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The Lookout from Tom's Thumb North
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mini location map2021-01-02
19 by photographer avatarDarthStiller
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The Lookout from Tom's Thumb NorthPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 02 2021
DarthStiller
Hiking11.11 Miles 3,100 AEG
Hiking11.11 Miles   5 Hrs   44 Mns   1.94 mph
3,100 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I did this hike once before, 11 years ago. At that time the trailhead wasn't developed at all. It's been so long since I've been to this trailhead, I forgot that it's been developed, complete with the dreaded timed gate that won't allow anyone to hike before sunrise. I ended up waiting over a half hour at the gate once I arrived. Once I got to my parking space, I got out of the car and saw dozens of cars behind me on their way to their parking spots :o .

The foot traffic in this area has increased substantially since my first visit. I was quickly able to get away from the intial crowd and passed a few people on the way up Tom's Thumb :DANCE: . The ascent up this trail was probably the fastest I hiked the whole day. the trail here is very smooth and not at all rocky. I've noticed that the really rocky trails slow me down way more than the steepness of a trail. Once I was past the saddle heading west on the Tom's Thumb Trail, most of the crowd was gone. the morning sunlight hitting the top of the mountains up there gave the best views and pics of the day.

I got to the Lookout quickly, took the obligatory pics, and headed back down to do the loop around it (Tom's Thumb, Windgate Pass, and East End). heading downhill on Tom's Thumb to the Windgate Pass Trail took a while. Steep, loose, and rocky is no way to spend most of your time hiking, especially downhill.

Heading uphill on Windgate I felt like I picked my pace up a bit. The first glance at Windgate Pass seemed so far away, but it didn't take long to get there and past. Foot traffic picked up on this trail.

Heading up on the East End Trail was fun. It was loose, but hiking that uphill seems to be easier than downhill. Saw only 5 or 6 other hikers on this trail. The one group was about 4 guys in their 20s who had a lot of questions about if they could hike a loop back to Tom's Thumb TH. I gave them directions and told them the mileage and AEG involved. They seemed undaunted, and had little water. The weather was cool enough for that not to be the issue it would normally be.

The hike down to the TH from the saddle was the most crowded, a true ant trail. Stopped frequently to let the uphill hikers by, and also allow trailrunners to pass. Most of the hikers I encountered all day had masks on they put up as we hiked. This section of the hike has significantly fewer of them. :-k Hiking downhill on this trail was much easier than I expected, again mainly due to how smooth the trail is. My knees hurt a bit, but that's a normal part of age. Overall, this hike didn't seem harder at all from what it was 11 years ago. :y:
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