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Monday, February 11, 2013

A beautiful suburban treadmill trail

City of Scottsdale
Winter storm over Pinnacle Peak Trail: Feb. 9, 2013

Traversing the north face of one of Scottsdale’s signature geological wonders, Pinnacle Peak trail is as manicured and swanky as the tony golf communities lapping at its base.  It's a beautiful trail for sure, but don't expect solitude—this suburban route is the north Scottsdale equivalent of Piestewa Peak---replete with elbow-to-elbow crowds and buff bodies intent on maintaining target heart rates.  More of an outdoor tread mill than a hiking trail—most people come here for a workout---except for me, who comes to take photos and indulge in a post-hike beer at nearby Greasewood Flat saloon. The trailhead is nicely outfitted with restrooms, drinking water, visitor center and picnic tables.  An informative sign marks the start point followed by mileage posts every quarter mile and lots of little plaques identifying points of interest like plants and landmarks visible from the trail.  Like a sky island jutting above an emerald sea of country club homes, the trail gets just high enough above civilization for a decent desert experience  but stays close enough for comfort when hiking alone or with winter visitors. 
View of the final mile  from near the trail's high point

LENGTH: 3.5 miles out-and-back
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 2,366' – 2,889' (trails climbs both on the way in and out)
DOGS: not allowed
BIKES: not allowed
HOURS: dawn to dusk and variable---check web site before going
From Loop 101 in Scottsdale, take the Pima/Princess Drive exit 36 and go 4.5 miles north on Pima Road to Happy Valley Road.  Turn right (east) and go 1.8 miles to Alma School Road, turn left (north) and continue 1 mile to Pinnacle Peak Parkway turn left and follow the signs to the park.  Turn left (west) on PPP and go 0.5 mile to the park.

INFO: City of Scottsdale 480-312-0990


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