Celebrate the opening of Tom’s Thumb Trailhead with four days of events in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Oct. 12, 2012
Contact: Parks and Recreation Manager Liz Hildenbrand, 480-312-2778
Celebrate the opening of Tom’s Thumb Trailhead
with four days of events in McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Citizen’s have a new way to access the scenic McDowell Sonoran Preserve with the opening of Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, located three miles south of Dynamite Boulevard on 128th Street.
This new amenity lets you access the northern reaches of the McDowell Mountains through five miles of new multi-use trails, including the Marcus Landslide Interpretive Trail.
A long weekend of events is planned Oct. 18-21 to celebrate the trailhead’s completion:
- You’re invited to join Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and members of the City Council for a free breakfast, remarks and a ribbon cutting at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18.
- A one-hour trail ride for horseback riders starts at the trailhead at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 19, led by McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Stewards.
- The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will host a day-long celebration at the trailhead beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. Activities include volunteer-led hikes around the area, mountain climbing demonstrations and a scavenger hunt with prizes.
- Join Conservancy Stewards as they lead a mountain bike ride from the Tom's Thumb Trailhead at 7:45 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. The ride features a five-mile loop around the scenic Marcus Landslide area for beginners and intermediate riders. Helmets and water bottles/hydration pack are mandatory.
The Tom’s Thumb trailhead features parking for 200 cars and 10 horse trailers, shade ramadas and restrooms. Water is not available at the trailhead due to its isolated location.
The trailhead provides new and expanded access to several unique regions of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and the county’s nearby McDowell Mountain Regional Park.
Hikers on the new Marcus Landslide Trail will be treated to a geologic wonderland of tilted rocks and immense boulders …. Sentinels that testify to a massive landslide that shaped this area roughly 500,000 years ago.
Informational signs along the trail are being provided through a generous gift from the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. The signs will recount the region’s geologic history, the landslide and its impact on the area today.
Another scenic hike departs the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead heading southwest. The Tom’s Thumb Trail features a steep, 800-foot vertical climb to a ridgeline below East End Peak, the highest point in the preserve.
You can get a virtual tour of the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead area and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve’s southern mountains by viewing videos recently added to the city’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/scottsdaleazgov.
You can also view the “Wings over the Preserve” videos on Scottsdale’s CityCable Channel 11 Sundays in October at 1:30, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Please note: The Tom’s Thumb Trailhead and access along 128th Street will be closed Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 15-17, to complete road improvements supporting the project.
Trailhead map and directions
The trailhead is located at 23015 N. 128th Street.
From the south, take Pima Road north to Happy Valley Road east for about 4.25 miles, turn right (east) onto Ranch Gate Road, turn right (south) onto 128th Street, and travel for one mile to Tom’s Thumb Trailhead.
From the north, take Pima Road south to Dynamite Road / Rio Verde Drive and turn left (east). Turn right on 128th Street and travel three miles south to Tom's Thumb Trailhead.