Piestewa Peak base area upgrades improve experience, expand access to popular hiking trails in Phoenix Mountains Preserve

On October 4, 2019 the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department celebrated the grand opening of new and upgraded amenities at Piestewa Peak Trailhead.

Friday’s event began with a tribal blessing performed by a member of the Gila River Indian Community and ended with a ribbon-cutting ceremony along the entrance to the new bridge. Members of Lori Piestewa’s family, for whom the peak is named, participated in the ceremony. Piestewa was the first Native American female to die in combat. She served in the Iraq War. Her mother, Percy, gave remarks prior to the ribbon cutting.

Highlights of Piestewa Peak base area improvements:

  • Reconfigured parking areas that add 22 spaces
  • 104-foot-long vehicle/pedestrian bridge to improve traffic flow and trail access
  • New building with six individual restrooms and ranger station
  • 3 drinking fountains and a water bottle fill station
  • 4 new ramadas and 2 renovated ramadas
  • Improved sidewalks, curbing, lighting and signage.
This is one of four new ramadas constructed at the Piestewa Peak base area that offers shelter and a place to rest for visitors to the popular hiking area.
Expanded parking lots at Piestewa Peak base area
Expanded parking lots at Piestewa Peak base area
Fitness buffs who come to Piestewa Peak for exercise will appreciate the new water fountain, pull-up and dip bars.
Piestewa Peak interpretive sign
Piestewa Peak interpretive sign and trail map

The project is part of a five-year infrastructure improvement plan for the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, which started in summer 2017, and is funded by the voter-approved Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative (PPPI).

Piestewa Peak, known as Squaw Peak prior to 2008, is one of the most popular areas for hiking in the city of Phoenix. It’s especially popular for night hiking since the relative height affords fantastic views of sunsets and city lights.

Piestewa Peak quick facts:

  • Originally named Squaw Peak in the early 1900s
  • Officially renamed Piestewa Peak in 2008
  • Peak elevation: 2,612 feet (796 m)
  • 2nd highest peak in Phoenix behind Camelback Mountain
  • Summit Trail (#300) is 1.2 miles one way to top
  • 1,200 foot elevation gain from parking lot
  • Located within Phoenix Mountains Preserve
  • Free parking with access to several hiking trails
  • No pass or permit required
  • Entrance gate is open until 7 p.m. daily
  • Once inside the gate, visitors can remain until 11 p.m.

The Phoenix Mountains Preserve is located within the ancestral homeland of what is today represented by the Tohono O’odham Nation, Gila River Indian, Ak-Chin Indian and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian communities.

Click the map below for directions to Piestewa Peak.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.