Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Thompson Peak Day Hike
when Trip Report : April 28, 2019
  Trip Report : February 9, 2019
  Trip Report : May 5, 2018
  Trip Report : January 22, 2017
where McDowell Mountains
the hike     This beautiful trail starts in a gated neighborhood where you will walk the footpath for the first half mile to the official trailhead, marked as Dixie Mine Trail.
    The first two miles of the trail are relatively flat with rolling hills and washes. This first part is a good family "C" hike. You will be able to enjoy the full views of Superstition Mountains and Four Peaks. After two miles you’ll reach the Dixie Mine turnoff (mine visible straight ahead) where we will take the Jeep/maintenance road left marked to Thompson Peak.
    From this point, the trail gets steeper and steeper. This part is nicknamed the Widow Maker, as even the seasoned/fit hikers will need rests along the way. Being so steep, the trail/road needed concrete paving to access the top of the peak. The climb provides a serene feeling of ridge-line hiking, offering amazing views along the way as you quickly climb 2000 feet to the peak.
    The finish line is the majestic peak, which offers the best views of the valley and a feeling of triumph from climbing this relentless, very steep mountain.
    Returning the same way, we will explore the Dixie Mine on the way down with a small detour. After the Dixie Mine, travel up one of the side canyons to see some colorful rock formations and hieroglyphics.
    For the Grand Canyon hikers, this is very much like the Phantom to Indian Garden part of the long hike, in both temperature and elevation profile.
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Hiking poles (I suggest these for the descent to save your knees).
•  Snacks
•  Camera
distance 10 miles (closer to 11 with the Dixie Mine excursion to see the mines and hieroglyphs)
time 6-7 hours
EC +-2000' elevation change
elevations 2,071' (Golden Eagle Trailhead) to 3966' (Thomson Peak)
type round trip
starting at
Golden Eagle Trailhead 33° 38.139' N,  111° 46.066' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — Dixie Mine & Thomson Peak Trails with an extension through the wash to view hieroglyphics and mines.
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost $2 per person. Bring exact change. Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Fountain Hills
meet 6:00 AM at Fry’s Supermarket, Shea & Eagle Mountain Pkwy. Meet in the southwest corner, away from Fry’s. It is just west of the junction of Shea & Palisades Blvd., so good for this hike. I am hoping to time this right so as we start from the actual trailhead we can enjoy the sun as it rises
•  Make a left onto north Palisades Blvd and follow it 1.6 miles to Sunridge Drive.
Turn left on Sunridge Drive and follow it for 2.7 miles to Golden Eagle Blvd.
Stay on Golden Eagle Blvd for about a 1/2 mile to the gated community.
The trail parking lot is on the left before the gate.

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updated May 22, 2019 © Copyright 2019, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.