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Phoenix, Arizona

Hike Piestewa Peak

Originally added by Kevin Kaminski

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!

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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Overall rating: 

Amazing views & challenging hike - lots of people!

My husband and I ventured to Piestewa Peak on a Sunday morning and had a hard time finding a parking spot, even though we arrived at 6am. So, getting there EARLY really is key for this popular hike! This hike is somewhat short but relatively difficult if you aren't in decent shape. However, there are many wide spots on the trail and a few benches along the way to stop at for rests. The views of the city are spectacular, so it's worth the sweat!

Decent hike

Good trail for some exercise that takes you to the highest point in the east valley. As of July 1st of 2016 dogs are no longer allowed on trail because so few people pick up after their animals, so you'll have to find somewhere else if you're looking to bring your furry friend. Be careful in the summer heat.

Favorite night hike location!

This is definitely my favorite (legal) night hike location! Even though the entry gate closes at sunset, there is a parking lot outside the gate that is open well after dark. Especially in the summer, this allows for some evening hiking time after the sun has set. Be sure to bring a good head lamp and/or flashlight along!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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