Camelback Mountain can be seen in the distance to the left.

Piestewa Peak is one of my favorite day hikes in the Phoenix area and is often one of my go-to hikes when I don’t have anything else planned.

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In my previous article on Piestewa Peak, “Part 1, The Name Controversy,” I discussed the heated debates surrounding this Phoenix landmark as it went from the early name of “Squaw Tit Peak,” to simply Squaw Peak, and finally to Piestewa Peak in 2003.

In this second part I’ll be discussing the hike to the summit of the peak, the third tallest point in Phoenix.

The hike offers a great cardio-vascular workout and there are many, including myself on occasion, who run the trail.

Some who make the hike a regular workout carry small speakers and play music aloud as they make the trek.

If you aren’t yet feeling up to the challenge of the Summit Trail, try hiking some of the other great trails near Piestewa Peak or within the Phoenix Mountains Preserve.

They still provide some great views of the Sonoran Desert, but do not require such a strenuous elevation gain.

There are also the overweight troopers covered in sweat, putting their all into losing a few pounds.

Families take outings here together, friends hike up in groups, and single hikers make the trek as well.

It’s less intense than Camelback Mountain nearby, but still offers a great workout and excellent views from the top.