Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
828.00 ft (252.37 m)
Trail type
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Turnbuckle Trail is a loop trail located in Skyline Mountain Regional Park.  The trail will take hikers to the summit of Valley Vista Peak for a spectacular view of the West Valley of Phoenix.  This hike is one of the most popular hikes in the park as it is central to the parking lot and the rewards are amazing views.  Hikers can complete this trail in either direction and there is no preferred direction by hikers.  All hikers will pass over the bridge and find the mountain trail and follow it to the Turnbuckle Trail.  When hikers reach the Turnbuckle Trail they will turn left to go clockwise.  From this point, hikers will gradually ascend past the south turnoff for the Granite Falls trail.  As hikers continue their ascent they will pass the north turnoff for the Granite Falls trail.  Once hikers pass the north turnoff for Granite Falls they will start the steepest part of the climb via a series of switchbacks. 

Hikers will reach the top of the switchbacks and see a junction for the spur trail to the top of Valley Vista.  The spur trail is 0.3 miles and if hikers choose not to ascend to the summit they can choose to continue on the loop.  For hikers choosing to reach the summit they can take the spur trail and while there are no switchbacks there is an elevation gain that will make the final push to the summit challenging. 

Once hikers enjoy the summit they will work their way back down the spur trail and continue on the Turnbuckle Trail.  Hikers will ascend for the remaining portion of the trail and will pass one junction to the north end of the Mountain Wash trail but hikers should remain to the right to continue towards the parking lot.  Once hikers see the junction to the south end of Mountain Wash they should turn left to head back towards the parking lot.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic Views of the West Valley. Beautiful Flora.


Crowded. Limited Shade.

Trailhead Elevation

1,479.00 ft (450.80 m)

Highest point

2,322.00 ft (707.75 m)


Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.