Personally, I am more of an occasional hiker but I felt that my experience could help someone prepare for their first adventure to the top of the 3374-foot summit. Where is Picacho Peak State Park? The trail is challenging and requires strong arms to grip the cables on ascent and descent- gloves are highly recommended. I can't remember how long it took us but I think the hike finished at a little over an hour. The Stonewall Peak Trail hike is the most popular hike in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park for good reason. The signs will say 2 miles, but they lie. The day temperatures during those seasons can easily exceed over 100 degrees. I ventured up this steep, rugged path on a pre-dawn on a late March morning. Hike The first section takes you up steep switchbacks to the saddle. The trail is very well maintained and follows several switchbacks which will turn rocky as you get close to the peak. The 1.5 mile trail to the peak provides spectacular views of the Mesilla Valley and the Organ Mountains. The Sunset Vista Trail adds an extra two miles of easier trail before joining up with the Hunter Trail, which wends to the peak. Artists’ Paintpots Trail – Easy Hikes in Yellowstone National Park, Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R – Telephoto Lens Review, Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R Lens Review, Best Fujifilm X-Mount Lenses for Landscape Photography, Best Panasonic Micro Four-Thirds Lenses for Landscape Photography, Best Olympus Micro Four-Thirds Lenses for Landscape Photography, MeFoto Backpacker Air Tripod Review – A Landscape Photographer’s Take, Sony (Zeiss) Vario-Tessar 16-70mm f/4 OSS Lens Review, Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS Telephoto Lens Review, Best Mirrorless Cameras: Landscape Photography. Picacho Peak is one of the best spots to see wildflowers, with several easy hiking trails lined with vibrant yellow poppies from start to finish. Picacho Peak is one of those mountains you just have to hike! At the saddle, there’s a historical plaque where you can learn about the 1862 Battle of Picacho Pass– the largest Civil War battle in Arizona territory. When in season a beautiful wildflower is witnessed at the beginning of the trail. Its centerpiece spire is visible from downtown Tucson, a distance of 45 miles (72 km). Through certain areas, I’ve had friends and family who had to slide down for steep parts. I’m Natalie, and my goal is to encourage you to seek out what makes you the happiest in life. The trailhead is on the north side of Barret Loop within the park. Don’t forget to take your trash with you! Once the the final rock-and-cable climb is completed, the trail snakes its way up to a steep slope for a couple hundred feet until it attains the flat, rocky summit of Picacho Peak. For the average hiker with an understandable fear of heights, the cables must be a God send. Your email address will not be published. For extra balance, you can grip the cables for this first round. We began our hike at the Hunter Trailhead. To the southeast, the Santa Catalina Mountains appear as a magic kingdom in the distance. Barr Trail is the main route to hike Pikes Peak and the only trail that will take you to the summit. The view across the valley to Newman Peak was awe inspiring. At sunrise, you will witness a beautiful sight of the sun slowly rising above the horizon. January 9, 2016. He’s a retire firefighter, avid hiker and outdoorsman, and leads group hikes for fitness, business and pleasure. Pay attention to your footing since the ground is quite uneven. I would like to add that there are a few different trails at Picacho Peak State Park, but I will only focus on Hunter Trail because that is the only trail I have hiked. I believe you can achieve anything when you have faith and resilience. I had a great time hiking Picacho Peak, but that extra walk in the desert sun, well, I think I would’ve preferred to do without that. Be prepared with two litres of … I thought it was easier to cross using the rock for holds. I feel something can be less intimidating and easier to conquer if you can mentally prepare yourself in advance. I ventured up this steep, rugged path on a pre-dawn on a late March morning. The average time taken to climb Picacho peak is two and a half to four hours as a round trip. I guess that’s just a little reminder that in every situation, even a simple step, care should be taken to avoid mistakes. Little can grow natuarally in this arid land where the Colorado River struggles to avoid complete evaporation before entering Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. Enjoy the 360-views of the Sonoran Desert and take your photos. The first park of the hike will take you to a scenic spot, … Full service campground on site, additional fee (per night) is required. After you drive past the visitor center*, you will take the first left to Barrett Loop. From the top of Picacho Peak On Friday, January 4, 2019, while staying at Picacho Peak State Park we climbed to the top of the famous Picacho Peak. To the north is Newman Peak, of the Picacho Mountains. Length: 3.2 mi • Est. Picacho Peak Sunset Vista Trail: 32.636917, -111.412611 Safety The hikes to Picacho Peak are not long, but they are strenuous, and if you allow yourself to become lightheaded due to dehydration or for other reasons, it can be dangerous in the steeper areas. