Piestewa (Squaw) Peak and Freedom Loop Trail

HARD 218 reviews
#5 of 62 trails in

Piestewa (Squaw) Peak and Freedom Loop Trail is a 4.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Phoenix, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,702 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

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 - this is a very 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, especially when you extend your adventure along the much less travelled Circumference Trail which traces a flanking route around the mountain. Parking is a challenge, as is understanding the parking restrictions that prevail. Please note the entrance to the parking lot closes at 7pm. The Park does not close until 11pm.

13 days ago

Very heavily trafficked which took away form the experience. Otherwise amazing. Great workout, amazing views and lots of fun exploring the summit,

18 days ago

I clocked the trail at closer to 2,000ft elevation gain overall. But none the less it is a great loop with excellent views. Hard to believe this little paradise is in the middle of such a large city.

hiking
1 month ago

Signs at the base warn that this is a double black diamond, extremely difficult trail. While we turned around at the 0.57 mile marker it was certainly not extremely difficult to that point. My seven- and nine-year old kids climbed it with ease. It’s a well worn trail that appears to have been previously “paved”. Traffic, of which there is LOTS, and Mother Nature have worn away much of the man-made surface, but it’s still there in many spots.

For the vast majority of the hike I did it with a water bottle in one hand, and my daughters hand in the other!

Lots of fun and views are terrific.

Parking is a challenge because of the construction that has taken away many spots.

1 month ago

Had some hard spots but overall easy and worth the trip.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a decent hike, not as tough as Camelback as I didn’t encounter any scrambling. Got to the peak in about 50 minutes, then enjoyed a leisurely circumference hike, about 2.5 hours total. A lot of people on the peak hike, only a handful on the circumference. I would recommend this hike for a local option.

1 month ago

Used to be great. Ridiculous crowds and parking have really destroyed this trail

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was very well maintained, plenty of people and the summit was perfect for this clear day. The view alone was worth the hike!

2 months ago

Awesome hike, great arobic

2 months ago

One of my favorites

2 months ago

Great workout, straight up the mountain! Slippery rocks in some spots so wear shoes with good tread. The view from the top is breathtaking! Busy trail but very friendly :) can’t wait to do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Summit and Loop didn’t disappoint. The trail up was a bit busy,but once we turned off and started the loop there was barely anyone else. Very peaceful and actually quiet other than the occasional airplane passing overhead.

hiking
2 months ago

Very busy on the summit trail--on a weekday! The Freedom loop was pretty quiet, though, and had some great view around the back. The trails here are not marked well and the signage is confusing.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this trail! Great workout, Freedom Trail was awesome, not busy at all. Get here early. Parking lot is being redone so parking is limited.

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent hike, great views. The 23rd street entrance provides a far-quieter initial hike (although less clear trail) before the busyness of the peak trail

3 months ago

fun easy to moderate but very busy

3 months ago

Fun hike...did this last year at Xmas time around sunset. Had to rush down before it got crazy dark. It was challenging but not overly difficult. Worth the views!!

3 months ago

Love this hike...vertical hike to summit is challenging while loop is serene and there are times you forget you are in the city.

5 months ago

Parking is the only bummer.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a great training hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Our group from Gold Canyon AZ chose to hike the loop counter clockwise (about 3 miles), and then climb to Piestewa Peaks via the summit trail last so we could take a long lunch break before heading back to the parking area.

5 months ago

Perfect to skip leg day

5 months ago

Steep, rocky, and narrow in parts. Definitely a difficult trail but doable. the views from the top are worth it. Go early to beat the crowds - a highly trafficked trail.

7 months ago

Very pretty hike, but should be rated hard. About half of it is steep switchbacks.

hiking
8 months ago

I hiked counterclockwise so I would be on the sunny side earlier in the day. Fun desert trail around the peak with great scenery but in town too. Tough climbs. I would estimate 25% level or close to level hiking, and 75% up and downs. Not so crowded early, but extremely crowded later and going to the peak. Mostly hikers, a few runners, no bikers.

9 months ago

Really good workout up Piestewa and added miles with the Freedom lop.
First time there so at first didn’t realize how many parking lots are available if you just keep on driving.

9 months ago

Love this trail. Way more challenging out than back.

9 months ago

Quick hike in town! 35-40 minuets up 30 down. Bathrooms and easy parking. Few lizards spotted and well fed squirrels. Strenuous enough to qualify as a cardio workout.

hiking
9 months ago

The loop trail and the summit hike are both quite demanding, but each will reward with wonderful high vantage point views. I found both to be gratifying hikes, and appreciated the physical challenge of the surprisingly steep inclines that both trails offer. There is no shade whatsoever, so bring appropriate clothing and lots of water. This is a very memorable, but fairly difficult trail.

9 months ago

great hike with a view from the top. worth climbing the extra trails for the top point view

hiking
10 months ago

Nice hike, few people on the loop though the trail to the summit is crowded. Parking is difficult on weekends.

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