Lookout Mountain – Phoenix Mountain Preserve: Another regional park surrounded by the City of Phoenix in the north of the Valley, Lookout Mountain is a hike that offers views, more seclusion without the serious butt workout the first 4 hikes will offer (not saying your butt won’t still appreciate the warm up). Which is forgivable since they don’t live here so what do they know? Camelback Mountain. You will hike about a 2,500 foot elevation gain in this northern area of the McDowell Mountains. Tom’s Thumb East End Loop-McDowell Sonoran Preserve: This hike is a challenging, 11-mile loop that includes East End, Windgate Pass, and Tom’s Thumb trails found within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in the Northeast Valley of the Phoenix Metro Area. Tom’s Thumb is a super fun, popular hike in the Scottsdale McDowell Mountain Sonoran Preserve. If we haven’t stressed the point sufficiently, Camelback Mountain is a difficult hike. Tom's Thumb is a small spire of rock that is easily visible from most of Scottsdale. There are a couple ways to venture into the area but I like taking Dutchman’s Trail #104 (ample parking BTW at First Water Trail head) to Bull Pass Trail #129 where you will climb about 1,100 ft in just over 1 mile. Camelback Mountain. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. There are two trail options - … The “thumb” is named after a prolific and loved local rock climber, Tom Kreuser. The Tom’s Thumb Trail is accessible from multiple trailheads in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. by justroughinit | Nov 7, 2016 | Arizona, Hiking, Phoenix Hiking | 0 comments. Learn more. Tom’s Thumb. On a clear day, you can see Camelback Mountain that is roughly 14 miles away to the south. Learn more. It's a challenging hike that will get your heart pumping for sure, but the views from the top are more than worth it. While not as scenic as the other trails on this list, the 1,100 ft elevation gain is guaranteed to give you some 360 degree views of the entire surrounding Phoenix Metro area. 1. When we looked up the trailhead on google maps it didn’t send us to the main area. The cheapest way to get from Toms River to Camelback Mountain costs only $133, and the quickest way takes just 8¼ hours. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. It starts on a well-trodden trail with little elevation gain. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Both are rated extremely difficult. There are 3 climbing trails to climb this mountain. Grand canyon national park only a short drive to the north. Once you get away from the busier Tom’s Thumb Trail, the East End trail is a seldom-used section of the hike that offers great solitude, and the route crosses one of the few springs in the Preserve. Learn more. Piestewa Peak is a popular spot for locals who do not want to drive or hike for hours to fit in a good workout, so be prepared to encounter some crowds if you visit on a weekend. Black Top Mesa has amazing views, stream crossings, mountain ascents (over 2,300ft gain), wildflowers, panorama galore, grasslands, challenge and seclusion. I did some research and kept hearing about the beautiful McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Book your tickets online for Camelback Mountain, Phoenix: See 2,502 reviews, articles, and 1,345 photos of Camelback Mountain, ranked No.6 on Tripadvisor among 228 attractions in Phoenix. Learn more. Plus, South Mountain is more centrally located that the other hikes listed here. Afraid of heights? Photo Credit: Take A Hike Arizona Tom’s Thumb. Kevin Kaminski While both hikes have the same hike rating, Cholla is known as being slightly easier. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox. Your email address will not be published. First Stage of Grand Canyon Beautification Project Complete, 5 Things You Need to Know About Havasupai Falls, 7 Things to Know Before Hiking Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. It takes about an 1.5 hours round-trip for hikers in good physical condition. Anyway, here are 5 butt kicking trails in the Phoenix area that are a good challenge, have killer views (not literally) and a real sense that you are hiking in a very unique desert environment, one that only the Sonoran Desert can offer. Two difficult trails ascend 1,420 feet to a summit resembling the hump of a camel's back, affording 360-degree views of the surrounding city. At the top, they’re rewarded with panoramic city views that deliver well-deserved bragging rights for … Here are some things you need to know. You get it all – views, steepness, serious challenge, elevation gain and some areas that are not for the faint of heart. The infamous “thumb” can be seen from most places in the valley – a white burst of rock jutting skyward out of the desert ridgeline. Photo: Kevin KaminskiWhether you turn around at the rock basin, make it to the Flatiron Summit, or venture all the way to the top of Superstition Peak, you will not be disappointed by the ever changing rock formations, beautiful views, and rigorous workout! We have a “Hiking Forecast” on the local news every morning, cuz that is what we do from October through April in Phoenix – hike! Experienced explorers like the cardio workout they get from ascending over 1,300 feet in just 2.5 miles. We are so not responsible for giving some minimal and not very specific advice and then you go out and get eaten by a squirrel or whatever impending danger you may encounter out in the wilderness. It’s a popular spot for hikers, rock climbers, and tourists, so make sure you do the hike as early as possible, with sunrise being the sweet spot. It's a challenging hike that will get your heart pumping for sure, but the views from the top are more than worth it. Live in the area - Mountain Creek if you are into rails and tricks. The Cholla Trail is 1.5 miles one way to the mountain summit. The Camelback Mountain hike is one of the most popular hikes in Phoenix. There are over 300 rescues every year on Camelback, please don’t let yourself be one of them! Please explore responsibly! Before becoming one of the most popular hiking spots in Phoenix the land of granite and sandstone belonged to the Hohokam Indians because they found a cave where they presumed this tribe was used as a sacred site. It sits on a ridgeline north of Lookout Mountain and sticks out like a sore thumb from the semi-jagged horizon line. After your climbing you are rewarded with the views of the surrounding area, including the Four peaks, Piestewa Peak, and Camelback mountain. Photo: Kevin KaminskiWhether you've only visited Phoenix or you're a long-time local, you must've seen Camelback Mountain - it's pretty hard to miss. -Camelback Mountain is a great hike!