On a lovely sunny Arizona Sunday afternoon in January I had the good pleasure of inviting along an equally adventurous/energetic friend from Michigan on my foray exploration of the popular Tom's Thumb trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve near Scottsdale.
Having lived here for 8 years, I was once again surprised that this was never on my radar. I suppose I always headed to the Superstition wilderness, Sedona, Payson or Prescott back in the mid 90s to early 2000s.
This hike was simply spectacular. We didn't have a lot of time to work with and my All Trails app told me this would be a heavily trafficked "moderate" 4 mile out-and-back with 1,236 feet elevation. We had about 2 hours to knock this one out and be back for dinner with our group and it took every bit of an hour and a half to make it to Tom's Thumb and explore the rock face for a bit. On the way down, we simply ran. We ran and ran carefully slowing down each time we came to yet another switchback. There must have been dozens!
The scenery all around us was simply breathtaking! But be sure to pack in your own water - nothing available even down at the trailhead (though they do have a bathroom).
(Photos from my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge edited in Adobe Lightroom)