Piestewa Peak

A classic run with 360-degree views atop Piestewa Peak.

Trail Running Difficult

Distance
3.7 km
Ascent
350 m
Descent
350 m
Low Point
432 m
High Point
782 m
Gradient
24˚
VIEW ON MAP
Piestewa Peak Map

Description

Short in length, this is a run that cannot be underestimated. In just 1.2 miles, this trail climbs 1,200' to the summit of the Piestewa Peak, where you're welcomed with incredible 360-degree views of the valley below. Phoenix.gov even states that "This summit trail has been a Phoenix favorite for several decades and is internationally recognized among hiking communities".

This run begins at the 302 Trailhead along Squaw Peak Drive and is often paired with other loops around the mountain. At the trailhead you will find drinking water, restrooms, and plenty of parking. Since this is one of the most popular hikes in the valley, get an early start to avoid the crowds.

Following several switchbacks and stairs, the trail ascends quickly to the first saddle - this is roughly the halfway point. Take a few moment to catch your breath before attempting the second half.

Keeping right at the fork, the path continues to the summit. As you continue climbing, the trail narrows and intensifies as it approaches Piestewa Peak (formerly named Squaw Peak). The loose rocks and sharp shale you'll encounter should be navigated with caution.

At the top, you will find several different viewpoints to enjoy the reward for your effort. To the southeast, you can snag views the iconic Camelback Mountain - to the northwest, you can view North Mountain. On a clear day, the Four Peaks are distinguishable to the east.

Sources: https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/piestewa-peak/hiking-trail-map

Difficulty

Difficult

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, October, November, December

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area