Pinnacle Peak Trail

MODERATE 1284 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

rock climbing

trail running

walking

bird watching

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
5 days ago

The views on this hike were awesome. The trail was nice and wide. As previously noted, the final quarter mile to the turn around point is the steepest.

hiking
10 days ago

Great workout. Trail well groomed and maintained. Fairly even surfaces. Definitely a “moderate” hike. The half mile section just after the turnaround is the hardest in terms of fitness requirement. If you have doubts, don’t descend beyond the warning sign on the way out. A little crowded but people are friendly.

hiking
rocky
17 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful day- got there at 630 am on a Monday and already busy. Nicely maintained trail & the staff/volunteers were very friendly. Lots of folks turned around at the strenuous point sign, but it was worth pushing onward for the workout! Would totally do again!!

hiking
28 days ago

Loved it. Much easier than expected.

29 days ago

Great trail, well laid out route and markers

hiking
29 days ago

If you like stairs this is your hike. If you don’t I would pass on it.

hiking
1 month ago

Stunning views and nice bathroom facilities! Be aware, it’s very busy on the weekends. Plan this one on a week day if you can or get out early before the crowds arrive.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike! Was very challenging for me which I loved. Interesting that you don’t hike up to a point and then hike down, there was a lot of up and down the whole way. I will come back with my family and hike up to the “Grandview” which isn’t too hard or too far.

hiking
1 month ago

nice easy hike! great for a Sunday morning

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Easy drive with nice parking lot, restrooms and water. My first desert hike so I got to the trailhead at 06:30 due to the daytime heat. I found it easy with great vistas. The trail had runners, fast hikers, picture takers and everyone was pleasant and I received some good info about other hikes from locals on the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

A great trail if you want some Rollinghills, desert plants, and cool rock formations. Well there are several beautiful vistas, there’s not one specific “lookout point“ The out and back somewhat anti-climatic, but a really nice walk overall

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful Hike..

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely loved this trail, and is good for all ages!! There are plenty of places to stop and turn around, so people from any age group or fitness level would enjoy this trial. The views are absolutely stunning and there is a clear cut trail to walk along. I highly recommend going early in the morning before it gets too hot, because if you complete the whole trail it takes about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Lotsa people. Mellow hike, no scrambling.

hiking
1 month ago

It's a great workout if you know what you are getting into. Good views. Shade on West side of mountains in the morning. Up and down multiple sets of "stairs." Fairly strenuous for a casual stroll, but if you want to get your heart rate up and sustained you can climb the ups and run the downs. Heavily trafficked, so just prepare to see a lot of other people and not get solitude.

hiking
1 month ago

Was a beautiful hike with lots of variety of hiking up and down. Views were beautiful! The only drawback was how crowded it was. Also joggers who expect you to move out of the way for them.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice vistas. Well marked and maintained. Plenty of parking. Lots of hikers... heavily trafficked. Not very difficult... easy to moderate.

hiking
2 months ago

Such a great and well-maintained trail with beautiful views! Fairly busy on our Tuesday morning, but plenty of parking available. Water and nice restrooms at base of trail.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Popular hike. Great views from both sides. Easy 1 1/2 in and out.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this trail so much! Every year we come from Kansas City to visit and I take my son on the hike. This year he is 8 and made it to the top for the first time. Best hiked in the morning to avoid the heat. Gets crowded on holiday weekends.

hiking
2 months ago

Crowded, but one of my favorite hikes in Scottsdale. Go early to beat the crowds and find parking.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Well maintained. Good elevation change resulting in good workout. Excellent views through trail and well marked. I recommend stopping at the 1.5 mile marker. The remaining .25 miles are mostly stairs unless looking for a bit more of workout. The 3 mile out and back has about 800 feet of elevation change as you go up and down so keeps interesting.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Amazing views. Approx 1-1/2 hrs for me to do the full in and out.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike, if you are into stairs. Lots of stairs....Good and exhausting workout.

hiking
2 months ago

I could not use enough adjectives to describe this beautiful peak. Just enough elevation to present a challenge. Extremely well maintained trail and well marked. Incredible views. The visitors center is really nice and has some friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff. If I lived near here, I would probably hike it every day! The staff told me that they have about 2,000 visitors a day during the week and 3,000 per day during the weekends. I got there about 7am, and the parking lot was almost full. So, plan early. The only thing that I didn’t like was that there are some areas of sand on the trail, so take your time.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent views and very large boulders on the mountains. Saw a small rattle snake right at the trail head. It just slithered on its merry way! This trail is a must and is one of the most scenic trails in the metro. Rated as moderate but there is a lot of up and down

Love this hike. 9AM and crowded but worth it.

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