Distance: 2.4 miles round trip. Elevation Gain: 1180 ft. Duration: 1.5 hours. Type of Trail: Out and back. Reasons to go: To get in a quick workout, enjoy awesome views of the city, or watch a beautiful sunset.

Piestewa Peak, formerly known as Squaw Peak and conveniently located in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area, is a relatively short hike that yields impressive views of the city and is a perfect spot to watch the sunset. Piestewa Peak is a popular spot for locals who do not want to drive or hike for hours to fit in a good workout, so be prepared to encounter some crowds if you visit on a weekend. The trail is well-maintained and has several benches along the way for hikers to take a breather and enjoy the views.

The trail is mostly switchbacks to the top and is very easy to follow. After hiking for approximately half a mile, the trail intersects with a circumference trail to the left; to continue to the summit, stay right at this junction. The trail will continue to switchback up the mountain, flattening out in a few spots, and becoming much steeper for the last quarter of a mile. Once reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with 360 degree views of Phoenix. This is a perfect sunset hike, if you don’t mind descending the mountain at dusk. If you hike in the evening, be sure to arrive at the trailhead before sunset, when the gates to the parking lot close. Allow at least an hour to get to the top, and bring your camera for some epic Arizonan sunset shots!

Pack List

  • At Least 1.5L of water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Sunblock
  • Sun Glasses
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Activities Photography, Running, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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Overall rating: 


This place has the one of the best views you can access in the city. I’d highly recommend hiking this mountain any day. Especially at night!!

Up For A Challenge?

This trail is very difficult but it is amazing. I highly recommend for cardio. Great city views

Amazing Views, Convenient Adventure

My first time visiting Phoenix I stayed at the Biltmore. Being that I was here for work I didn't have much time for sight seeing or long adventures. But this is in the middle of everything - seriously 5-10 min from anywhere! It was literally a mile away from my hotel. I was surprised at how busy it was for a Thursday morning. Lots of traffic. Not very rustic - lots of man-made steps along the way which was a bit disappointing. But the elevation gain is steep. It's not long, it's not super high, but it's steep! And the views at the top are just awesome! Take a moment at the summit to reflect...and then haul tail downhill!

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