Tom's Thumb, McDowell Mountains
A great little hike with towering views over Scottsdale.

 

This is a short-but-steep hike to a landmark that's easily seen from Scottsdale.  The views from the Tom's Thumb area are spectacular!

Getting there:

From Rio Verde Road, head south on 128th Street, which is still a dirt road at the time of this writing.  This road is very rough in spots, and you're better off with a four-wheel-drive and/or high-ground clearance vehicle.  128th Street goes directly south towards the mountains, and eventually dead-ends at Paraiso Drive, another dirt road.  Turn right on Paraiso and go west.  You'll go over a hill and around a big curve.  Soon you'll see another dirt road heading south towards a large house (at the time of this writing, there was just one house.  There may be more now).  This is 126th Street.  Turn left and go south until the road ends.  The trail begins where the road ends, and it heads straight south, then makes a sharp left (east) into a wash.  The trail continues on through the wash, mostly on the left side.  Sometimes the path is hard to find, but if you walk uphill along the wash, you'll probably catch a glimpse of it.  Of course, you shouldn't walk through the wash during or after a rain, because of the danger of flash flooding.

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