[google_map_easy id=”5″]Definitely one of our favourites when we spend time in the Phoenix area. Pinnacle Peak Park Trail winds up and around a 3171-foot pyramid-shaped rock that is situated a few miles north of Scottsdale. The trail is one way, and if you go the entire route to the end and back to the start, it runs 3.5 miles/6 km. According to guide books, it’s classified as a moderate hike, but for flatlanders like us embarking on one of our first hikes of the season, it’s a huff-and-puff experience.
Views of the surrounding area are spectacular, everything from lush homes and golf courses sprawling around the base to purple mountain peaks in the distance. Along the route, markers identify native plants, and it’s not unusual to spot lizards and even rattlesnakes basking in the sun along the way. Along the way, markers identify plants – useful for first-timers just getting familiar with desert flora.
If you want a thrill, sign up for the once-a-month Full Moon Walk. It’s an escorted hike up Pinnacle Peak Park Trail that starts just as the sun dips over the horizon and the moon begins to rise. When we made the trek, we were accompanied by a naturalist and an astronomer who pointed out features once we reached the top. Lucky us, the International Space Station made a pass at just the right moment, too.