The Phoenix Mountain Preserve is home to Piestewa Peak Park, a very pawpular hiking destination for residents and visitors of Phoenix, Arizona. This mountain preserve will give you the feeling that you’re in a remote section of the Sonoran Desert, when in fact, it’s very conveniently located just 20 minutes outside of downtown.
As the name implies, Piestewa Peak Park is well known for the 2,608 foot Piestewa Peak that towers over the area. While doggos are not allowed on the Piestewa Peak Summit Trail, they are allowed to explore the many surrounding trails with their humans.
Trailheads and parking are open from 5am to 7pm, and from June 1st to September 30th, they are open until 9pm. The trails themselves are open until 11pm. There are about 11 trails of varying difficulties that wander through this park. Most of the trails start on Squaw Peak Drive near the parks main entrance, where you’ll find trailheads, parking, restrooms, and drinking water.
If you’re looking for a challenge, the Piestewa Peak Freedom Trail is a great option. This trail is started at trailhead #302, located at 5994 East Squaw Peak Drive. It’s a 3.7 mile loop that skirts the base of Piestewa Peak. The trail is moderately difficult with some rocky sections, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear. On your travels you’ll get to enjoy breathtaking views of the mountain peak, the Phoenix metropolitan area, and more secluded desert scenery as well.
A slightly easier option is the Piestewa Peak Nature Trail. It can be started at trailhead #304, at the end of East Squaw Peak Drive. The trail is a 1.4 mile loop that features a deep wash, with a wide variety of native flora and fauna.
Doggos are welcome on all the trails except for the summit trail, as long as they stay leashed, picked up after, and respectful to all other creatures. Be sure to bring clean-up bags and water on every trek. Note that dogs are not allowed on the trails when the temperature is 100 degrees or warmer due to Arizona law.
A day exploring the Sonoran Desert with your best pal is one you won’t soon forget!
The trail passes through undeveloped desert areas where hikers can encounter rock terrain, rattlesnakes and other potential hazards. Always tell someone where you will be hiking and when you expect to return.