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Tom's Thumb

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Deep Freeze T 
Garbonzo Bean T 
Hard Drivin' T 
Hot Line T 
Kreuser's Route T 
Pinto Bean aka Garbanzo Bean Direct T 
Sacred Datura Direct T 
Succubus T 
Treiber's Deception T 
West Corner T 

Tom's Thumb  


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Elevation: 3,000'
Page Views: 11,052
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Anonymous Climber on Feb 21, 2006
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Description 

Tom's Thumb is a prominent 140-foot plug of desert granite that perches atop the McDowell Mountains ridgeline. It is visible from miles in all directions. Originally called "The Dork" by the old time Phoenix climbers, it was rechristened Tom's Thumb in honor of climber Tom Kreuser back in the day.

The rock and the routes on Tom's Thumb are mostly in the excellent range. The harder routes here are some of the best you'll find on any granite crag in the Phoenix area. Because of the slightly burly approach, and the general notion that granite climbing is out of style these days in Phoenix, you're not likely to have to share any routes while visiting the Thumb.

Beautiful, incredibly classic place to climb.

Getting There 

Approach as for Gardener's Wall parking, but pick out a trail through the desert aiming for a drainage leading straight down the hillside from the Thumb. Watch out for snakes in the warm times of the year!

A nice day of moderate climbing can also be done by approaching Gardener's Wall, climbing a route to the top, and then downclimbing off the back and hiking up to Tom's Thumb for more fun!

Climbing Season



Weather station 3.9 miles from here

10 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',2],['5.8',0],['5.9',1],['5.10',3],['5.11',2],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Tom's Thumb:
Garbonzo Bean   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   
Treiber's Deception   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   
Sacred Datura Direct   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   
Succubus   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   
Hot Line   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   
Deep Freeze   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   
Browse More Classics in Tom's Thumb

Featured Route For Tom's Thumb
This is a view of the north face of Tom's Thumb.  You can see the starting box at the left base of the shaded wall.  The climb goes right and up past a tree near the top.

Succubus 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  AZ : Central Arizona : ... : Tom's Thumb
This is a killer line up the entire north face of Tom's Thumb. A treat for the well rounded trad climber. The start, in a box, appears unappealing but the jams are fun. Then undercling right with slick feet to a small right facing corner with a crack, which starts with tips but becomes more secure as you go higher. The short transition from roof to corner is about 10c or harder (I pulled on a piece to get around). The upper crack starts with a short section of wide hands and then becomes a ...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Local Information for Tom's Thumb
Photos of Tom's Thumb Slideshow Add Photo
McDowells
BETA PHOTO: McDowells
A perfect day at the Thumb
BETA PHOTO: A perfect day at the Thumb
Tom Thumb with a climber at the 1st roof of Treibers Deception
BETA PHOTO: Tom Thumb with a climber at the 1st roof of Treibe...
Treiber's Deception
Treiber's Deception
North facing view of Tom's Thumb
North facing view of Tom's Thumb
New trail signage near Tom Thumb directions to Morrell Wall
BETA PHOTO: New trail signage near Tom Thumb directions to Mor...
North face, right side.
BETA PHOTO: North face, right side.
Full moon rise from the new trail to Tom's Thumb after an epic day....pretty sweet to take in Morrell's Wall and Tom's Thumb in perfect conditions in a day!
Full moon rise from the new trail to Tom's Thumb a...
Pano from the top of the Thumb
Pano from the top of the Thumb

Comments on Tom's Thumb Add Comment
Show which comments
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 16, 2009
New access Fund Update:

Update: New Access for North Area of McDowells
In May we reported on the recent success of the Arizona Mountaineering Club (AMC) and local Arizona climbers in working with the City of Scottsdale to open the north area of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to climbing. Part of the climbing management plan requires that climbers use official parking areas and designated trails, which the local climbing community is currently working to establish. The AMC is pleased to report that the new Tomís Thumb trail is now open and can be accessed from a temporary parking area in the general vicinity of Morrell's Parking Lot, where the permanent parking will eventually be located.

