You want to kick off your weekend by climbing a mountain but you don’t have a lot of time and don’t want to get too tired to function. Pinnacle Peak is your answer.
Situated in north Scottsdale, Pinnacle Peak is inviting for hikers. The 150-acre park, maintained by the the city of Scottsdale, has a 3.5-mile round trip interpretive hiking trail. The hiking is easy along a hard-packed trail, though it can be strenuous in spots that are steep.
"It’s a great hike," said Chris Reuter of Chandler, who recently used the hike as a workout. "I try to get here a couple of times a month. It’s the perfect distance. It’s pretty difficult but not too much. I can do it in about an hour."
The peak is 600 feet above the Valley floor. It can be accessed one mile south of the intersection of Dynamite and Alma School just off of Jomax. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead, which includes a ranger station and restrooms.
The trail basically is one switchback after another. The peak (2,889 feet) is reached after about three-quarters of a mile of hiking. The trail then continues on with a slight drop in elevation. At the 1 3 /4 mark, you must turn around and come back on the same trail.
Various plants and trees are marked for identification. A guide is available for free at the ranger station with names and descriptions of the flora.
There are plenty of animals living within the park. Heavy foot traffic, especially on weekends, though, makes spotting animals a rarity. At this time of year, it is common to see snakes and reptiles. You also probably will encounter lots of bees.
The trail certainly gets usage.
In the three years since it was opened, more than 550,000 hikers have hit the trail. Several use it as a workout, often running along the trail. Just off of the trail are well-marked rock climbing areas.
Horses are allowed on the trail but not dogs.
HIKING PINNACLE PEAK
• Where: 26802 N. 102nd Way, Scottsdale (1 mile south of the intersection of Dynamite and Alma School)
• What: Trail that reaches mountain summit and goes across summit; 1.75 miles each way
• Amenities: Parking lot, ranger station and restrooms at trailhead
• Information: (480) 312-0990