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The back side of Pinnacle Peak

Hiking Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale, Arizona

Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale, Arizona is the focal point in Pinnacle Peak Park. From afar the summit of the peak looks far more challenging than it does up close but you do need to be a rock climber to get to the top of it. Hikers must be content with a 3.5 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of approximately 1300 feet. Hiking Pinnacle Peak on the trail can be done in 75 minutes if you’re booting it.

John and I set out hiking Pinnacle Peak in late December. The peak and the park are located in northeast Scottsdale, east of North Pima Road, and south of Dynamite Boulevard. It was a busy time but nothing compared to our Christmas Day Camelback Mountain hike.

A gain of 1300 feet when hiking Pinnacle Peak

Although there is a gain of 1,300 feet, none of it happens at once so it’s actually quite an easy hike. The trails are wide and the views out to the valley are excellent. It’s an interpretive trail so you might learn a few cool facts about the area on the hike.

The granite rock is reminiscent of Bedrock – home to Wilma and Fred Flintstone, and the rock seen in Joshua Tree National Park.

We only saw birds on our hike – hummingbirds and cactus wrens. Other animals that call the park home include Gila monsters, bobcats, javelinas, mule deer, grey foxes and the western diamondback rattlesnake.

The trail is open from 6:45 AM until 6 PM. It’s well worth doing if you visit Scottsdale – and catching a sunrise or sunset up would be magnificent.

Hiking Pinnacle Peak looks like this

The start of the Pinnacle Peak hike
The start of the Pinnacle Peak hike
One of the hummingbirds we saw while hiking Pinnacle Peak
One of the hummingbirds we saw on the hike
The grade is never onerous while hiking Pinnacle Peak
The grade is never onerous while hiking Pinnacle Peak
The boulders come in all shapes and sizes
The boulders come in all shapes and sizes
The boulders you see when hiking Pinnacle Peak are reminiscent of what you see in Joshua Tree National Park
The boulders you see when hiking Pinnacle Peak are reminiscent of what you see in Joshua Tree National Park
A well developed neighbourhood surrounds most of the park
A well-developed neighbourhood surrounds most of the park
Looking at the top of Pinnacle Peak
Looking at the top of Pinnacle Peak (note the small figure on top)
Enjoying the short sleeve weather in late December
Enjoying the short sleeve weather one late December
These cholla cactus always look like they are backlit
These cholla cactus always look like they are back lit
The back side of Pinnacle Peak
The backside of Pinnacle Peak
The highest point on the trail
The highest point on the trail
Looking up at the saguaro cactus
Looking up at the saguaro cactus
A multi-limbed saguaro seen at the bottom of the trail
A multi-limbed saguaro seen hiking the Pinnacle Peak trail

Have you ever done the Pinnacle Peak hike? or do you have another favourite in Scottsdale?

For more information on Pinnacle Peak Park visit the City of Scottsdale website.

Further reading on hikes and adventures in Arizona

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

The Pinnacle Peak hike in Scottsdale, Arizona

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. I love those cholla cactus! I’ve never seen a cactus like that in person. I also found it really interesting that the neighborhood was so close to the hiking trail – I couldn’t imagine having those boulders and that kind of terrain in my backyard!

    1. @Dana I love the Scottsdale sunsets. There always seems to be such a range of colours – perhaps because of some of the pollution in the valley – but it sure looks great. If I lived in Scottsdale I’d be doing this trail all the time.

  2. I enjoyed seeing what the country looks like there. It is quite like Australia – apart from the cactii – and the height of the mountain 🙂 Looked like a great day for it.

  3. Looks like a nice hike. I love the pictures of the saguaro cactus and the boulders. Love places like this near development. It is nice to get a good hike in sometimes without venturing too far away.

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