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Pinnacle Peak Trail

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Pinnacle Peak Park

Pinnacle Peak Trail is a 3.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Carefree, 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: 3.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,003 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
7 hours ago

Well kept trail. Easy to moderate out and in trail. Shade in spots in the early AM.

hiking
no shade
3 days ago

One of the prettiest trails in the Phoenix area. Saw a western diamondback rattlesnake near emergency marker #90. Trail difficulty was moderate, but good enough for a workout.

hiking
3 days ago

Just a stunning trail, and not too crowded on a Thursday am. Although .... I did take my 9 yr old grandson on his first hike .... and encountered a baby rattle snake on the trail - close to the turn around at PK 88. This thing wasn’t moving! Eventually, we went off trail on a few rocks and under shrubs and got around “it”. Really grateful for the very nice guy who lifted my grandson up and across a larger rock. I’ve probably hiked this lovely trail 25 times, and this proved to be one of the more exciting adventures. Also, not a bad idea to have your mask handy as it’s fairly populated. Enjoy!

hiking
7 days ago

Trail has great views of north Scottsdale, well maintained trail, usually a little crowded. Not much altitude and lots of chances to run if you want to increase the challenge.

hiking
no shade
11 days ago

Nice, clean and well marked trail with a variety of beautiful views. If you are more of an experienced hiker, may wish to go early and during the week to avoid the crowded trail. It’s two miles out and two miles back with no services on the other end so be sure to bring enough water to get you there and back.

hiking
18 days ago

Great trail, really well marked and lots of resting spots!

hiking
20 days ago

It’s a nicely marked trail with lots of educational signage. Very nicely maintained.

hiking
22 days ago

Hike with Kim

hiking
rocky
29 days ago

Great trail! Out ~2 miles and then back. Was able to carry our 13 month old in an Ergo the whole way. Went ~7:30AM, parking was accesible and there was a good amount of shade on the mountain.

hiking
29 days ago

Heavily trafficked on the weekend, fun hike but one way is definitely more difficult than the other. Cool scenery!

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Parking was tough when we got there. It wasn’t crowded for how many cars were in the parking lot and streets. Some shade from trees but other then that no shade. The scenery was beautiful! My mom and I didn’t complete all of it due to plans changing last min, but will come back!

hiking
1 month ago

Fairly easy trail if you hike quite a bit. I love running the trail. Lots of rattlesnakes are out April to June so be aware and keep an eye out. Great scenery.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail well maintained and highly trafficked. That being said I love being isolated on a trail but even I enjoyed this trail even with so much foot traffic.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Great trail. Easy for a seasoned hiker. Go early as this is a crowded one. Very well maintained.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Such a pretty and well kept trail. The visitors center, bathrooms, & water fountains are a big perk. My only critique of this trail is that it’s really crowded in the late morning (9amish) so I would suggest going out earlier. Gorgeous viewpoints to stop and look out and lots of wildlife spotting. We saw 4 chuckwallas!

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of the most scenic hikes in the Phoenix area. If you go early in the morning there is plenty of shade too!

1 month ago

Great exercise hike. Long enough with plenty of up and down. Could be busy.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely loved this hike, stunning views. I went at 530 pm and it wasn’t too crowded. Finished the whole thing in about 1.5 hours.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great, well groomed trail. One of my favorites! There are a few areas where it’s pretty steep with steps but otherwise a moderate hike. Beautiful views of the houses and golf courses below! This trail can be heavily tracked with families and such so I would recommend going early in the morning. There are some informational pins throughout the trail, explaining vegetation, wildlife, and the trail itself.

hiking
no shade
scramble
1 month ago

Popular trail. Was very busy but it’s a good trail running/jogging.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Great workout! Whole trail is up and down so you get a good workout on the way there as well as on the way back. Bees and chuckwallas were seen.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

It’s a hefty hike!! You go uphill for the first 1/4, downhill for the next 1/4, uphill for the next 1/4, and downhill for the last 1/4. Then, you turn around and reverse back through. If you go early enough in the morning, there will be some shade on the first downhill section. After 8:30ish, there won’t be. Tons of bushes and cacti. It’s pretty rocky, but I’ve seen a lot of people running it. There’s little signs all over that tell you about the plants and about animals. There is a bathroom and water fountain with a little “visitors center” type thing.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike for all skill levels. Great views of the Estancia Club & all parts of North Scottsdale. One of my favorites for a good quick workout.

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice hike! Good for all ages.!

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

I love this trail! I’m a new hiker, and new to Arizona. This is a great trail to start with! Lots of scenic views, really nice laid out path to walk.

no shade
2 months ago

Beautiful scenery, great ups and downs the whole time

hiking
2 months ago

Nice groomed trail, lots of incline and decline points.

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