username
X
password
register help
show related photosets
DESTINATION
Tom's Thumb Loop off Windgate Pass Trail
67 Photosets

2016-03-06  
2016-01-10  
2015-12-25  
2015-12-09  
2015-11-19  
2015-08-27  
2015-05-23  
2015-05-16  
2015-05-09  
2015-05-09  
2015-01-04  
2014-04-26  
2014-01-24  
2013-12-28  
2013-05-10  
2013-05-06  
2013-04-09  
2013-03-25  
2013-03-03  
2013-02-14  
1,  2,  3,  4  
mini location map2013-04-09
34 by photographer avatarMike_Fels
photographer avatar
page 1   2   3
 
Tom's Thumb Loop off Windgate Pass TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2013
Mike_Fels
Hiking17.03 Miles 4,115 AEG
Hiking17.03 Miles   7 Hrs   29 Mns   2.67 mph
4,115 ft AEG   1 Hour   6 Mns Break
 no routes
I got to the entrance of the Gateway TH at about 5:45 and the gates were closed. I didn't see a sign posting what time the gates would open so I drove down the street to another parking lot, which also had another TH. The trip started out just before sunrise. There was a drizzle and total cloud cover. For the first 2-1/2 hours it was either drizzling or sprinkling the entire time. Then I hit the summit by Tom's Thumb and the wind made itself evident. Between the fairly low temperatures and the wind chill it was cold. Me being soaked didn't help. Luckily as soon as I hit the top the sun came out, which made me almost comfortable.

I had done one hike in the McDowells about 4 years ago climbing up to Tom's Thumb from the North. I wasn't impressed in what I saw, except for the view from the top. Today coming in from the West I was impressed, it is much nicer than I thought. Nice canyons, once you get past the mega-mansions dotting the foothills. The trails were in good shape and not muddy in the rain. Well posted. The only reason I had even decided to try a hike here was that a friend had asked me to. Unfortunately he cancelled because of weather the night before. Seeing as I had done all the prep work I figured I would give the hike a try anyway.

The wildflowers were quite good. A good amount of variety. With the lack of sun many were closed on the way up. Lots of rabbits in the foothills. Lots of hawks near the peaks. Some hawks were being very verbal.

I had been surprised that the Tom's Thumb Loop didn't include a visit to Tom's Thumb. This was quickly rectified. Also included was locating and visiting the Ogre's Den and several climbing areas. Very nice scenery at the top with all the large boulders. Interesting formations. Wondered around the top for over an hour before starting down the South side. A person could climb around and search the boulders on top for days finding interesting areas. But the boulders are very rough and almost sharp. Gloves are really needed.

I'm glad I did this hike. I'll definitely try out a few more in the McDowells.
_____________________
help comment issue

end of page marker