Dixie Peak a.k.a. Two Bit Peak • Phoenix Mountains Preserve
• Highpoint: Town of Paradise Valley
• Maricopa County


Initial hike along the road
 

Post with the peak's name
 

Trail view
 

The last portion to the top
 

Stick Scott, with Camelback in the back
 

Piestewa Peak to the west
 

Snow on the peaks to the north!
 

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Date: January 1, 2015 • Elevation: 2,429 feet • Prominence: 699 feet • Distance: 3 miles • Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes • Gain: 930 feet • Conditions: Cloudy and very cold

I wanted to hike somewhere locally for New Year's Day, and found this peak to fit my needs. It is close to home, has good trailhead access, a good trail, and the peak itself is a highpoint, that of the Town of Paradise Valley. More on that at the end.

On the maps, the peak is simply identified by its elevation, 2,429 feet. It is located about a mile east of Piestewa Peak in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. Piestewa, I have hiked well over a hundred times over the years. Until today, I had not hiked this particular peak, for reasons I cannot explain. I have made a conscious effort in recent months to climb the myriad of local peaks, hills and bumps in the Phoenix metro area.

The trailhead is at the south end of 40th Street in North Phoenix. I drove in from Scottsdale via Cactus, Tatum and Shea Boulevards, arriving about noon. The trailhead parking lot can hold about thirty vehicles, and not surprisingly, it was filled today. But just as I rolled in, a car was backing out, so I was able to score a spot with no wait. There were a lot of people, some on mountain bikes, some with their dogs, some with little kids. Being New Year's Day, I suspect many people had the same idea as I did, to ring in the new year doing something healthy.

Yesterday, New Year's Eve, had been rainy and very cold. We never got out of the 40s in town, which is rare for us, and snow levels had dropped as low as 2,000 feet. Today was also quite chilly, the temperature about 40 degrees at noon. The sky was cloudy, but there was no chance of rain. Despite the cold, conditions were nice.

I followed a dirt road that heads south, this being the alignment for 40th Street. The road has been left to decay and is covered over in rocks in many places. For hiking, it offered a good, wide path through the desert. In about a mile, the road had started to steepen slightly, now closer to the base of the actual mountains. Here, a signpost marked "Dixie Peak" with an arrow points the correct way. This was the first time I found out the peak had a name, even if it was unofficial.

Past this signpost, the route was now along trail, and it switchbacked steeply up the hillside. The going was straightforward, but a little choppy in places demanding that I watch where I put my feet. In not too long, I had arrived into the main ridge. Here, I went left and followed a trio of women up to the top. In moments, about five other people had come up. Although there was a steady stream of hikers, it was nowhere near as crowded as on Piestewa Peak.

I spent about ten minutes on top, taking a few images with my camera. The surrounding mountain ranges were all covered in snow, a rare sight for Phoenix. I watched as the people descended another trail, so I followed them. This trail zig-zags down back to the main saddle, meeting it at a slightly unobvious junction. It was nice to have a little loop to follow. The hike down went fast and I was back to my truck soon, my whole round trip costing me 75 minutes of my life.

I found this to be a fun hike. It was about 1.5 miles each way with 930 feet of gain, so it's a good workout. Why I hadn't hiked it until now is beyond me. I will certainly come back.

The boring stuff:

The name, Dixie Peak, is unofficial, but it gets repeated on some websites so it may become the official unofficial name in the near future. It is one of the peaks commonly climbed as part of the Phoenix Seven Summits Challenge. Other sources call it "Two Bit" Peak.

It just so happens that the city limits of Paradise Valley run immediately north of the summit, perhaps by no more than 50 feet, placing the summit within Paradise Valley. A careful study of the topographical maps along with up-to-date maps of the city limits shows that this peak is the highest point within Paradise Valley.

Camelback Mountain, about two miles to the south, lies along the southern city limits. There, the city limits run up to and just nick a 2,420-foot contour on the peak's steep north-facing slopes. Thus, it is a close call between these two points, but Dixie Peak (Peak 2429) wins out, and it is nice that the highpoint is a peak.

(c) 2015 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.