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At just over 2,600 feet, Piestewa Peak is the second highest mountain in the Phoenix Mountains range, after Camelback, and the third highest mountain in the Phoenix, AZ area.

In an effort to “burn off the turkey” over Thanksgiving, my sister and I decided to tackle the climb one morning. It ended up being fairly chilly and extremely windy the entire hike. Β The summit trail is a double black diamond hike, i.e. very difficult, with an elevation gain over 1,200 feet within 1.2 miles to the summit.

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There are actually other trails and hiking options for all abilities in the Piestewa Peak park, however because it is an open area within the Sonoran Desert, caution is advised. What’s nice about the summit hike is that parking is available and there is no fee to enter the trail area. However, parking is limited so I’d recommend going during off times to hike or be prepared to walk a bit from a parking spot to get to the trail head.

Piestewa Peak is absolutely worth checking out if you’re in the Phoenix area, especially as a great alternative to the very popular (and crowded) Camelback Mountain.

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