Pinnacle Peak Trail

MODERATE 697 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
1020 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

rock climbing

trail running

walking

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
23 hours ago

Easy, soft walk. It's like the neighborhood nature trail. Lots of botanical descriptions and courtesy signage. Great views. Exquisite homes surround the trailhead...

7 days ago

Pleasant hike if you don’t have a lot of time. ~1:40 roundtrip at moderate pace. Last 1/4 mile on way to turn around gets a tad steeper. Beautiful views of valley and some impressive homes.

7 days ago

This was good moderate to difficult trail, the only reason I would give it 4 vs 5 stars is that the end of the trail is down on the mountain and therefore pretty anticlimactic, but it does say that in the description so you know what you’re getting yourself in to. Great to trail run, good for kids & very well maintained!

hiking
8 days ago

Easy to get to and parking is free. We entered on the Alma School Rd side and a nice trail center at the base there. Definitely a lot of hikers and joggers on the trail, most were courteous. Lots of switch backs, bring your trekking poles if you have trouble going down hill. Great views and places to rest, sit and take a picture. About 1.5 to 2 hours round trip depending on the number of rest/breaks. Have done this hike several time, the only thing keeping it from being 5 stars is the trail traffic.

hiking
12 days ago

This was a tough hike. If you’re an avid runner and hiker, its a nice hike. This is considered moderate. However I’d say its definitely more on the difficult. Definitely got my heart rate elevated. The switchback is tough. A lot of incline and decline. Footing can be tricky as it does have some loose gravel and steep steps down. I’d suggest going to the half way point for those who are just starting out hiking or recovering from an injury. The views were beautiful and I did see several geckos and two Gila monsters. The park is free. Good parking. Kind of out of the way to find. Good bathrooms. Friendly hikers on the trail. The trail is well maintained, great markers too!

hiking
16 days ago

Challenging and pretty views!

hiking
17 days ago

It’s a challenging trail but definitely worth the sweating! We also saw an American diamond back rattle snake cross the trail, as well as a rare Gila monster! It was pretty neat!

20 days ago

It was very challenging and very beautiful.

Pasha, 9 years old

26 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. It’s definitely uphill quick. And winds around to the back of the mountain but views are spectacular.

27 days ago

It’s a challenging hike, and the trail can get a bit busy, but this is a favorite. It offers great views. I was lucky the trail wasn’t so busy when I decided to run the first half as the end to an 8-mile run. I definitely felt the burn in my legs.

hiking
1 month ago

Maybe our new favorite hike. Beautiful hiking trail, maintained very well, with some signs on a few of the cacti and plants growing along the trail, super fun. Felt like we were doing a Disney World hiking experience, which isn't to say it is easy. The trail starts off pretty tame until a bit after the 1.5 mile marker, then it starts getting a bit tougher.

I found the real challenge on the return, it was a good burn, nothing crazy, but definitely a workout, set in a gorgeous area, on a beautifully maintained hiking trail. Seemed to be a pretty popular trail, might want to do during the weekday.

hiking
1 month ago

Pinnacle Peak is a bit of a misnomer. The trail doesn't technically lead you to the summit. That's off limits to climbers only. It's a winding trail with inclines/declines. About 1.75 hour round trip

1 month ago

Wonderful hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Not too difficult and fairly flat with gradual inclines

1 month ago

Good and moderately challenging hike. A few things though:

Directions: when I got the directions off all trail, it lead me to a private community. When you are heading down Happy Valley Rd., make a left on Alma School then a left on pinnacle peak pkwy. The trail head is in a gated parking lot at the end of the rd.

Also: I went on a Saturday morning and it was very crowded. Not so crowded that I couldn’t enjoy the hike, but if you are looking for quiet isolation, look elsewhere

Other then that, enjoyable hike with views of a very affluent community. It may not be full blown nature, but it’s a different kind of view, and still quit beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorites in the area. The trail is very well maintained and you can get as much of a workout as you would like by going faster or taking it slow. Great vistas of the valley in all directions. Those who want strictly rustic with no views of houses, there are plenty of those available, you shouldn’t expect that here. The stated info about runners is true, however most people on the trail are courteous.

1 month ago

of the trails that doug has hiked since he's been here its a 5

hiking
1 month ago

Pros: well maintained trail, excellent signage for local plants/trees, and a good workout.

What I didn't prefer: the trail is basically surrounded by man-made development. Multi-million dollar homes, nice golf course, etc. But I really don't want to look at all that on a hike. The distant vistas were great.

1 month ago

Great views!

2 months ago

Run Pinnacle in the summer. All the amateurs will be gone.

2 months ago

Great climb and beautiful views!

2 months ago

Good strong hike great views

2 months ago

great hike, easy walk

2 months ago

love it

2 months ago

Great hike to knock the Minnesota winter rust off in early February!

trail running
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Great trail. Amazing workout. Will definitely do this trail again.

hiking
2 months ago

Love it! Lots of elevation changes and well maintained. A great workout.

2 months ago

Nice trail, good for kids. There was a snake exhibit at the trailhead that was interesting. Kids got a sticker from the park rangers after completing the hike.

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