Pinnacle Peak

View from the highest spot on the trail at 2889 feet.
View from the highest spot on the trail at 2889 feet.
Gabriel Utasi

Pinnacle Peak trail is for tourists -- the well-manicured trail is lined with an almost unnatural variety of desert plant species, which are all labeled, and is heavily traveled by people ... in jeans. (Note: If you can hike in jeans, you're not really hiking.)


The trail head features a concession stand-type information booth and fancy bathrooms, too.

The good thing is that most of the "tourists" stop before the trail gets difficult, so the runners, of which there are a lot, and the more serious hikers can continue in relative peace.

There are no dogs or bikes allowed on the trail, but experienced horse riders are, and rock climbing is permitted in certain areas.

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Pinnacle Peak is one of the few trails where the path is actually harder on the way back (it's not a loop trail). You don't climb to the top of the peak and then get to meander back down. You climb up a little, travel down and then hike back out.

The 4-mile roundtrip hike takes a little more than an hour. Overall, it's pretty pleasant. Just be prepared for a busy trail where you have to dodge runners, read plant signage and deal with "tourists" for a while.

To get to Pinnacle Peak trailhead take Happy Valley Road east and go north on Alma School Road. You will pass Pinnacle Peak Patio before the trailhead.

Distance: 4 miles total

Time: 1.5 hours

Elevation climb: 1,300 feet

Hiker's tip: Don't be a tourist.

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