For the moment, access to this area by climbers should be from a temporary trailhead/parking area that is located near the old Morrell's Wall Parking Lot area. From there, the new Tom's Thumb Trail leads up toward Morrells Wall, Gardeners Wall and on to Tom's Thumb. Please look for, and use designated climber access trails.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
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.
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!
Far and away the best single route in the McDowells- plus it goes to the top of a tower. Twin 10+/11- cruxes, one low and one high plus quality climbing on this long pitch, or obvious two pitch split. A must do (before access denied?)....[more]Browse More Classics in AZ
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.
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?