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
Pinnacle 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.
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?)
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!
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.
In 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:
That’s the roadway leading to the trail head that bisects the photo above.
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.)
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
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.