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. This is a difficult trail with steep inclines and steel cables, so gloves are recommend. The signs will say 2 miles, but they lie. Florence, AZ. You’ll pass through an open gate and approach the visitors center. On the descent, back down the maze of rock and cables, I encountered other hikers, and much more frequently as I moved. We were treated to views of a “saguaro forest” to the west, with the sun setting over the mountains in the distance. It’s the very top of that big, imposing mountain, straight in front of you. “How silly!” I thought. In my list, I included my recommended attire and the reasoning: At only 4 miles, Hunter Trail is a relatively short hike. Cables aid hikers in navigating a 45 degree slope. I soon discovered the infamous cable network of Picacho. Carry one with you just in case. At this same spot is where you can see the descent on the backside of the base. If you would rather hike around 10am, as opposed to 5:00am then I recommend hiking between late fall to early spring. If this is your first time venturing out to Picacho Peak State Park (or hiking in Arizona), I made a list of some things that you should know. I … If you need to take a break, there’s plenty of space to step to the side for water. We decided to hike to the top of beautiful views. The summit rises to 3,374 feet (1,028 m) above mean sea level. There was one other car in the parking lot, but I saw no one on my ascent. Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Picacho, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Hunter Trail, typically rated as difficult, begins on the north side (from Barrett Loop) and will take you to the top of the peak. Dramatic views of the Picacho Mountains from the Picacho Peak Summit. Early morning from the saddle along Picacho Peak’s Hunter Trail. The park is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 in Pinal County. A few factors determine the amount of time it will take to hike Hunter Trail. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Built by Fred Barr over several years in the 1900s and re-done by the U.S. Forest Service in the late 50s, it provides a well-maintained route that takes you 13.5 mile to the top from its starting point in Manitou Springs. My photographs do no justice to the beauty I saw with my own eyes. Another attractions: The cacti is always there. I was glad I had chosen an early start. Take exit 219 and turn Right onto Picacho Peak Road. I should divulge the fact that I took a fall on this hike. And then scraped my back on a rock. The main reason why I recommend hiking earlier is so that your time is shorter. But, I think if you did the vertical climb, then you can walk the plank. Picacho Peak, halfway between Tucson and Phoenix, is one of the best short hikes in the state of Arizona, and with the weather still cool and wildflowers in bloom, now is the time to get out there. Descending the east slopes, the sun was starting to warm the rock and the air into 70 degree weather, which made the ascending hikers look hot and sweaty. Much of this hike involves climbing and holding onto rocks or cables. All roads within the park are paved. It is a moderate hike, a constant ascent that totals at a 1100+ elevation gain over approximately two miles. Trailheads fill with cars as hikers take to the network of trails in search of colorful wildflowers and endless vistas. The trailhead for the Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak is located approximately 1.5 miles further into the park, at the top of the Barrett Loop (see downloadable trail map). We could see the flowers. The land In the far southeastern corner of California, near the town of Yuma is one of the starkest desert landscapes in the world. My younger siblings took the approach of sitting at the top and working their way down. Picacho feels tall, yet the top of the Catalinas, Mount Lemmon, towers another 7,000 vertical feet above Picacho’s 3,000 foot crest. The descent is a different type of slippery, rocky slope than what’s experienced in the beginning. I was no worse for the wear, but somehow I also bent a car-key in my pocket in the process. We had heards that the flowers had been opened. To be honest, I didn’t hike Picacho Peak until after I had graduated from college and was preparing to move to the East Coast. We went out late in the day, so we only hiked out about a half mile, just over the top of the first little ridge into a little valley on the other side. The