For more information on the Tomís Thumb Trail and designated access to the other historic climbing crags in the area, visit the Arizona Mountaineering Club's website.
By ClimbPHX.com
From: Mesa AZ
Dec 3, 2009
Please be aware of the new trails and signs that have been placed in the region. To protect the environment, we ask that travel be restricted to the maintained trails.
Trail Signage will look like this.
Trail Signage will look like this.
By ClimbPHX.com
From: Mesa AZ
May 4, 2010
There is an active hive moving about the rocks just south of the Thumb. - Beware - the bees were moving in a swarm and were aggressive.
By Tradoholic
Sep 25, 2012
It's about an hour hike from the new parking lot to Tom's on the new trail. Might be harder but faster to go to Gardners Wall then scramble up to the Thumb.
By Taylor Bentz
Feb 23, 2014
Hey all, I was on Sucubus (5.10a) today and when I was rapping down I saw a raptor fly out of the alcove on Sacred Datura Direct (5.9). Upon descent, I found indeed there is a raptor nest in Sacred Datura Direct.

I am relatively new to the Phoenix area, but I know every other crag I've climbed at in the US refrains from climbing while and where raptors are nesting. Although I am no expert, it seems to me that all routes right of Treiber's (5.7) and left of Great Compromise (5.9) should be avoided out of good climbing ethic for the time being.

Can somebody who actually knows what they're talking about here weigh in?
By lou
May 20, 2014
Hey Taylor; I saw the falcons a couple weeks ago as well! They are Prairie falcons. Three yrs ago a pair of Peregrine falcons tried to nest in that same alcove! That was the first time I noticed nesting falcons. Not sure if they were successful in rearing any young. And yes, most climbers are or should be guardians of the environment! And yes alot of cliffs are closed here in Az. for falcons to nest. If falcons are disturbed while nesting ( evidenced by screaming adults ) the eggs can cool n die or the young can be scared from the ledge before they can fly. The whole formation of Toms thumb should be closed from Jan to June. Anyone standing on the top of Toms thumb and throwing ropes and such would disturbed nesting falcons. I dont think the land managers of the area (mcdowell sonoran preserve ) know of the situation. Im in the process of trying to contact them and see if we can institute a seasonal closure. Feel free to contact them as well. It will piss off the dill weed climbers, but oh well. My background to speak of the biology of falcons is twofold ( Wildlife biologist and falconer ).

cheers lou
By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
May 21, 2014
Prairie falcons aren't on the Endangered Species List anymore. Although some land managers have used the List as an arbitrary closure. I am very disappointed when anyone bothers wild life. Hopefully both Taylor and Lou were nice enough to stop climbing and walk the talk. Otherwise, did the birds leave? Were they disturbed enough to wreck the nest?

I have seen falcons elsewhere in AZ, Isolation Canyon for one. In that area, I have noticed their nest for years and avoided the nearby routes when they were active. I have seen people climb near them and they will let you know when you are too close. If you see a nest or falcons near your route, move on.

Contacting the Scottsdale land managers is only going to fan the fire to close everything. Hopefully Scottsdale will have the same response as the Natl Forest when informed of the falcons in Isolatiion: they aren't endangered. That will leave us as the stewards of the cliffs.

Please share the places we enjoy with the wild things. Show them respect and care for them without intervention by the "Authorities".
By lou
May 21, 2014
Hey Manny... I know how what a pain it can be to have cliffs closed. But we need to protect the native fauna. Prairies arent endangered, neither are peregrines. However they are protected Federally from harassment. That is why there are still cliffs closed for Peregrines all over the West ( Yosemite, Zion, Mt Lemon, Chochise, J-tree ) So kinda a moot point about endangerment; we dont need to puch them back. I generally walk the walk. When the birds "let you know" they are very distressed and eggs can chill and young can suffer. Nest are very exacting in the direction they face, height, size, exposure, etc... some nests are dated in use for a thousand yrs! As to the National forest response; it was the local Payson state wildlife manger; Im the one who informed them and told you of the response, remember? Anyhow, his lack of response is not typical and certainly not of Federal land managers; so that particular issue is not necessarily finished. Your last lines ring true; too bad alot of climbers dont have the morals and respect that you do.... you know that!!

cheers.. lou