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Pinnacle Peak, Scottsdale Landmark Hiking Trail

Updated on August 26, 2016

Landmark Peak of North Scottsdale

Pinnacle Peak is one of several highly visible mountain landmarks in the Valley of the Sun. Located in Scottsdale it is one of the distinctive mountains along with Camelback, Four Peaks and Piestewa Peak that frame the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The distinctive double-hump profile can be seen for miles and lets you locate North Scottsdale instantly. The peak has an elevation of 3100 feet; that's ~945 meters for those of you that measure in increments of 10. The peak itself is only accessible to an experienced rock climber. The rest of us stay on the trail.

The Pinnacle Peak trail starts at the Visitor's center and aims for the peak, but then when the slope gets pretty steep, the trail bends around the mountain for several great views of the surrounding valley.

Views of Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale Arizona

A Great City Trail

The trail itself is one of the best built and maintained mountain trails I've ever seen. You know you're in Scottsdale, where they like their rugged west to be clean, pretty and sophisticated, if you know what I mean! The trail makers have managed to scrape a wide and relatively smooth walking trail and allowed it to blend into the mountain side. There are numerous marking signs and resting places. Mortals need those resting places to catch their breath and watch the amazons that run up and down the mountain like a stroll in the park.

Take Care, It's Still a Desert

Hydration is important in any hiking, and even more so in desert climates. A large water bottle is a must, and consider investing in a hydration pack for sipping convenience. Speaking of hiking gear, a hiking or walking stick is especially welcome on up and down hill trails.

It's a Good Workout!

The interpretive hiking trail 3.5 miles round trip of a mixture of easy and moderate up and down hiking. Round trip in this case means go all the way to the end and turn around and retrace your steps to get back to the park.

Preserving Public Land Isn't Always Easy

The current park is 150 acres and was opened in April of 2002. In it's past was a long period as State Trust Land. It was then part of a tedious period of negotiations, squabbles, broken promises and resident revolts - you know, the kind of things that happen when land is coveted by developers, individuals, governments and the public. The end result is a lot of beautiful scenery mixed in with great overviews into some pretty fancy back yards. This time everybody got a piece and the public came out ok, if not great.

Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly
Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly

Hiking Essentials

Essential gear I take on every hike:

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Hydration system for longer hikes, large water bottle in belt holster for shorter hikes
  • Hiking shoes
  • And for better balance, my trusty sidekick, the hiking stick.

Have you climbed the Pinnacle?

Submit a Comment
  • MattyLeeP profile image


    7 years ago from Tucson, AZ

    I've been there before, cool place, good article, thanx!

  • HikeGuy profile image


    8 years ago from Northern California Coast

    Thanks for the vivid and informative hub. I've been away for awhile and wanted to stop by and thank you for the link. Congratulations for all your growth on Hubpages.

  • jstankevicz profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Cave Creek

    LRobbins, thanks for stopping by. Pinnacle Peak is one of the more popular trails in the metropolitan area. Partly because of its location, rising up in the North end of the city; and partly because it is so well constructed and maintained.

  • LRobbins profile image


    9 years ago from Germany

    I've done hiking in Utah, but never Arizona. This looks like a great hike!

  • jstankevicz profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Cave Creek

    bonny2010, yes, no leeches is a plus, particularly because we all wear shorts. But then, there are the scorpions and rattlers, of well...

  • bonny2010 profile image

    bonetta hartig 

    9 years ago from outback queensland

    interesting hub and nice pictures - I like hiking in these sort of places - no leeches - enjoyed this eventhough I may never get there in this life, I still enjoy these sort hubs

  • jstankevicz profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Cave Creek

    The peak itself requires rock climbing skills and equipment. The trail that ambles around the mountain is a great, moderate hike.

  • Jeff May profile image

    Jeffrey Penn May 

    9 years ago from St. Louis

    I've been to the grand canyon, but I think I would enjoy places like pinnacle peak a lot more. Spider rock looks fun also. Can rusty has-been rock climbers like me get up pinnacle peak without too much risk?

  • jstankevicz profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Cave Creek

    Yes, it is a great landmark, with a great trail. The best part is that it is so accessible!

  • Misha profile image


    11 years ago from DC Area

    Wow! Great views! Putting this into the list of places to visit before I die :)


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