Piestewa Peak

If you are looking for a tough hike for an experienced hiker, head out to Piestawa Peak in Phoenix. Located in the center of Phoenix, this is a popular hike for those looking for a physical fitness challenge, but a relatively mild natural environment. It is right in the middle of an urban area surrounded by highways and residential areas, but gives you a getaway for exercise and fresh air. The area used to be Squaw Park but was recently renamed in honor of Lori Piestewa, a soldier who lost her life in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The peak features two trails, the Circumference Trail and the Summit Trail. The Summit Trail is 1.2 miles and reaches the top of the peak. It is a rocky trail which gives the same effect a Stair Master machine might accomplish. The Circumference Trail is 3.75 miles and has a gradual incline. This is great for those who want to walk longer but at a less intense pace. This trail is usually less crowded than the Summit Trail. There is a recreation area surrounding the trails that is great for a picnic or cool drink before or after a hike. When hiking plan to wear comfortable shoes, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, and bring plenty of water.

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