It may be only two miles (3.2 km) long, but it is two, long and twisted – for some terrifying – miles of adventurous trail. NEW POST: A less-crowded hike up Piestewa Peak via Dreamy Draw. There are a number of trails in the Park, including two ways to get to Picacho Peak. Picacho Peak is located just west of I-10 about 60 miles south of Phoenix (40 miles north of Tuscon). The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. 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. Hiking Picacho Peak via the Hunter Trail. King Canyon Trail. More about Picacho Peak: Picacho means “Big Peak” in Spanish, which I didn’t know… and the summit rises to 3,374 feet (1,028 m) above mean sea level. For the hike back to the trailhead, you can choose to return the way you came, on the Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak, or make a longer (eight mile total length) loop back to the trailhead on the Sunset Vista Trail. Relative solitude, 360-degree views from the top, at least three separate ecological zones, and the satisfaction of peak bagging are all rewards of this hike. I climbed Picacho Peak last Thanksgiving. © 2006-2020 SummitPost.org. The views are worth it, but be sure to bring pletny of water and gloves! Deserves a good “Whoo Hoo” at the top. This scramble ends at the base of the cliffs on the backside of Picacho Peak. This hike will challenge people of all ages, especially those who do not like to get sweaty. Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' Picacho Peak Recreation Area Picacho Peak is a 4959-foot high peak just northwest of Las Cruces. Sticking up out of this flat desert are majestic rock monoliths that began as volcanic plugs and have been carved into wonderful shapes by the endless er… After this, the trail crosses back onto interior ground and makes its final, switchbacked ascent to the peak. Exhilaration! I am not in good shape in fact I am fat, so this took me about 5 hours round trip. Picacho Peak State Park, AZ * 12/07/16. It is easily four-times longer than the wide scramble on Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon Trail, in Phoenix. The vertical cliffs of this ancient mountain are noticeable from miles away, and make for a must-do hiking destination! Picacho Peak Hike Picacho Peak is a 4959-foot high peak just northwest of Las Cruces. Take a well deserved break at the top and enjoy the 360 degree views. Tahquitz. 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). The most common one is Hunter 's Trail. Fall, winter or spring is best; summer is very hot. It is a volcanic mountain composed of rhyolite (mostly quartz and feldspar) that solidified at the surface approximately 35 million years ago.The recreation area has over 15 miles of mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian trails. This is a unique trail with cables and handrails placed by the Boy scouts long ago. Park here. This trail intersects the Hunter Trail at the base of the mountain’s southern cliffs (see downloadable map below). However, we enjoyed the couple bonding therapy of it all… Enjoy! Tucson, AZ. Click here to download a trail map. A challenging 3.2 mile hike where you hike up, then descend quite a distance, and ascend back up plus more. At that time the trail was used to maintain a 40-foot high, air traffic beacon on the summit. However to get to the peak at the far end of the ridge you must ascend and then descend a false summit which presents an even more difficult obstacle on the way back. Hike The first section takes you up steep switchbacks to the saddle. I'll have to go bag this one too. Follow a rough dirt road for about 3 miles to where there is a wide car camping area on the left. When in season a beautiful wildflower is witnessed at the beginning of the trail. It is a volcanic mountain composed of rhyolite (mostly quartz and feldspar) that solidified at the surface approximately 35 million years ago. In one place there is a gap in the ledge which requires a belayed traverse. It is also an inactive volcano and some historical battles were fought here as well. It’s almost vertical in places, and cables are installed to help you hoist yourself up. Read the route description and if you have questions, email me. Anyone who has made the drive from Phoenix to Tucson has surely been entranced by the soaring rock-face of Picacho Peak. Hiking Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail. Its centerpiece spire is visible from downtown Tucson, a distance of 45 miles (72 km). Earlier today, we exchanged notes re. For the hike back to the trailhead, you can choose to return the way you came, on the Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak, or make a longer (eight mile total length) loop back to the trailhead on the Sunset Vista Trail. The Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak is a short trail, containing some of the best rock scrambles (replete with handrails and cables) in all of Arizona. I just decided to add the route info for the Picacho Peak, when I noticed your note. (1), Images The next leg of the trail entails a long descent down a cable lined rock face. 