Piestewa Peak Circumference Trail

Cactus, Arizona

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5 Reviews
4 out of 5
An excellent moderate hike that circumnavigates Piestewa Peak.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Phoenix


Best Easy Day Hikes: Phoenix

by Stewart M. Green (Falcon Guides)

An excellent moderate hike that circumnavigates Piestewa Peak.

© 2015 Stewart M. Green/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cactus
Distance: 3.74
Elevation Gain: 700 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Season: November - April
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Phoenix Mountains Park
Local Maps: USGS: Sunnyslope
Topo Map: Piestewa Peak: Circumference Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Best Easy Day Hikes: Phoenix Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

Recent Trail Reviews

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Good hike, first 6/10th of mile half way up the Piestwa Summit trail, then bear left to circumvent Piestwa Peak. I recomend higher cut hiking shoes as the trail terrain can be rugged in spots. Very beautiful on back side of Squaw Mountain. Squaw Mountain was renamed Piewsta in honor of an Afgan war vetern.


Beautiful trail. Great way to get away from the city while still being in the middle of it. Good views and great scenery. Moderate difficulty.


This is an easy to hike sampler of the areas' geography within the Phoenix Metro area. If you travel clock-wise from the summit trail, you will experience two moderate climbs: the first- and hardest- immediately, and the second about two-thirds in. The Circumference (302) gives great views of both downtown Phoenix, as well as views of both the Phoenix mountains' valleys, and flora.


We did three hikes while in Phoenix. CamelBack Mountian (great hike) and the Saguaro National Park (also great) We started the Circufrance trail at the Summit parking lot and followed directions as written. Once at the top of the saddle the directions indicated that we go left even though the trail numbers did not coincide with the directions. Well, to make a long story short. We got lost, and ended up walking an additional hour and a half through the desert. We approached Hightway #51 and had to cut through a housing tract and surface steets to find our way back to the parking lot. These were not good directions and this plan definitley needs some attention and revison.


This is a great trail for the average hiker. The trail is well preserved but highly populated with people at times. Most of the trial itself consist of basic mountain dirt with a few rocks thrown into the mix. Small inclines are throughout the entire trail, with one heavy incline towards the front end of the hike (when starting opposite the summit trailhead). Towards the back half, foot work on the narrow path can get tricky, but not a majot concern. The last 1/3 of the hike is all switchbacks going up to meet with the summit trail. Once connected with the summit trail, you have a choice to continue up to the top of Squaw Peak Mt. or head down to the parking lot. Again, a good hike for a beginner/moderate hiker. Enjoy!

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Mar 2018