HIKE | Piestewa Peak Summit Trail 300

Hike Piestewa Peak Summit Trail #300

LengthElev GainRoute Type
2.5 Miles1420 ftOut and Back

The infamous Piestewa Peak Summit Trail is an out and back trail that rewards successful hikers with a three-hundred-sixty-degree view of the Phoenix metropolitan area. While short in length, a little over one mile, the trail is steep, jagged, and consists of multiple switchbacks and modified steps with integrated sections of gravel and rock.

The Trail:

Touted as one of the most heavily used trails in the United States with up to 10,000 hikers per week making the trek to the summit, Piestewa Peak, formerly known as Squaw peak (not without controversy), stands at 2608 feet and is located northeast of downtown Phoenix. Although it sounds small from its elevation, it climbs 1208 feet from trailhead to summit making the ratio of elevation gain per mile similar to that of Oregon’s tallest – Mount Hood.

Piestewa Peak is the second-highest within the Phoenix area, 2nd to neighboring Camelback Mountain, and is part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve chain.

The summit trail takes you up a steep but well-defined trail that is overall generally pretty safe. There is one section near the North summit that occasionally makes some people nervous and then there is the true summit as well. When you near the top of the mountain, many people will head to the left and claim victory there.

If you want to tag the true summit then you will want to go right when you get over the rise that gets you to the “false” summit. There will be a small trail leading you around to the base of the “true” summit. Here it is a Class 2 vs Easy Class 3 scramble to the summit.

Getting There:

The parking lot is off Squaw Peak drive and leads to many more hiking trails in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The route starts on a short connector trail and then goes straight up to the summit.

Piestewa Peak Trail Map:

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