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Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

Tom's Thumb, North Side

3.7 mile trail near Scottsdale, Arizona

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.7 miles / 6.0 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Overview: Tom's Thumb, North Side is about 3.7 miles long and located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Best cross streets to use are Dynamite and 128th St.

Tom's Thumb is the prominent granite bump in the McDowell Mountain preserve. Easily visible from the Scottsdale area, Tom's Thumb Trail from the north side provides some great views of Phoenix as well as looking out toward Four Peaks and Weavers Needle.

The trail is very well manicured, and will be nice hiking except for some steep elevation gains. Following the Tom's Thumb Trail you pass many other trails that go off to climbing areas that I saw several people using so consider those as well if you like to climb. You can also climb Tom's Thumb itself when you get to the top. My trail brought me around in a big loop but having done it I would recommend you do an up-and-back as my return trail was NOT maintained and even steeper and full of loose rock.

Tips: Check out the Ogre's Den off below and west of the Thumb. Made from the rocks at the top shifting and cracking over the years and now has created a shallow natural cave that many people have found and used. There's art on the walls and lots of trinkets people have left that are kind of cool to look at.

Points of Interest



This whole area is under construction/renovation so the parking situation may change. This 130th st leads to a temporary parking lot that feels like you are driving halfway up the mountain. Take a high clearance vehicle for peace of mind on the bumpy road.

Tom's Thumb Trail

Stay on the main trail for a very smooth, well maintained, ascent.

Tom's Thumb

The landmark and namesake.

Ogre's Den

The cave created by the shifting of rocks. Nice respite area with some interesting trinkets to check out.
Pictures in this guide taken by: DesertLife360

A good strong ascent to the top of a very recognizable landmark in the Phoenix valley.
Visited on Feb 27, 2012

by DesertLife360 on May 07, 2012

Tom's Thumb, North Side Trail Map

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I love being outdoors and have taken up Hiking again after being lazy for far too long. My goal is to...

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