Piestewa Peak, Phoenix AZ

4-star hike.
2 mile out-and-back • Medium difficulty.
Elevation 1,550 - 2,608 feet. Gain 1,100 feet.
Phoenix, Arizona.
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Many hikers head for the hills in search of solitude, but if you're planning to hike to the summit of Piestewa Peak you'd do better to bring with you your community spirit - rarely have we seen such a busy trail.

Hikers, walkers, sightseers and runners alike flock to this prominent peak like moths to a flame, drawn here in part because of it proximity to the city of Phoenix. Despite the crowds this mountain can still be a lot of fun, offering as it does a short but taxing 1,100 ft climb and many great views along the 1 mile route.

If you feel the need to escape from the throngs, you can always extend your return journey along the much less travelled Circumference Trail which traces a flanking route around the mountain. The trip around the mountain measures around 3.1 miles from the peak trail and back to the trailhead.

Parking is a challenge, as is understanding the parking restrictions that prevail. Parking lots close at 7pm, which isn't helpful for folk who want to watch enjoy a good sunset from the summit - but with a little ingenuity you can find places to park without such limitations.

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