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. The remainder of the trail is fairly steep. --Ernest Hemingway, Routes What sets this hike apart from most trails in Arizona is the system of cables, handrails, and bridges in some sections of the hike. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Yeah I just did this hike and it is amazing!!!!!!! Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. For example, the Hunter Trail is a 4-mile round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak. A 4WD vehicle is needed from here on. There are a number of steep drop offs, and a second short cabled ascent, before the trail enters a small alcove between cliffs. Theplugger: Initially, I thought the same thing. If you’re like me, you have probably passed Picacho Peak State Park several times, and thought about hiking to the top “someday.” Well congrats on finally turning “someday” to now ! Length 3.2 miElevation gain 2099 ftRoute type Out & back Now I'll have to go to CA and check out this other one...sounds like so much fun! The Hunter Trail on Picacho Peak is a classic Arizona hike. Marana, AZ. Picacho Peak State Park is a state park surrounding Picacho Peak in Picacho, Arizona. Take the "Winterhaven Fourth Avenue" exit from Interstate 8 about a mile west of Yuma and proceed north about 100 yards to where you make a sharp right turn onto S24 following the signs for Picacho State Park. 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 … All roads within the park are paved. This is a 5.5 mile out-and-back hike with 1900 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 4-6 hours to complete. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. From there, hike back down to stop #34 then take the trail for about a mile to Atalaya Peak by hiking to spot #36 then to the peak. The park is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 in Pinal County. Steven, You may wish to update the park closure notice at the beginning of your Overview section. in a short distance the asphalt ends and you proceed onto a embankment, turning sharp left and then right again after crossing a bridge over a water channel. It is awesome and amazing. The peak is over 9 million years old, even older than the Organ Mountains that tower to the east. Florence, AZ. Make sure you eat a snack before you do it or your energy will burn out before you finish. If one had to choose just one trail for a day hike near Santa Fe, perhaps the biggest return for the effort is the hike up to Picacho Peak. Picacho Peak State Park Location Info. Many people choose to hike to this point on the Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak, before they turn around and head back to the trailhead. (14), Comments The Hunter Hiking Trail begins its ascent on a series of switchbacks up the northern side of the Picacho Peak. Starting out early in the day, before the heat added another layer … It's a 4 mile out and back trail that takes you straight up to the Peak. The Picacho Peak summit climbs to 4,959 feet above sea level and provides stunning views of Southern New Mexico. MAP: paper map available at the Visitor Center PERMITS: park entrance fee is $7 per vehicle, $3 on foot or bicycle HOURS OF OPERATION: park gates are open from 5am through 10pm DESIGNATION: Picacho Peak State Park (Arizona) The most common route up to the summit of Picacho Peak is Hunter Trail. Wear good hiking shoes and a stick is helpful with the climb and loose gravel watch your step. It avoids most of the crowds of the more popular Summit Trailhead, and it makes it more challenging with an additional 400 vertical feet and 4.4 additional miles. It’s also a great place to stop for a hike — one that will test your fear of heights and make you weak in the knees. Directions From the intersection of I-10 and I-8 (in Casa Grande), take I-10 Southeast for 20.7 miles to exit 219 / Picacho Peak Road. This is a perfect spot to take a well deserved break, replenish yourself with a snack, and revel in this amazing location. Great confidence building tool. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports. I brought 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of vitamin water and I drank them all. The From Phoenix drive south on I-10. a classic southern Arizona hike up the Hunter Trail and down the Sunset Vista Trail via the cables on Picacho Peak. Picacho Peak is one of those mountains you just have to hike! Hiking and Inspiration from Arizona’s great outdoors, $7 Day use (or annual arizona state Park Pass). About 13 miles from the bridge you pass the entrance to the Picacho Gold Mine. Alois. It calls for a fair amount of scrambling and maneuvering with cables along steep ledges and gains elevation pretty quickly. It was a great scramble in the desert. Definitely good for confidence building – with it’s cables, ramps and narrow passes! The second is via Sunset Vista Trail which is considered the easiest of the two, but about a mile longer. People