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Thompson Peak Day Hike
McDowell Mountains
April 28, 2019
by Debbie Rowray
  GPS Map 
A motivated, diminutive group of hikers set out early to conquer the defiant Thompson Peak.
Debbie, Tom, Heather, Ramona, Chris

A lovely sunrise greeted us as we made our way through feather-marked paths of affluent residences, arriving at the trailhead. The wondrous Sonoron desert danced out before us as we strolled toward the jeep road to ascend the mountain.

Pre-dawn light at Golden Eagle Trailhead.
The colors of sunrise.
Heather and Debbie
Chris and Debbie
Ramona and Debbie
Debbie and Tom

The road never gets any easier, and one is humbled climbing it. There are places where it reaches steepness of 30 to 35 degrees. The lovely surroundings and an increasing view of the valley aid in the plight to the top, as cacti and palo verde were showing off radiant yellow flowers.

Saguaro blossom.
Cactus apple.
Palo verde is a sea of yellow blossoms.
It’s a big climb.
Once on the summit, 360 degree views will delight any hiker, along with the completion of such a climb. One can see the Superstitions, Mazatzals, and numerous other ranges along the skyline.

Descending the mountain is an adventure as well. Trekking poles assist some hikers, and it is a good idea to switchback your footwork on the way down. The descent is not as tasking, cardiovascular-wise, yet it is hard on the quadriceps and knees.

Once back at the trailhead and glancing back up at the peak one has accomplished, it is almost an exhausting yet exhilarating feeling combined. This hike always proves to be a strenuous workout, and will give a hiker a good idea where they are in fitness level. It incorporates competency and beauty.

10.47 Miles, +-2802' elevation change.

I want to thank my intense, small group of hikers for joining me! It is always a pleasure to share the experience of climbing steep places!

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated May 22, 2019