3rd annual HIKE and Solstice Celebration at PINNACLE PEAK & PINNACLE PEAK PATIO

Yes, it will be a fun hike followed by a little optional frolic at the Pinnacle Peak Patio Road House (a few hundred yards from the trailhead).

The Pinnacle Peak

trail is rated easy-moderate and is relatively short (3 ½ miles).  The trail is well manicured and they even take time to label and identify plants and there is other informative signage.

Our hikes are generally at a pace conducive to social banter of interest to heathens, and allowing for time for photography of the local geology and wildlife, so, expect this hike to last about 3 hours. However, since this is an out-and-back trail, hikers may set their own pace, and go whatever distance they choose.

Here are photos from our previous hikes here:



or slide show:


and at the Patio:


or slide show:








Here’s a website which will give you a better understanding and appreciation of the trail and its nature:


here’s a trail map:


here are a couple “geostories” about the peak and its rocks:




Distance: 3.5 miles

Time: 3 hrs.

Difficulty: moderate

Trail: smooth packed dirt

Elevation: 2576 -2880 ft.

change: 300 ft. and another 200 ft. … twice each.

Parking: small lot

Tailhead GPS: 33° 43’ 39.75” N, 111° 51’ 38.70” W

Pinnacle Peak Patio GPS: 33° 43’ 38.44” N, 111° 51’ 19.96” W

Entry fees: no

Dogs: NO


Always carry and drink plenty of water!

Sunscreen is advised.

Supportive footwear is also advisable.

SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions

How to find us: Meet at the Pinnacle Peak Park trailhead, or carpool location. (See directions below) …. If lost or late, my cell is[masked]-5945.

TO GET THERE: From the Loop 101 freeway: exit at Princess Drive (Exit 36)/ Pima Rd. and head east to/on Pima Road. Take Pima Road north for about 4.5 miles, then turn east on Happy Valley Road, driving for two miles. Turn north on Alma School Road and take it one mile to Pinnacle Peak Parkway. Turn left onto Pinnacle Peak Parkway and follow the road north for about ½ mile. Turn west (left) at the signed park entrance. If you go a little too far on Alma School Road, you can turn left at E. Jomax Rd. and take it about ¾ mile to park entrance. We will meet right at the trailhead.


Carpooling can save gas but also enhance the social experience. If you’d like to carpool, you must contact others for arrangements. You could email members or post on this announcement page comments.

Although you may know of better choices, and I want to hear of them, I can suggest these carpool locations around the valley:

Those traveling from north or northwest of Phoenix could meet at the park-n-ride just west of I-17 on the south side of Bell Rd OR just west of I-17 just south of Happy Valley Rd. From these two you can take the 17 to the 101. Allow at least 30 minutes to get to the trailhead.

Those traveling from the Tempe/Mesa area could meet at the parking lot just north of the 60 on Alma School Rd. . . enter Fiesta Mall toward the west from Alma School Rd. and park straight ahead at the perimeter of the parking lot across from Best Buy. From there you can follow the 60 to the 101 north. Allow at least 45 minutes to get to the trailhead.

Following the hike: We will reconvene at Pinnacle Peak Patio for our third annual atheist hikers solstice party. They open at 4pm.


When first opened in 1957, the Pinnacle Peak was a general store and rest stop for travelers heading to nearby lakes. What started as a weekend cookout has grown into the world's largest western steakhouse. But it is much more. It has its own brewery and an old-fashioned saloon-style bar. It has a room set aside for displays only of early Arizona beer memorabilia (esp. A-1 Pilsner). In other rooms, there are walls with display cases of western memorabilia (badges, stirrups, etc.). In one of the dancing areas (country western music) is an aquarium with live rattlesnakes. Pinnacle Peak Patio is renowned for its "no necktie" tradition. Don’t wear one or they’ll cut it off. Over the past 48 years Pinnacle Peak has cut over a million ties from unsuspecting customers. The neckties are stapled to the rafters along with business cards identifying the victim… and there are many thousands hanging throughout the place. You can read more about it here:


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Well, since I saw this at the last minute and didn't see Dogs: NO on the post until we got here, we hiked a nearby trail by the fire station and will meet up with everyone at the patio. Hopefully they allow dogs outside on the patio area, at least.... We will find out momentarily.

    December 23, 2012

    • Tyger G.

      You will probably enjoy the hikes and picnic tomorrow on 12/25. There is an easy hike that is relatively flat, and one going to the top of the mountain. We need someone who is happy with the easy hike and willing to sit with the tables we claim until the mountain top trekkers return for lunch. I remember you did that on our Butcher Jones Beach hike and picnic last spring, so maybe you would like to do that at North Mountain, too? You likely would have others who will be coming early and would enjoy some conversation.

      December 24, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      That sounds better than planting the lettuces & chard in my garden. I can put that off until next weekend. :) I will check out the meetup info (tonight when I'm not so rushed). LOL

      December 24, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Keep Larry away from golfers.

    December 24, 2012

    • MAILE


      December 24, 2012

    • MAILE

      Oh Brian...that's why we call him Badger:-)

      1 · December 24, 2012

  • Al T.

    I had a great time ... thanks to all of you for making such a memorable time. Thanks for all the GREAT photos too , .. make for great memories.

    December 24, 2012

  • Cathy

    Thank~you to all involved for the wonderful gifts! Rudy sure enjoyed his dog toys! I enjoyed the entire day:-)

    December 24, 2012

  • Cathy

    I agree with Jack. It was the very best Dec 23 I can remember also! Great hike and a wonderful party with fantastic people!!

    December 24, 2012

  • Cathy

    Thanks for sharing the flat Stanley with me and Gene! I enjoyed your company on the hike and at dinner. Look forward to seeing you next week!

    December 24, 2012

  • Andy W.

    Thanks everyone - my Flat Stanley enjoyed the experience and, man, did I come home with loot!!
    Looking forward to next week.

    1 · December 23, 2012

  • Jack S.

    Thanks everyone for making it the best Dec, 23 I can remember.

    1 · December 24, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks to everyone, this was a great hike and a great day.

    1 · December 24, 2012

  • Amanda C.

    This was one of the very best PAMG events I've attended. Al, Casey, and Tammy were so generous with the white elephant gifts, and I came away with some great stuff as well as many laughs.

    1 · December 24, 2012

  • Jeff C.

    It was very nice to be able to attend the hike and the meet up after...I will do my best to get out of Casa Grande and attend another activity!

    December 23, 2012

  • Anne T.

    Best event,best leader,best friends,best memory!

    December 23, 2012

  • Troy G.

    I enjoyed the hike and the celebration afterwards. Thanks for an enjoyable afternoon and for all the loot.

    December 23, 2012

  • Amanda C.

    I'm going to get there at 9 am and do it once then have lunch at the trailhead before the group shows up. Anyone care to join me?

    December 19, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      A fellow mountain biker, awesome. I really don't like riding in that area though.

      December 19, 2012

    • Conan K.

      Amanda, I might try to join you. It depends on how lazy/sleepy-iny I'm feeling...and/or how much I get done on Saturday. I'll keep you informed.

      December 20, 2012

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