At first glance, you might not think that Pinnacle Peak is a kid friendly hike. While impressive with boulders and tall peaks, it can seem intimidating and just plain tough for little legs. But it’s actually a fun hike that kids will love and is one of our favorite places to take visitors. In a relatively short amount of time, you gain beautiful views with lots of desert plant life to admire.
Restrooms and a small visitors center are at the base of the trail, along with a couple picnic tables. The trail itself is just under two miles and not a loop. There are numerous switchbacks but the elevation gain is slow. This makes it easier for kids and really, the view of Scottsdale is amazing anywhere on the trail! There are several overlooks to stop and rest if needed.
Once you pass the highest point of the trail, just under 3/4 mile, the path meanders downward, before coming back up again with a few switchbacks. This part is not as scenic, but is still beautiful. We’ve taken guests as far as Grandview, and also to the end of the trail and back.
We are not avid hikers, but love the challenge and desert beauty of Pinnacle Peak. Our kids are slow but steady walkers. They always feel accomplished and proud of themselves afterwards! We’ve taken children, grandparents, and pregnant women on this hike and everyone has loved it.
This is not a stroller friendly hike. However the path is smooth with little chance of twisting an ankle or injuring little ones (as long as you stay on the trail). The highest point of elevation on the trail is 2,889 feet.
This park also offers three rock climbing sections. Older children and teenagers might enjoy exploring this route. Contact the park office for more details.
As always when hiking, bring plenty of water for each person, sunscreen, hats and snacks. Close toed shoes are also a good idea when exploring rough trails. Our kids love bringing little backpacks to put in treasures that they find! (Which would be mostly rocks for our son.) We always look them over back at the picnic tables, and then leave them for others to enjoy.
Pinnacle Peak Park
26802 N. 102nd Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
Or visit 6 Nature Areas to Visit in Phoenix.