thought of a 1,400 foot climb, in just two miles, can be daunting. Best months to visit are November to April as summertime temperatures are consistently over 100 degrees during the day. At this point your ascent begins with the cables. Cables, Canyon, Cliffs, Dayhike, Rock Scrambles, Short, Steep, Views. Required fields are marked *. You could turn it into a tough hike to the top if desired, but just about anyone could walk the half mile in and enjoy some classic desert views. Due to my height (5’0″), I struggle with holding the cables for this specific section. The vertical climbing is easily my most favorite part of the hike! I recommend beating the heat and arriving right before sunrise. Hours: Park is open 5AM – 10PM daily. This 4 mile out and back trail that takes you to the summit of Picacho Peak will not disappoint, especially if you're looking to get that adrenaline pumping. There are five hiking trails at Picacho Peak State Park: Hunter Trail: Although this hike is under two miles, don't be deceived by the distance. Picacho, AZ. The signage to the park is visibly marked and easy to locate. How Long Does It Take to Climb Picacho Peak? I hope you will enjoy this hike as much as I do! If you weren’t using the cables’ assistance previously, then I would absolutely use them now. The evening before I climbed Picacho, my wife and I took our dogs for a little hike on the Sunset Vista Trail. Picacho Peak State Park is a state park surrounding Picacho Peak in Picacho, Arizona.The park is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 in Pinal County.Its centerpiece spire is visible from downtown Tucson, a distance of 45 miles (72 km). It’s short but very steep 1.5 miles to the summit, and then back the way you came up. So, you want to hike Picacho Peak? Beautiful! Those truly inspired by its beauty will exit the highway and enter into a little patch of desert called Picacho Peak State Park. For starters, generously hydrate yourself the day before and the morning of. It’s not too tough, offers great 360 views from Cuyamaca Rancho State Park to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and has a … King Canyon Trail. If you’re nervous about your speed and other hikers, then this may be another good reason to start earlier in the day. If you have to wait for people to pass, then naturally it will take more time. In this post, I breakdown some of my tips and best practices. If it’s cloudy, still lather on that sunscreen. Sunset Vista Trail: 6.2 miles round trip (3.1 each way) Hunter Trail: 2.0 miles one way (4.0 round trip) Calloway Trail: 0.7 miles one way (1.4 round trip) Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Picacho Peak State Park. Hunter Trail appeals to me because it’s short, challenging and fun! Fees: $7 per vehicle fee (1-4 adults). Within the hour I made it to a saddle between the summit and a high point on the ridge to the north. Prepare to … Visitors traveling on I-10 in southern Arizona can't miss the outstanding 1,500-foot-high Picacho Peak State Park. Local hiking expert, “Hiking Bob” Falcone has been a Colorado Springs resident for 27 years. Those with a thirst for adventure set their sights on the Picacho Peak summit, elevation 3,370 feet. Disposable mask: if the trails are heavily populated then it is recommended to wear masks. You will climb a little over 1,100' in elevation on the 2.5 mile hike to Picacho Peak. Fitted or longer shorts: in case you need to slide down, Breathable sports bra and tanks: prevents overheating, Visor: unlike hats, visors don’t trap the heat to your head, High-rise socks: prevents grass, rock and dirt from getting trapped, Shoes with a grip: hiking shoes are not required, I usually wear my Asics, 2 liters of water: plan for more water if you’re starting in the late morning, Gloves: if you have sensitive hands or hike later in the day. Be sure to grasp the cables and take your time so that you don’t slip. We’re in the final stretch! This is a great spot to hydrate with more water, and even replenish your energy with a snack like an orange or protein bar. I’ve done this hike where the duration spanned from 2.5 – 5 hours. The views are classic. Now on the way back, people do tend to struggle with finding the right gripping– myself included. A palo verde tree blooms yellow during sunset along the Sunset Vista Trail. The base is a great intro to the rocky climbing that you will soon encounter on the other side of the base. Wild Burro Trailhead. Picacho Peak is a large lava flow. Even though the trail is … As you get closer to the saddle, you will start to notice a few steel cables along the trail, but you don’t necessarily need them. Almost every Arizonan has driven by the rocky crags of Picacho Peak along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson. I’ve done this hike where the duration spanned from 2.5 – 5 hours. We've passed Picacho Peak close to a hundred times in our time living in Tucson. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. We enjoyed the hike and the flowers. Take a well deserved break … Martinez Cabin. The Arizona Trail (AZT) is a rugged, challenging 800+ mile thru-hike that stretches from the border of Mexico to the border of Utah, and is riddled with challenges such as extreme heat, freezing temperatures, snow, blowing sand, lack of water, consistent elevation change, and many stinging and poisonous critters. But even if you don’t have time to view the map (or forget), the road is well-marked and easy to navigate. Tens of millions of years ago, Picacho Peak and Newman Peak were connected by a continuous ridge of mountain tops. © Happily Pink 2016 | Disclosure: Mountain Tripper is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Over the course of eons, the action of pounding desert rain and unrelenting gravity has eroded the range in two, creating valley and a void between Picacho Peak and its siblings. They were so beautiful! It is 3.1 miles and circles around the backside of the mountain then comes up and connects to the Hunter trail avoiding a lot of the difficulties. Ten Dollars for Twenty Minutes of Awe at... Lenox Crater: A Sustainable Hiking Trail Design at... Field Guide to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert Wildflowers. Not too far from the trailhead, on a normal part of the trail, a rock step gave way and slipped right onto my butt. Tucson, AZ. While I prefer to start my hikes at the start of sunrise, I understand not everyone is an early bird. The trail itself starts at the southwest end of the mountain and traverses Picacho’s southern slopes before climbing the hillsides to connect with the Hunter Trail after 2.5 miles. Hunter Trail is a 4-mile round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak. Since moving back to Tucson, I have gone up and down Hunter Trail with people of various fitness levels. Perhaps the most popular trail at Picacho Peak, the Hunter Trail gives the shortest route to the top. Simple and Safe Hiking Practices for Every Hiker. TRAIL STATS Distance: 4 Miles RT Type of Trail: Out and back Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced Elevation: 3,374 feet Kid Friendly: Varies (See tips below) Dog-Friendly: No Most are not too exposed, but where the rocks begin to cliff-up, the trail is fitted with wire-fences to prevent a slip during into a bone-crunching, life-threatening fall. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, @HappilyPinkBlog. Check out his site for more info. Picacho Peak State Park is located 70 miles south of Phoenix and 40 miles north of Tucson along Interstate 10. Address: 15520 Picacho Peak Rd, Picacho, AZ 85241. But, with the incline and climb, you should expect this to take you longer than flatter hikes. A few factors determine the amount of time it will take to hike Hunter Trail. Length 3.2 miElevation gain 2099 ftRoute type Out & back Your email address will not be published. What sets this hike apart from most trails in Arizona is the system of cables, handrails, and bridges in some sections of the hike. Best Mirrorless Cameras: Landscape Photography Best Sony E-Mount Lenses Rokinon Samyang 12mm F2 Review Why I Switched to a Mirrorless Camera, Mountain Photography Colorado Plateau Photography Grand Canyon Photography Sonoran Desert Photography. I prefer to climb down the same way that I climb up, through rock climbing. My younger sister is 5’3″ and had no problem holding onto the cables. Artists’ Paintpots Trail – Easy Hikes in Yellowstone... We Went There: Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde... Life is Peachy at the Schnepf Farms Peach... We Went There: Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well. Since we arrived before the visitor center was open, we just paid on our way out. "Two humans and two dogs climbed Picacho Peak on a sunny November day, 2016. The first leg of the hike will include sun, but once you’re on the other side, you get to stay in the shade. Soon the trail returns back into an ordinary, simple dusty trail leads up and down the rocky hillside. Picacho Peak State Park is a state park surrounding Picacho Peak in Picacho, Arizona. Winter stuck around as long as possible this year, but a promising sign that spring is near has been cropping up all across Arizona. While the hike is frequently labeled as difficult, it is still doable. @2018 — Mountain Tripper | Jake Case Photography. We went early at Picacho Peak State Park. Welcome to Happily Pink: a lifestyle blog with a focus on food, travel & fashion! The reason why this varies so much is because on a busy day you will more than likely have to wait for other hikers to climb up before you can so there might be a bit of … Cars speed by on Interstate 10 below, looking like box shaped ants rolling along the desert floor. Between the summit and a high point on the backside of the base is a 4-mile round trip and. 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