Arizona hiking in spring is the perfect exercise to clear your mind of worries, and calm your spirit. Walking in nature ignites creativity, allowing the mind to wander as you absorb the beauty and quiet of your surroundings. Observing a hummingbird flit from flower to flower, or a lizard gazing out from a rock, allows the stress of a long to-do list to fade as you walk further along the trail.

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Pinnacle Peak Park is one of my favorite trails in the valley. Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, it is a well groomed trail, with an office at the trailhead providing information for new visitors. The restrooms are also located at the trail head, (an essential feature at my age!). The park is 1.75 miles one way, making it a moderate 3.5 mile hike out and back. From the trail you look down on beautiful luxury homes and golf course.

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Make sure you have sturdy hiking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and plenty of water. A Camelbac works best for me, as I also pack in essentials like car keys, phone and snacks. I like my hands free to take photos. Watch and listen for rattlesnakes both on the actual trail and in nearby bushes. I’ve yet to spot one on this hike but you are definitely in their territory.

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A friend introduced me to Pinnacle Peak Park and it has become a firm favorite for hikes with friends. The cacti have overheard many of our midlife conversations from politics to parenting. A wide variety of people hike this trail, from tourists visiting local hotels, to locals who walk or run with purpose out and back everyday.


The desert views are stunning and although you do not actually walk to the top of Pinnacle Peak itself, there is a cumulative elevation gain of 1300 feet. Rock climbing for those with experience and appropriate gear is allowed in three areas of the park.


If you find yourself in Scottsdale looking for a walk I’d highly recommend Pinnacle Peak Park, but be mindful of desert temperatures reaching triple digits from late May through September typically. Enjoy! Where is your favorite trail to hike?

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