8 miles round trip | ½ day hike candidate: Nah, but do couple the Emory Peak Trail in with this one while you’re up there.
About: The Pinnacles takes you up into the mountains where the air is noticeably, sometimes drastically, cooler than the desert floor. This hike offers breathtaking views of Casa Grande and The Window. As you hike, take in the high-desert flora and fauna as well as the birds. If you plan on hiking to Emory Peak, the tallest peak in the park, this is the most popular path to get to the trail that leads to the peak. At the end of the trail you have three choices:
- Go back, you’re done
- Continue on to Emory Peak
- Continue on the Boot Canyon Trail which eventually takes you to the network of trails that leads to the South Rim.
Pros: Mountain views, alpine environment.
Cons: Inclined switchbacks can get a little boring and tiresome.
Tips: You can’t turn back now, you have to continue on to Emory Peak which adds another ~3 miles round trip but so worth it. Bring plenty of water and snacks or even a packed lunch. When the trail splits, as mentioned above, there is a nice spot to rest and re-energize. Do so. Eat, consume water with a pinch of salt, rest for a while, and you can make it on to Emory Peak.
You can save a little time on the way out or back by hiking through the cabins at the basin. See map below.
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ If you don’t include Emory Peak.