Piestewa Peak Summit Trail, A Love Letter

As we're rounding out 2010, we can't help but reminisce about some of our fave Phoenix places. And, as a hiker, this writer thought it only appropriate to express her appreciation for one of her most beloved trails in the timeless gift of a love letter.

To My Beloved Piestewa,

The first time we met, I was a small child. And even though your Summit Trail #300 made me break down in tears, you've always waited patiently for me to return.

I'm so very glad that you did.

When I was a pudgy 23-year-old who hadn't exercised in almost a decade, you brought me out of my slump. Sure, it took me about an hour to get to the top, but you kept me coming back until I got my climbing time down to 25 minutes.

When I was emotionally lost and fresh from a break up, you let me stomp all over you so I could feel better.

And, two days before my wedding, you let me and my fiance climb to the top without tripping us or allowing us to fall and ruin our pretty faces. I thank you for that.

And I thank you for so many things...like the time I started too late in the day and was still able to hike down safely in the dark.

Or how whenever I've wanted to quit, you've let an old person, a child, or an overweight individual pass me to remind me that I'm being a total poon.

And then there was that one time when a creepy guy started talking to my friend but there were enough people on your trail so he didn't end up sexually harassing her. Thanks, we really owe you one.

Thanks for keeping my butt from getting too cellulite-y and for shaving a few inches off my husband's waistline. Thank you for putting up with the scores of annoying people on the weekends and not letting dogs on your trail so I don't step in stinking poop.

Thank you for offering some of the best views in the city.

And thanks for not having too many tanned and toned fitness freaks hiking your trails (like the weirdos I see at Camelback).

I love you so much for all of these things ... and I love you for being such a goddamn pain in the ass to climb.

But, most of all, I love you for teaching me to forgive myself when I don't make it to the top.

Forever yours,

Lilia Menconi

Sorry I keep calling you "Squaw Peak." I promise I'll try to stop.

Distance: 1.2 miles up (2.4 total)

Elevation Climb: 2600 feet (holy crap!)

Time:  1-2 hours, depending on fitness level

Hiker's Tip: Bring your ipod, lots of water and don't think -- just climb. Stop if you need to as many times as you have to. But make sure you go all the way because the view from the top will make you want to come back.

Check out our other recent hiking news/reviews:
Winter Hiking in Phoenix, A Guide/Rant
Phoenix Delays Parking Fees For Valley Parks and Hiking Spots
South Mountain: Javelina, Ridgeline and Beverly Loop
Nature Trail
Phoenix Summit Challenge
Dreamy Draw Trails
North Mountain Summit Trail
Parking Fees to be Enforced at Local Trails
Mojave Trail
Shaw Butte
Lookout Mountain
Quartz Ridge
Kiwanis Trail
Picacho Peak

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Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi