8:30am is the start time from the trailhead; 8:00am is the carpool time from Fry’s Patio
Pinnacle Peak Trail is a very popular hike in North Scottsdale. It is so popular that if solitary hiking is your goal, it is difficult to achieve that except in the hottest part of the summer. If, on the other hand, you like people watching while you hike along, there is usually no shortage of interesting hikers and trail runners to watch and talk to along the way.
The trail is a double up and over on the way out, and the same coming back. Views along the way are plentiful, both of mountains in the distance as well as large homes and a golf course down below. There are two “rest areas” that have markers identifying mountains in the distance and giving the distance to them. The elevation at the turnaround point is lower than that at the trailhead, so the climb coming back is more effort than that going out.
Be aware that there are a lot of steps on what we consider to be the backside of this trail. Some may choose to not attempt that last .5 mile as we head out from the trailhead. A good place to turn around is at the 1.5 mile marker (there are markers every ¼ mile). Should you choose to do this, you will still have a very worthwhile hike of 3 miles.
The trail is officially 1.75 miles one-way, but some of us extend it to 2.0 miles by continuing out the connector trail on the back side to the road before turning back.
This hike has a special meaning for long-time members of the Grayhawk Hiking Club and is repeated each year.
This hike is dedicated to the memory of Peter Anderson. Peter was a treasured member of our hiking club and passed away while hiking Pinnacle Peak Trail in 2010. Each year we hike Pinnacle Peak in honor of Peter and all our fond memories of our fun times with him.
Rating: Moderate – difficult.
Trail type: Out and back.
Estimated distance: 3.5 – 4.0 miles, with an option to make it 3.0 miles.
Estimated hiking time: ~1.5 – 2.5 hours, not including carpool drive time.
Trailhead elevation: ~2,570 feet.
Lowest elevation: ~2,270 feet.
Highest elevation: ~2,889 feet.
Change in elevation: ~1,070 feet.
What to bring: plenty of water and/or sports drinks, snacks, a hat and clothing suitable for hiking in the desert in the fall. Sturdy shoes or boots are recommended.
Carpool location: Carpool location is Fry’s Patio on the southeast corner of Thompson Peak Parkway and N Hayden Road in Scottsdale. Please meet there in time to leave no later than 8:00am. Be prepared to contribute at least $1 to your driver.
Directions to the Trailhead: From Scottsdale Road or Pima Road, drive east on Happy Valley Road. After about 2 miles, turn left (north) on Alma School Road. Drive approximately 1 mile and turn left on Pinnacle Peak Parkway, which will become N 102nd Way / E Jomax Rd. The parking area is to the left just before you reach a gated community. Trailhead address is 26802 N 102nd Street; Scottsdale, AZ.