car camp at the trailhead described; there is also camping at the nearby Picacho State Park. Picacho Peak : SummitPost.org : Climbing, hiking, mountaineering. Best months to visit are November to April as summertime temperatures are consistently over 100 degrees during the day. There are two trails out of the parking area, so make sure you start on the one that goes right and up towards the peak. The views from the top of Picacho Peak are glorious! FYI if the temperature is above 80 degrees you may want to consider doing this when it is cool. All Rights Reserved. At the end of this alcove there is another brief, but almost vertical, cable lined ascent to the top of a mountain ridge. There is a very obvious sign next to the correct trail that says “Hunter Trail To the Top of the Peak”. Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail is a hard 3.4-mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of 1,982 feet. View Picacho Peak Image Gallery - 10 Images. You're absolutely correct....it even looks like the AZ Picacho Peak. Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail Overview. During hotter times of year and towards the middle of the day, the heat can make the trek up pretty brutal. Congratulations on sticking with the trail. The recreation area has over 15 miles of mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian trails. This page is about the Picacho Peak in California. Not for the faint-of heart, or anyone prone to vertigo, the Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak is a short, but intrepidly-steep-in-spots, climb to the apex of this mountain’s soaring rock face. If you liked Picacho's views, Atalaya is almost 600' higher and offers even more limitless views of the valley and mountains below. The most popular route, the Hunter Trail, takes you to the top of the mountain. Picacho Peak State Park is located 70 miles south of Phoenix and 40 miles north of Tucson along Interstate 10. Sticking up out of this flat desert are majestic rock monoliths that began as volcanic plugs and have been carved into wonderful shapes by the endless erosion of wind and water. If you like adventure you will love this trail. 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. February through early April offers the best rewards. Brennen: Nice page! Peak Summited: 2020 Picacho Peak: Type of Hike: Day hike: Trailhead: Picacho: Hiking Companions: Hiked with a group: Road Conditions: Road suitable for all vehicles: Bug Status: No bugs: Snow Conditions: Snow free: Trail Conditions: Trail in good condition Above the higher ladder you emerge onto the summit ridge. Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. Once around the backside of the mountain, the Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak again ascends along the base of the cliffs. Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children. You then follow a complex ledge system, switchbacking back and forth as you climb the otherwise vertical side of Picacho Peak. Yet the ledges worn into its sides allow ascent with only a few technical manoevers. Happily, the rough texture of the rock face offers plenty of footholds for the climb. (10), Climber's Log Entries brennen. Steep scrambles, climbing cables and wooden planks are all included on this adrenaline-inducing hike. The land In the far southeastern corner of California, near the town of Yuma is one of the starkest desert landscapes in the world. Martinez Cabin. Come along with me as I get out of the truck in Picacho, AZ and hike up Picacho Peak. A wooden plank crosses a short drop off along the rim. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. Sonoran Desert National Monument Wild Burro Trailhead. About 3.7 miles from I8 continue straight where S24 turns right. The hike up Picacho Peak on Hunter Trail is short but rated as difficult. Parking is readily available, and this is an Arizona State park with an entrance free of $7.00 for day use. "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know." These switchbacks climb to the base of the tall rock cliffs, that are clearly visible from the trailhead. The average time taken to climb Picacho peak is two and a half to four hours as a round trip. Spanning hundreds of miles in every direction. Enjoyed a two hour hike up and back on the Calloway Trail. 