This has to be the most well-used, without being abused, trail in all of the Phoenix area. The park boasts of hosting over 200,000 visitors annually. It is exceptionally well run and maintained. It even has its own ‘Friends of Pinnacle Peak’ as well as many volunteers. This group performs roving patrols, leads interpretive programs, hikes and full moon walks, teaches astronomy programs, does trail maintenance and runs research projects, even though this is a city-run park. The Friends even publish their own newsletter. The park is 150 acres and contains over 150 species of desert flora.
The name is a bit misleading. I thought we’d be hiking to the peak, which, in truth, isn’t that high. The hiking trail, however, circles the peak and the next, smaller peak, in a series of climbs and descents. The total length comes out to be 3.5 miles return, with a couple of rest stops along the way. Rock climbers are the only ones allowed to go off-trail, up to the peak.
While were hiking (along with the masses on Presidents Day), we came across a group of young people who were building a retaining wall for the trail. They were part of a group of volunteers called the “Southwest Conservation Corps”. This group engages and trains young men and women and completes conservation projects for the public benefit. The SCC is funded primarily through partnerships with land management agencies (www.sccorps.org).
This is a great place to hike, a good workout which wraps partly around the Troon golf course. But if you’re looking for privacy, better go somewhere else.
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