|Pinnacle Peak Park|
I love when I get the opportunity to check out some of the many Phoenix area hiking destinations. There are so many! Stand on any local mountain top, and you can see The Valley of the Sun is dotted with, and surrounded by mountains. I remember all those mountains coming as quite a surprise to me when I first came down here. My image of Phoenix previously was of flat desert, but it isn't that way at all.
One of those mountains is called Pinnacle Peak, located on the outskirts of Scottsdale. This park has a lot going for it. For starters, it boasts a wide variety of desert plants that grow in very close proximity to each other, making this a very green spot for a low desert locale. The dense foliage supports a myriad of desert wildlife including snakes and chuckwallas, who have plenty of places to hide in the rocky boulder strewn terrain.
What the park doesn't have going for it, is that its way too manicured, covered with signs and barricades to prevent off-trail travel, and dotted with benches and man-made lookouts. Its like the park service is trying to make it too friendly, and too easy. To me, it takes away some of the wildness of the place. I understand the need to attract visitors to the park, but shouldn't the beauty of the place be sufficient?
Anyway, my friend Jim and I still had a fun hike through some very interesting terrain. We saw a lot of chuckwallas sunning on the rocks which was really cool. I love seeing wildlife, its one of my favorite things about spending time in the woods. Even though we looked for snakes we didn't see any. I'm going on a year-and-a-half of desert living without seeing a single rattlesnake. Its crazy! I really want to see one of those big daddy Western Diamondbacks I've heard so much about... Better luck next time I guess.