Piestewa (Squaw) Peak and Freedom Loop Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Phoenix, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
Brave the crowds on a steady 1 mile climb to the summit of this prominent Phoenix area peak. Many hikers head for the hills in search of solitude, but if you're planning to hike to the summit of Piestewa Peak you'd do better to bring with you your community spirit - rarely have we seen such a busy trail. Hikers, walkers, sightseers and runners alike flock to this prominent peak like moths to a flame, drawn here in part because of it proximity to the city of Phoenix. Despite the crowds this mountain can still be a lot of fun, offering as it does a short but taxing 1,100 ft climb and many great views along the 1 mile route. If you feel the need to escape from the throngs, you can always extend your return journey along the much less travelled Circumference Trail which traces a flanking route around the mountain. The trip around the mountain measures around 3.1 miles from the peak trail and back to the trailhead. Parking is a challenge, as is understanding the parking restrictions that prevail. Parking lots close at 7pm, which isn't helpful for folk who want to watch enjoy a good sunset from the summit - but there may be ways to park much later, which we explain in more detail later in the guide. Elevation gain: - Approx. 1,100ft (from 1,550 - 2,608ft)
I walked over to Piestewa Peak Park today. (I still think of it as Squaw Peak) Car trouble put me out on foot, so I walked over. 2 1/2 miles each way, so just the walk qualified as a hike all by itself. Alas, I got there and then realized I had forgotten to bring water, so I wasn't prepared to tackle the trails. I sat for a while and watched hikers on the summit trail. Then I walked over and took the Alternate Summit trail, which is a lot of fun and very interesting. It begins near the entrance to the park and continues up to merge with the summit trail. That trail is rough, and appears almost unused. I have been on it a couple times and have expected to see a rattlesnake or two, but haven't so far. Just a rugged trail. It does join the summit trail, but it's not that far up so not too bad. It's hard to find anything remote in this park, but that trail fits the bill.
Made the mistake of going too late in the morning and it was HOTT. Great hike and not too crowded during the week!
Fairly easy up and down in a couple hours or less. Gets really busy so go early and don't hike in 100+ degree weather.
Great fast workout. kinda like a outdoor stair master. Lots of nice folks and open 24/7.