While just about everyone has hiked Cowles Mountain, surprisingly few bother to continue on to Pyles Peak, the second highest peak in Mission Trails. Pyles Peak can only be accessed by first summiting Cowles then traveling another another 1.5 miles northwest. You’ll quickly leave the constant stream of hikers and trail runners behind on this trek and likely have the beautiful views all to yourself.
While you can use any of the multiple trailheads for Cowles to begin your journey to Pyles Peak, we had started at the popular Golfcrest and Navajo staging area, so all of our mileage references are based on that as the starting point for this hike (read the Cowles Mountain write-up here).
We turned right to make the small detour to see the view point. We climbed uphill for about .1 mile and came to a small fenced off area. We didn’t really find the views here to be any better than what we’d been seeing along the trail, but that might be because the surrounding brush was getting pretty tall.
We rejoined the main trail at 2.3 miles and turned right to continue our way to the peak. We had only seen one person – a lone trail runner – since we’d left Cowles. It was downright peaceful as we traveled on.
We pressed on up the final ascent. When we had first done this trail many years ago, it was pretty sketchy and rather difficult to follow. But now it was well-marked and we quickly made our way up the steep mountainside.
After enjoying the views and the serenity, we headed back the way we had come.
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From Highway 125, take the Navajo Road exit. Head west on Navajo Road for approximately 2 miles, then turn right onto Golfcrest Drive. The parking area will be almost immediately on your right. The parking area will almost definitely be full, so park along the street where you can, making sure not to block anyone’s driveway. map
|Total Distance:||5.9 miles|
|Total Ascent:||1862 feet|
|Dog Friendly?:||Leashed dogs allowed|
|Bike Friendly?:||Bikes not allowed|
|Facilities:||Bathroom and drinking fountain at trailhead|