction to both. The original plan was Bear to Sabino, but't happen...

The Phoneline Trail was entirely shaded and a nice warm-up. We had lofty views all the way to the East Fork Trail, with pretty minimal effort compared to other canyons in the Catalinas. Surprisingly, the East Fork was where we did most of our gain for the day - this section must be amazing on the northbound Arizona Trail. Sycamore Reservoir was a nice little detour; I'm curious what it looks like during other seasons.

Thimble Peak, our second detour, was well worth the steep/scrubby little hike to get there. Getting introduced to class 4 climbing sounds fun, but I figured that with >14 miles in my feet, it would best be saved for another time. At the base, we still had views worthy of inclusion with Spud Rock, Kimball and Wrightson.

I was a zombie most of the way down Bear Canyon, but there was water everywhere, some deer, and of course, the falls. The sun in our eyes led to some embarrassing route-finding issues, but as the sun went down it was quite pleasant. I wasn't really in the mood for 1.5 more miles once we got back to the TH, but we survived and saw another deer on the way.

Note to self: bring a filter on future hikes of this size

PS- my first GPS route! Hopefully the triplog/route automatic link works ok. You still have to enter mileage/AEG/time manually, right?
Thimble Peak
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Bear 7 Thimble Sabino
Great day in the Catalinas. It was still raining off-and-on after midnight Friday (and apparently some of this group were still awake for some reason :roll: ) but in the morning the stream gauges were around 100cfs and seemed passable. The clouds shrouded the mountains, and ice coated my windshield, but clear skies illuminated the valley.

We started as a group of 5, but Mark was under the weather and hiking in cold floodwater wasn't in his best interest. Carol similarly decided the flooding wasn't all that desirable, and both turned back at various stages.

Seven Falls was awesome, and half the joy was that there were no other people who had any interest in hiking in snowmelt flood waters to get there. (The guy in jeans who made one crossing before turning back did not receive any judgemental comments from me :whistle: )

Having never hiked any of this before, I had proposed the Bear Sabino Loop with a side trip to Hutch or Thimble. Belinda voted on Thimble and I was surprised how cool of a peak it is. While climbing the chimney we found out that not only smoke rises, and it left all of us with a bad taste in our mouths.

From Thimble we trudged through the little remaining snow and down into East Sabino. We took a break at the Sabino junction and were happy to have decided not to go to Hutch's since there would be numerous additional deep, cold crossings with the ample flow in the creek.

On the return, Mike and Belinda opted for the Phone Line Trail to keep their feet dry. I had hiked it a week ago and decided to head down and play in the water along the road. The last tram left shortly after I started, leaving the road peaceful and quiet with only a handful of runners along the way.

This was a great loop. It would be nice in normal weather, but was extra special with the snow and runoff. After drying off and warming up we devoured a delicious Italian dinner before heading our separate ways.

Apparently I need to add more pineapple to my diet.
Thimble Peak
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dave and i were able to throw together a quick plan for a hike on what turned out to be a magnificent day in the catalinas.

i was a little worried about my knee but had no major issues. it was the best to be up on thimble on such a wild weather day, made it even that much sweeter.

cottonwoods are still green as could be. saw 3 deer, a wee little denny and a nice blacktail.

thanks for joining me dave, excellent day :y:
Thimble Peak
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Nick and I took advantage of an incredible weather day to do a great shuttle hike from Gordon Hirabashi TH to Sabino Canyon TH. Along the way we did the turnoff hike to Thimble Peak and went down Bear Canyon past Seven Falls and back over to the Sabino parking lot.

Good wildlife day ... 3 whitetail deer, a desert tortoise, and a blacktail rattlesnake that had this yellow/green color.

Thimble Peak was incredible. A little climb at the end but totally doable, and awesome views up top. Signed the register, braved the cold wind and headed back down to the Bear Canyon Trail.

We had great cloud almost the entire day, a light breeze and temps that were to die for. We did have a little rain on us a couple of miles above Seven Falls, but by the time we stopped to get out our rain gear the rain petered out.
Thimble Peak
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sometimes i finally do a hike that's been on my list forever and when i'm done i just think "nick, my boy, you are a fool. what took you so long?". this hike definitely fits in that category. it has everything that makes me happy. in addition to the sensational views, i get to ramble around in sabino happy place. :y:

i'll be back for this one again. probably soon. i'll quit being a fool about this hike, and likely instead be a fool about another one :sl:
Thimble Peak
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It was a great day to be out in the Catalinas! Early in the morning it was cold and cloudy, but that wore off and the sun came out and smiled on us. The hike was beautiful - there was a nice contrast between the grasses and the rocks. The final ascent up to the top of the Thimble was a bit of a scramble (and I love scrambles!). I'm glad we had one person there that had done this hike before - it was essential. The scramble was a bit steep and a wee bit difficult for those of us under 5'9" - some of the hand and foot holds were quite far away. There wasn't any exposure, though. The most that someone would've fallen was about six feet. All in all, a great day to be out there. We spent a full hour at the top (not accounted for in my hiking time), taking it all in. Oh, I should also note that we took a shortcut; bcowan12 will be posting the gps route within a few days.
Thimble Peak
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Used the back way to the peak to get there, and finished by going down bear canyon and past 7 falls to end with a slightly longer hike.
The hike to thimble flat isnt very bad at all and is actually very gentle, seeing as your start from a fairly high elevation and dont gain or loose much distance.
Hiking to the actual thimble though proves to be quite a challenge. Although there are cairns marking part of the hike, they dont seem to follow any trail at all and seem to disapear pretty early on. The hike from thimble flat to the thimble took me an hour in either direction (which felt like forever seeing as your not actually going that far). If their was an actuall trail to the thimble im sure this would be alot more popular hike, but bushwacking to the peak is a pain and i almost turned back several times on my way too it. I would say its actually much harder to get to it, then to get on it.

Permit $$

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Gordon Hirabiyashi Trailhead
From Tucson take the Catalina Highway up into the mountains. Right around milepost 8 is the signed lefthand turn off for the Gordon Hirabiyashi Campground. Take a left here and drive through the campsites to the end of a smooth gravel road. There is a small roundabout with multiple parking spots for dayhikers.
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