Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Arizona: Take a Hike! Or a Walk in the Park . . .

Pinnacle Peak is a neighbor of our Scottsdale timeshare.  And we had only last June’s  100-degree temperatures to blame for not getting acquainted then. We finally met in December.

A Walk in the Park

PFourSeasons2012 009innacle Peak is the centerpiece and namesake of the 150-acre Scottsdale city park Pinnacle Peak Park that abuts the  Four Seasons Hotel and Residence Club Troon North.

We aren’t talking a slow stroll through an oasis of green with leafy trees and carpets of lawn. We are talking a 1.75 mile, (moderate-difficulty) trail of naturally decomposed granite that took us to an elevation of 2,570 feet.





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The trail is an IN and OUT trail, not a loop – so what you walk going in will also be your route out and you’ll be walking 3.5 miles if you do it all.  And its wide, 4 – 6 feet in most places which is good as signs tell pedestrians to yield to horseback riders (as if we wouldn’t, right?)

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Pinnacle Peak is a granite summit that rises 600 feet from the valley floor to a height of some mountain passes in Washington State at 3,171 feet. 

The trail elevation rises only to 2,570 feet and it takes about two hours at a leisurely pace to complete the hike in and out.

Several passed us who were jogging its length and others were sucking air within minutes of starting the climb – know your limitations!






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We posed at the trail's summit, our dress, as you can tell from the photo, was for sun protection -- hats, sun glasses, sleeves  -- as well as for ‘critter and bush’ protection – long pants and closed-toed shoes.  We didn’t encounter any critters but the place is home to several varieties (rattlesnakes, Gila monsters and coyotes to name a few). I carried bottled water in that bag at my side; water and restrooms were available at the trail head.

Take a Hike! (but know your limits)

So inspired were we by Pinnacle Peak that we decided on a subsequent outing to try the newly-opened Tom’s Thumb Trail head, a few miles away in the heart of the scenic 21,400-acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

FourSeasons2012 067In October 2012 the new trail system opened with five miles of new multi-use trails that include the Marcus Landslide Interpretive Trail.

There is no water available here and despite being only three miles off Dynamite Blvd., a main thoroughfare in Scottsdale, the area is remote.  The view’s literally for as far as the eye can see:





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That’s the roadway leading to the trail head that bisects the photo above.

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Unlike Pinnacle Peak, this trail – as we learned after we got there – has a vertical climb of 800-feet, it is steep and the decomposing granite makes for a slip-sliding experience (bring a walking stick and hiking boots for this one.) 

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The Interpretive Center has restrooms and signage but no vending machines for beverages or water – you need to bring your own.


If you Go:

Pinnacle Peak Park, 26802 N. 102nd Way (Jomax Road).

Tom’s Thumb Trail head, 23015 128th St. (three miles off Dynamite Blvd.)

Information about both at:  www.Scottsdaleaz.gov

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 Thanks for stopping by today.  Hope to see you back again on Travel Photo Thursday when we head to. . . (you’ll just have to come back to see where we are off to next!)

Until then, happy travels.

6 comments:

  1. Ah, you were better prepared for a hike than we were when we got to Arizona. No hiking boots, no backpack to carry water in, no sun hats. Next time, we'll come prepared. We enjoyed it though - Jerome, Sedona...

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    1. We love Jerome - at least for a day-trip and highly recommend taking the Verde Canyon Railroad trip just down the road should you get back to that area. (We took the hike during our road trip to AZ so were able to put hiking shoes and such in the car and not try to get it all in suitcases as you would have had to do.

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  2. Great hiking tips, plus you got your excercise. Really miss that beautiful southwest sky!

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    1. There is something about the wide open skies of the southwest. I suspect you will be enjoying those South Pacific skies real soon however!

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  3. Great post! Sounds like a lovely hike! The pictures of the cactus are beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Tricia! Hope you are a regular here and if not, hope you soon will be!

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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