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Toms Thumb-Windgate-Windmill-East End - MSP, AZ
mini location map2018-10-26
11 by photographer avatarKBKB
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Toms Thumb-Windgate-Windmill-East End - MSP, AZ 
Toms Thumb-Windgate-Windmill-East End - MSP, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 26 2018
KBKB
Hiking10.44 Miles 3,186 AEG
Hiking10.44 Miles
3,186 ft AEG      40 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linda and Kathy joined me for Friday's hike. Starting from Tom's Thumb Trailhead, we started off on the Lost Wall Loop, but extended the loop by turning left (instead of right which goes directly back to the TH). This took us to the Scottsdale side of the McDowells. We then turned onto Windgate, went over the pass and down to Windmill. A short hike on Windmill delivered us to East End Trail, where we (slowly) made our way back up again. On the way back down Tom's Thumb Trail, we hit most of the overlooks along the way since this was Kathy's first time hiking this area.

Linda, who is a Preserve Steward, brought her saw along and pruned a downed tree which was projecting a branch out into the Trail on the Scottsdale side. (I moved the branch that she cut off. Kathy did one too.)

We met up with Anika again, though she was hiking this time. (Anika is a phenomenal trail runner. I don't actually know the correct spelling of her name; I'm just guessing.)

We saw a bunch of other hikers too when we hit Tom's Thumb Trail on the way back. Up to that point, we hadn't seen that many people during the day.

Edit/update:

One thing I forgot to mention is the condition of the trails...

The climber's access trail leading to the ridge NNW of Tom's Thumb is quite eroded in spots. Despite a fairly good familiarity with this trail, I lost my way twice. It sort of felt like doing it back when it was new when it was difficult to follow.

Tom's Thumb Trail on the Scottsdale side seemed rockier than I remember. I don't do this section often, however, maybe once or twice per year. I don't have a clear recollection of its condition when I last did it in July. Tom's Thumb Trail on east side is also eroded in spots, but descending it didn't feel any harder than normal. In fact, it may have been easier than normal due to the water scouring off the loose stuff that's normally slippery underfoot.

East End is somewhat eroded, but then it always is. I thought it was fine.

Windgate Pass Trail and Windmill Trail were both in pretty good shape.
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