Pinnacle Peak Trail

MODERATE 1613 reviews
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Pinnacle Peak Trail is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Scottsdale, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 3.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,020 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Pinnacle Peak Park Trail is somewhat of a misnomer. On approach, your mouth almost waters imagining yourself on top of the quirky, turnip-shaped rock seemingly balanced on the 3171 pyramid-shaped mountain in front of you. But unfortunately the trail skirts the peak, and the squat stone turnip. The highest point of the trail reaches only 2889. This is not truly a peak hike. That said, the Scottsdale trail does offer spectacular views of the surrounding area. A little past the 1/2 mile marker, Grandview rest stop presents a panorama of the valley and McDowell Mountain only 2.5 miles away. From Owls Rest, one mile up the trail, you can make out Camelback Mountain in the distance. The Pinnacle Peak Trail is not a loop trail, but meanders for 1.75 miles before ending. You must return over the same trail. This 3.5-mile round-trip, moderate hike has no facilities along the trail, so fill your water bottles at the drinking fountains located near the clean restrooms at the trailhead. Beware of trail runners and joggers when the trail is crowded. Although runners are supposed to yield to other trail users, those heading downhill did not give much berth to those bunched up behind slow hikers. Weekends are crowded. Hiking during early morning hours or on week days is recommended for those who enjoy quiet. Weekend trekking is fun for socializing and you may meet young families that hike Pinnacle Peak Park. Pinnacle every week throughout most of the year. Although they tend to avoid hot day hiking in summer months. An access trail for rock climbers leads to the summit, but hikers are not allowed on this part of the mountain. Note to climbers: park staff does not create or maintain fixed anchors on any climbing route, but new routes requiring fixed anchors are not allowed. Fixed anchor locations are limited to those already established.

hiking
10 days ago

Good for moderate hikers and trail runners. Started hiking at 1:30pm on a Sunday and finished at 3:00pm. Moderate amount of people but not too crowded. Parking was available in the lot. Free entry. Only service dogs allowed. Great signage throughout the hike. I like the views on this hike more than Camelback and Piestewa Peak!

hiking
no shade
18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

This is a well kept up trail. Pretty fun :)

hiking
26 days ago

Nice hike! From trailhead to iron gates and back is closer to 4.5 miles. The back part of hike is more challenging than the front half. Gets your heart pumping at times but nothing overwhelming if you’re in decent shape. Great views and plant life.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful trail, great views. From the trailhead you get to the highest point of the hike quickly, then traverse back down... so the second half of the hike is more upward climbing. The crowds on a Saturday were not my favorite—but to be expected on such a lovely trail.

hiking
27 days ago

Went around 10am on a Thursday and wasn't too crowded (I was able to find a parking spot, at least). The first half was pretty easy, but it got a bit more difficult after the turnaround point. You're basically climbing stairs as you're going through switchbacks. So be cautious if you have knee problems. Sand patches in some spots, and tracked 4 miles instead of 3.5. Overall, really enjoyed it

hiking
29 days ago

32lb vest, great pace didnt stop once

hiking
29 days ago

Our family enjoyed this trail! Two mid twenties and two late forties hiked it on a early November day around 1:00 and it wasn’t smoking hot. We were out of breath at times, but never felt totally overwhelmed. It’s got beautiful views around the mountain. There’s cacti all over the place with signs telling you about the bushes, plants, and animals. Nice hike for an afternoon. You don’t have to pay to park or go hike up the mountain. There are bathrooms and water fountains at the beginning of the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

well maintained, beautiful views, lots of desert landscape to take in and very knowledgeable guides at the trail head. you won't find solitude here but you'll encounter many friendly people hiking and trail running this one. have hiked this more times than I can count but this was the first time with my 8 month old son, who was carried in an osprey backpack on my husbands back. was a good trail to introduce the pack because of gradual inclines.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this trail with friends of various degrees of fitness. Awesome views! Much easier than Camelback

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Very pretty and extremely well maintained and marked trail. Not a trail you want to go on if you’re looking for alone time— super crowded (weekend). Elevation gain and loss makes it a great workout.

hiking
1 month ago

Really well maintained and beautiful trail with good views of the area. Minimal traffic on a weekday around 12.

hiking
1 month ago

Very well maintained trail with awesome educational signs along the trail about the terrain. Perfect for a short easy hike. I went at around 2:30 and the weather was perfect and well shaded during a good half of the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

nicely maintained trail. couple of tough inclines

hiking
1 month ago

Very crowded before noon, especially for weekday.? Got last spot in parking lot. Fairly steep climbs throughout but spectacular views of Scottsdale.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail - amazing views. Pretty steep incline with resting points along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

This was my first hike, and it got me hooked on hiking. Great mix of uphill and downhill. Exceptional views.

hiking
1 month ago

very pretty trail, I'm not experienced, thought it was easy but super crowded

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Avoid weekends if you don’t like crowded trail

hiking
2 months ago

Start early and bring water! This is a great in and out hike with stunning views of the desert landscape surrounding the two peaks. Simply beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

low impact while still challenging. Kind of disappointing because you end at ground level lol but very scenic and has good resting places. Lots trail runners and other trainees.

hiking
2 months ago

Had a great hike at sunrise this morning. Arrived just before the gate opened at 5:45 a.m. Views are really good and it is a great way to experience the Sonoran desert, close to town. Recommend for before-work training for trail runners and power walkers

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

It’s a decent hike. There’s different angles to see but it can get pretty steep going down and strenuous to go back up. It’s an out and back type of hike. Good exercise for sure for the abs and legs. Not much to see towards the end though.

hiking
2 months ago

Love love love this trail. We keep coming back here. It is like a field trip for the kids who want to learn about local plants and animals. We spotted jojoba, strawberry hedgehog etc. great place for kids. No dogs though

2 months ago

A walking path rather than a “hiking trail”. Nice scenery, but if you want to have a decent workout, this is not the place.

hiking
2 months ago

My favorite trail! There are a lot of switchbacks going up and down, and just when you feel like you can’t go up anymore, the trail takes you down again to catch your breath. Gorgeous views and the trail is well maintained.

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate hike, love the views!

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