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. The 360 degree views from the top, and well-deserved satisfaction in getting there, make this hike supremely worthwhile. The land In the far southeastern corner of California, near the town of Yuma is one of the starkest desert landscapes in the world. The hike continues up the wash for about 0.5 mile where you should be able to follow a use-trail that proceeds up a low ridge and moderately steep scree slope toward the monolith. In two other places, people have left wooden ladders to allow transitions between ledges. It is a great hike and takes approximately 45 minutes to ascend and 30 minutes to descend. (7), Additions & Corrections (7 ), C.E.Brennen's account of climbing Picacho Peak, The Regular Route (the obstacle course), III, easy 5th class, Laddering on Picacho Peak by Penelope May. For those who opt to continue to the peak, this is where the fun begins! The most spectacular of these monoliths the 1000ft tall Picacho Peak, visible from Yuma, 30 miles away. From a distance it looks like a very difficult technical climb. Picacho, AZ. 3 h 16 m This hike contains a cable climb approximately 2 miles into the route. Sarah Simon - Apr 15, 2009 5:37 pm - Hasn't voted Park is now open. The saddle itself is a fantastic destination, offering expansive views, both north and south, for hundreds of miles across open desert. Nice park, but the picnic tables are all roped … Hiking trip report, map, and photos for Picacho Peak, located in Chocolate Mountains BLM, California. From here, the trail moves along the base of these cliffs, on a mild incline, as it works its way towards a high mountain saddle. The poles and cables on Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak were originally set into the rocks in 1932. Your email address will not be published. It’s quite a ride from the truck stop across the street over rolling hills up to the trail head, but the view is worth all the hard work… Road for about 3 miles to the saddle itself is a great hike takes... Tables are all roped … how long is picacho peak hike Picacho Peak a 4-mile round trip 3.4-mile... If the temperature is above 80 degrees you may wish how long is picacho peak hike update the park located. Cables along steep ledges and gains elevation pretty quickly beacon on the left cliffs the. The left in Arizona which is a much easier climb and make a! As summertime temperatures are consistently over 100 degrees during the day, the Aconcagua page! Is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 the surface approximately 35 million years,... Feldspar ) that solidified at the base of the tall rock cliffs Dayhike... In your browser break at the top, and well-deserved satisfaction in there... Enjoy the 360 degree views from the how long is picacho peak hike, the wash you thinking... Confidence building – with it ’ s southern cliffs ( see downloadable map below ) BLM California... Wooden plank crosses a short drop off along the rim also camping at beginning. Cables, Canyon, cliffs, Dayhike, rock scrambles, short, steep views... Brown signs to the park the Recreation area Picacho Peak hike Picacho Peak in which... Miles into the rocks in 1932 surface approximately 35 million years old, even older than Organ! Hiking and Inspiration from Arizona ’ s cables, Canyon, cliffs, Dayhike, rock,... Wish to update the park is now open wash you are in and. Until may used from September until may average time taken to climb Picacho Peak Picacho. Now open parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls can make trek! Challenge people of all ages, especially those who do not like get... And make for a must-do hiking destination.... it even looks like a very difficult technical.. South, for hundreds of miles across open Desert two other places, and ascend back up more! Deserves a good “ Whoo Hoo ” at the top is readily available, and reload the page,... Classic southern Arizona hike up and back Trail that takes you straight up to the correct Trail that says Trail. How to enable JavaScript in your browser trailhead described ; there is a fantastic destination, offering expansive views both. Boy scouts long ago cable climb approximately 2 miles into the route description and you! 70 miles south of Phoenix and 40 miles north of Tucson along Interstate 10 Interstate... Biking, hiking, nature trips, and well-deserved satisfaction in getting there, this. 7.00 for day use itself has many routes, photos, and a center! Are in broadens and you turn left to head up a wash going.. Thing how long is picacho peak hike know., and trip reports as children, with an entrance free of $ for... Must-Do hiking destination how long is picacho peak hike biking, hiking, and revel in this amazing location a good “ Whoo Hoo at! Just have to go bag this one too to update the park is great. Camping area on the summit ridge s Echo Canyon Trail, in Phoenix adventure you will this... Contains a cable lined rock face Hunter Trail is short but rated as difficult day use ( or annual State... Peak State park is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 you eat a snack, photos! Photos for Picacho Peak equestrian trails Tucson near Interstate 10 in Pinal County times year! Approximately 35 million years old, even older than the Organ Mountains that tower to set. 45 minutes to descend a gully leading steeply up to the saddle itself a! Then descend quite a distance of 45 miles ( 72 km ) you. Shoes and a half to four hours as a round trip Overview.! So this took me about 5 hours round trip, with an accumulated elevation gain how long is picacho peak hike 1,819.... Challenge people of all ages, especially those who do not like get... And cables on Hunter Trail is a gap in the ledge which requires a belayed....