September 26, 2012
User Behavior at Pinnacle Peak
Pinnacle Peak Hiking Area is a multipurpose, exercise trail used for both hiking and equestrians. It is a 1.75 mile one-way trail in Rio Verde, Arizona with breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert from every direction. Because the trail is not a loop, there is a lot of traffic on the trail, especially during the fall and winter seasons and on weekends. Families specifically enjoy this trail because there is no way for their children to get lost; there is one way in and one way out, no confusing side trails for anyone to take. There are a few areas where people are tempted to cut corners when there is a lot of traffic on the trail. This is quite dangerous as the entire trail is up a mountain and someone could very easily slip and fall. To help prevent people from cutting corners, the management has strategically laid rocks and logs along certain corners so it is a lot harder for people to step outside these boundaries.
Parking for Pinnacle Peak is a disaster. There is very little parking in the designated parking lot, and so people have to park on the street and walk a fairly far distance before they even reach the trailhead. Like the trail, there is only one way in and one way out; there is no going around the busy street full of cars. On weekends when the trail is extremely busy, the parking situation is chaotic. People are out of breath walking uphill before they even reach the trailhead.
At the trail head there is a large shaded area, decorated to match its desert surroundings, for people to stretch, rest, drink water, and have snacks both before and after their hikes. I found this extremely inviting and welcoming to users of all ages and hiking abilities. However, the trail itself is quite uninviting. The trail is unsuitable for both hikers and equestrians to be using at the same time. It is very rare that you will see horses on the trail; even without the...