-Please start early, my brother and I started at 5:30am and finished in a couple hours.-If you don't start early, you'll end up having to pass or walk behind a good number of hikers, so start early!-I did the Cholla Trail, which offers a great challenge, but not extremely tough. Photo: Kevin Kaminski There are great views along the way and at the top, and the area around Tom's Thumb itself is like a giant rock garden. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a7c2343ebbfaf27831f47f66c8286d0d" );document.getElementById("d7a4bde038").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); The weather has FINALLY cooled down and hiking season is now here in Phoenix! Phoenix is one of the very best cities in the country for hiking with tons of trails that are easily accessible from the metropolitan area. Camelback Mountain has been one of Phoenix Arizona's most historical landmarks since the 1900s. Your email address will not be published. 2. Tom’s Thumb was one of the first hikes Case and I did when we got to Arizona for Spring Training. + Save to a List. Did I mention the parking is oh so ample?!! Show us by creating an adventure. Follow the trail as it goes through large boulders on its way to the summit of Tom’s Thumb. Like to continue hiking in the future? The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. Hiking Camelback. Photo: Kevin Kaminski Whether you've only visited Phoenix or you're a long-time local, you must've seen Camelback Mountain - it's pretty hard to miss. Tom's Thumb stays visible most of the hike, so it is easy to set your bearings in relation to your goal. Tom’s Thumb East End Loop-McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Two difficult trailheads will bring you up 1,420 feet to a summit resembling the hump of a camel’s back, where you’ll have amazing 360-degree views of the city. Alta Trail-South Mountain Regional Park: This trail is considered one of the most challenging trails within South Mountain Park, but the steep climb to the ridge line rewards the hiker with a striking view of the desert landscape below. By: This 1 mile trail carries with it a 500 ft climb with some trails in the vicinity to add for a longer hike. Don’t want to hike it alone? We had tackled Camelback when we lived in Mesa a few years ago, but I was pretty set on expanding my hiking horizons this time around.. The last 1/2 mile climb to the mesa (an unmarked leading up the mesa) is so worth the rather rocky and less trodden path with a completely changed landscape of grasslands, prickly pear cacti and breath taking views for Weaver’s Needle and 360 degree panorama of awesomeness. I have hiked out to the Thumb, over to the Lookout and back to the trailhead, a 5.9 mile round trip hike, and from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead to the Gateway Trailhead, a 7.5 mile one way hike in the past. Two thumbs up for Tom’s Thumb Trail. Two hiking trails ascend to the peak of the Camelback Mountain at elevation of 1280 feet. You will be so glad you did it! If you're lucky, you may get to watch some rock climbers practicing their art here. Don't see your favorite Phoenix hike on The Outbound? Required fields are marked *. Become a Camelback Climber and view times of the fastest climbers in Phoenix. Cholla Trail is an excellent choice for a moderate to somewhat difficult hike on the Camelback Mountain hiking trails! Located just 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix, Camelback Mountain is one of Phoenix's best hikes and most popular attractions for thousands of visiting hikers each year. Just peruse some of the photos from this hike and from the original Tom's Thumb hike on … From the northern trailhead it is only a thousand foot climb over two miles, relatively easy compared to Camelback or Flatiron. Find the travel option that best suits you. apparently this is a recent edition to the trails here and we weren't disappointed. But where should you hike? Whether you live here or are just visiting the Valley, this summit hike offers some of … The Echo Canyon hike is the more rugged of the two and requires steep climbs and scrambling over large rocks. Speedster or not, go ahead scroll down & post your time, as just reaching the summit is a heck of an accomplishment – (prove it with merchandise).Click here for information or pictures of the Echo Canyon and Cholla trails. Within the vast park they provide opportunities to bike, ride horses, and hike. The Tom’s Thumb Trail is a 5 mile out, 5 mile back, extremely difficult, 10 mile round trip hike. The most iconic of any of the rock features is Tom's Thumb, a 200' granite dome perched high on the ridgeline above downtown Scottsdale, and one of the highest points in the range. This is also a good hike if you need a quick workout without all the people. The 4.5 mile Alta Trail begins directly across the road from the parking area, located at the 2.5 mile marker of San Juan Road. Pick Up Locations Pick up from Phoenix/Scottsdale hotel partners, VRBO's and personal residences is included in the cost of the tour. 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