2 miles
130 ft
-939 ft
Avg time

Tom`s Thumb Details

  • Riding area
    McDowell Mountain
    Fountain Hills, Arizona
  • Difficulty rating
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    DH, AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Double Black Diamond
  • Physical rating
  • Global Ranking

This is the shortest/steepest way to ascend/descend the McDowell mountain ridge. If you choose to climb this, you're looking at 1 to 1.5 miles of hike-a-bike, depending on your tolerance for mounting up for short distance efforts. The trail is more appropriate as a descent, though it is by no means easy. What makes it tough are the too-tight switchbacks and the kitty litter trail surface. Rocks are not much of an issue. The trail is heavily hiked, especially on weekends, and the trail is not generally wide enough for comfortable passage.

Access Info

Tom's Thumb trailhead--this leads to the climb. To access the descent (w/o the climb), climb the Tom's Thumb trail on the W side of the ridge, most likely from the Gateway trailhead.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Tom`s Thumb mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -809 ft
  • Altitude min
    2,801 ft
  • Altitude max
    3,684 ft
  • Altitude start
    3,610 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,801 ft
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    918 ft
  • Distance down
    1 miles
  • Distance flat
    188 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
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Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to tom-s-thumb-22984 trailhead (33.679140, -111.804020)
update trails status or condition

Tom`s Thumb Trail Reports

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more »
22 |
Mar 30, 2018 @ 1:32pm
Mar 30, 2018
Tom`s Thumb, Scottsdale
22 |
Mar 30, 2018 @ 1:32pm
Mar 30, 2018
Tom`s Thumb, Scottsdale
58 |
Apr 23, 2017 @ 4:28pm
Apr 23, 2017
Tom`s Thumb, Fountain Hills
48 |
Apr 23, 2017 @ 4:28pm
Apr 23, 2017
Tom`s Thumb, Fountain Hills

Routes with this trail

McDowell Madness
47 miles
AES: McDowell Mtns Long 2015 (Defunct) race
63 miles

1 Review & Comments

  • + 1
flag Scooter1969 (Apr 23, 2017 at 16:52)
 So I read the TrailForks description of this trail, and we decided to ride it any way. OK - best description I can relay is HUMBLING. Yes the trail was packed with hikers, but that did not affect me at all - only challenges I had were physics and gravity. Make no mistake - THIS IS ABOUT AS STRAIGHT UP AS YOU CAN GET WITHOUT AN ELEVATOR!. Steep - YES groomed trail YES (dusty with kitty litter type crushed granite all over narrow - YES; hikers - YES (Lots of them - EVERYONE ONE OF THEM WAS SUPER COOL AND SUPPORTIVE!!); other MTB'ers - JUST ONE NUT (going up for his 3rd time that day!). To say we did it, worth it I guess, no plans to ever do again and knowing then what I know now, I probably would not have gone up..... +probably ;-D

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