Lookout Trail Highpoint • McDowell Mountains
• McDowell Sonoran Preserve
• Maricopa County

Toms Thumb (it officially has no apostrophe)

More big rocks. My summit today is the gently-rounded hump seen to the right

Looking south. Troon Mountain is visible in the gunsight

Another big rock stickout

That's Toms Thumb

The top

Toms Thumb again from the top

The rockpile on top

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Prominence Peaks


Date: May 25, 2017 • Elevation: 3,949 feet • Prominence: 335 feet • Distance: 4.8 miles • Time: 2 hours • Gain: 1,350 feet • Conditions: Warm

Today's destination was an unnamed summit south of Toms Thumb in the McDowell Mountains. The Lookout Trail bypasses this summit, so that's where it gets its unofficial name.

I have not parked at the Toms Thumb Trailhead since 2011. Back then, its was just a dirt patch where you parked wherever possible. Since then, the city created a paved access route and a couple nice parking lots, plus a ramada with restrooms and drinking water. I arrived here about 7 a.m., the day warm already, but not too uncomfortable.

I followed Toms Thumb Trail up into the hills, admiring all the rocks. In about 45 minutes, I got to a saddle slightly south of where a side trail branches off to East End, the range highpoint, and Toms Thumb, the famous pillar on the ridgeline. I continued up this trail until I was south of Toms Thumb. I then found the Lookout Trail.

I followed this trail about a quarter mile, leaving it near one bump along the ridge. Sighting back, I saw the real top, and it was an easy task to climb through the low vegetation to get to the top. Snakes were on my mind, but I saw none. I was aware of bees too, but encountered none.

The top is nothing special, so I tagged it, took a few photos, drank water, and started back down. It was starting to warm up and I wanted to be moving quickly.

I followed the exact same route back out. There was a steady stream of hikers today. One woman was singing as she hiked. Lots of dogs too.

Near the ramada at the trailhead, people were warning me of a rattlesnake who was in the trail. However, when I got to the ramada, mister snakey had slithered off into the brush. I sat in the shade of the ramada and drank a lot of water. I had been out for two hours and it was about 90 degrees now.

I got what I came for: a workout, the views and some images.

(c) 2017 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.