Tom's Thumb Hiking Tour


$45 for REI Members

$65 for non-members


  • Fitness level 3 Moderate
  • Skill level 2 Intermediate
  • Group size 15 people

Beloved by locals and admired by adventurers nationwide, the McDowell Mountains offer pristine desert wilderness, invigorating hiking, and unique landscapes. On this intermediate hike to Tom's Thumb, we'll explore the rock formation that gives this trail its name while keeping an eye out for the critters that call this area home. At the top of this steep hike, you'll be rewarded with near 360 degree views of Four Peaks, the Superstition Mountains, and the desert below. Along the way, we'll share some hiking tips and offer insight into the region's history and ecosystem. This hike is perfect for those with a bit of fitness and some sturdy boots, as you'll need to feel comfortable walking on steep and uneven for about 5 miles. We love this hike, and are pretty sure you will too!

  • Explore the beauty of the McDowell Mountains
  • Explore unique desert rock formations only found in the Southwest
  • Hike 5 miles over uneven terrain

What to bring with you


Round-trip distance is 4.5 miles and accumulated elevation gain is 1,100 feet.

Map image of Tom's Thumb Trailhead - McDowell Sonoran Preserve

More directions and information

CLOSED TOED SHOES REQUIRED. There is no water available at Tom's Thumb Trailhead. From N Pima Rd and the Loop 101, take Exit 36 for N Pima Rd and travel 4.8 miles north. Turn right on E Happy Valley Rd for 4.3 miles. Turn right on Ranch Gate Rd and proceed 1.3 miles. Turn right on N 128th St and travel south for 1.5 miles to Tom's Thumb Trailhead. Call 520.477.7344 with any questions day of course.