Thompson Peak Trail, Fountain Hills/Scottsdale

Directions: East on Shea To Fountain Hills, left onto palasades. At stop sign at the high school take left onto Golden Eagle blvd. Right near top of hill onto Richwood. After bottom of hill left onto Dixie Mine Road. At end take left onto grassland and go to end (cul-de-sac). Park on CDS or drive down dirt road to gate.

Trail Information: Trail starts off flat, and ends at the top of Thompson Peak Mountain (4000 ft). First mile or two are flat, then progresses steadly upward. Lots of loose rocks and up/down hills. Also pass by the dixie mine. Last mile is very, very steep requiring special running techniques for going up steep hills. Road is tar on the steep parts. Total run is 10.5 miles, and you will be tired when finished. Only the hardy do the entire run with no resting at top. Fantastic views and optional trails to top (I've never run the trails yet...they are even steeper) Also, I've never seen anyone else running the peak.

Miscellaneous Information: Off limits for beginners. I've run the peak 10 times, but only after running Shaw Butte (another mountain) over 800 times over the last 7 years first.

Russ Marano