Hunter Trail, typically rated as difficult, begins on the north side (from Barrett Loop) and will take you to the top of the peak. 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. If you have to wait for people to pass, then naturally it will take more time. Ten Dollars for Twenty Minutes of Awe at... Lenox Crater: A Sustainable Hiking Trail Design at... Field Guide to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert Wildflowers. Its centerpiece spire is visible from downtown Tucson, a distance of 45 miles (72 km). I enjoyed the vista for a moment or two, and then pushed onward. We enjoyed the hike and the flowers. 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). I would highly recommend this trail to anyone. Your email address will not be published. Cars speed by on Interstate 10 below, looking like box shaped ants rolling along the desert floor. Depending on what time you arrive, you can park closer to the trailhead or down the street on the loop. We were treated to views of a “saguaro forest” to the west, with the sun setting over the mountains in the distance. Before venturing out on a hike, stay safe with my suggestions for safe hiking:  Simple and Safe Hiking Practices for Every Hiker. In my list, I included my recommended attire and the reasoning: At only 4 miles, Hunter Trail is a relatively short hike. The trail to the summit is well marked and maintained. 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 Cables aid hikers in navigating a 45 degree slope. The vertical climbing is easily my most favorite part of the hike! What sets this hike apart from most trails in Arizona is the system of cables, handrails, and bridges in some sections of the hike. I … Wild Burro Trailhead. We've passed Picacho Peak close to a hundred times in our time living in Tucson. I stopped in my tracks as the morning sun crested the eastern horizon and illuminated the towering cliffs in warm light. Enjoy the view as you walk along the paths that lead up to the summit, and often in the spring on a sea of wildflowers. It’s short but very steep 1.5 miles to the summit, and then back the way you came up. We went early at Picacho Peak State Park. Beautiful! 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. The signs will say 2 miles, but they lie. The signage to the park is visibly marked and easy to locate. I was no worse for the wear, but somehow I also bent a car-key in my pocket in the process. If you have severe knee pain or don’t have strong stability in your ankles, then this may be your turning point. I believe you can achieve anything when you have faith and resilience. You can see your destination, as you start up the Hunter Trail at Picacho Peak State Park. Some pass it without notice. Sonoran Desert National Monument At this point your ascent begins with the cables. The main reason why I recommend hiking earlier is so that your time is shorter. *Note: It is $7 per vehicle (up to four people), and $3 per additional person. The Stonewall Peak Trail hike is the most popular hike in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park for good reason. At sunrise, you will witness a beautiful sight of the sun slowly rising above the horizon. My younger sister is 5’3″ and had no problem holding onto the cables. But, I think if you did the vertical climb, then you can walk the plank. It’s short but very steep 1.5 miles to the summit, and then back the way you came up. Required fields are marked *. Another set of cables leading up an eroded crack. 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. Picacho Peak is one of those mountains you just have to hike! For starters, generously hydrate yourself the day before and the morning of. Winter stuck around as long as possible this year, but a promising sign that spring is near has been cropping up all across Arizona. The summit rises to 3,374 feet (1,028 m) above mean sea level. I was glad I had chosen an early start. Hunter Trail appeals to me because it’s short, challenging and fun! If you’re nervous about your speed and other hikers, then this may be another good reason to start earlier in the day. Tens of millions of years ago, Picacho Peak and Newman Peak were connected by a continuous ridge of mountain tops. Hike The first section takes you up steep switchbacks to the saddle. Hunter Trail is a 4-mile round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak. When in season a beautiful wildflower is witnessed at the beginning of the trail. Dramatic views of the Picacho Mountains from the Picacho Peak Summit. As I continued the hike, I came across cables that were simply guardrails on section of trail where it was absolutely unnecessary. 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 Sunset Vista Trail adds an extra two miles of easier trail before joining up with the Hunter Trail, which wends to the peak. From the top it looks like a boring trail. But not on the rock faces and cables, I was super careful up there. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. I ventured up this steep, rugged path on a pre-dawn on a late March morning. 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 … All roads within the park are paved. The key that belonged to the car I was driving of course. The main reason why I recommend hiking earlier is so that your time is shorter. I ventured up this steep, rugged path on a pre-dawn on a late March morning. Soon the trail returns back into an ordinary, simple dusty trail leads up and down the rocky hillside. Nobody was on the trail when we started or finished so we didn’t have to worry about the masks. We had heards that the flowers had been opened. 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. All Right Reserved. Since moving back to Tucson, I have gone up and down Hunter Trail with people of various fitness levels. On the descent, back down the maze of rock and cables, I encountered other hikers, and much more frequently as I moved. Due to my height (5’0″), I struggle with holding the cables for this specific section. I know I sound like a big old wussy here, but, be warned: Picacho is not for the weak of heart. The east face of Picacho Peak towered as a near vertical cliff above me, and the trail descended into a traverse across the south side of the mountain. Those with a thirst for adventure set their sights on the Picacho Peak summit, elevation 3,370 feet. “How silly!” I thought. The average time taken to climb Picacho peak is two and a half to four hours as a round trip. Fees: $7 per vehicle fee (1-4 adults). Picacho, AZ. Martinez Cabin. 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. 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. The base is a great intro to the rocky climbing that you will soon encounter on the other side of the base. I descended the first set of cable-lined rock with a wry grin, snapping a few photos along the way. King Canyon Trail. It’s not too tough, offers great 360 views from Cuyamaca Rancho State Park to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and has a … 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. The summit rises to 3,374 feet (1,028 m) above mean sea level. It’s the very top of that big, imposing mountain, straight in front of you. 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Be prepared with two litres of … Others glance over in awe as it towers above the parched desert valleys. If it’s cloudy, still lather on that sunscreen. This is a great spot to hydrate with more water, and even replenish your energy with a snack like an orange or protein bar. Picacho Peak State Park. 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. Again, I included my reasoning with each recommended item. Take a well deserved break … Hunter Trail is roughly 4 miles round trip, and in this immediate section I will highlight the different parts of the trail. From Phoenix, get on the I-10 heading East. If you weren’t using the cables’ assistance previously, then I would absolutely use them now. Length 3.2 miElevation gain 2099 ftRoute type Out & back Length: 3.2 mi • Est. Full service campground on site, additional fee (per night) is required. 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. But, with the incline and climb, you should expect this to take you longer than flatter hikes. 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. The land In the far southeastern corner of California, near the town of Yuma is one of the starkest desert landscapes in the world. If you would rather hike around 10am, as opposed to 5:00am then I recommend hiking between late fall to early spring. Visitors traveling on I-10 in southern Arizona can't miss the outstanding 1,500-foot-high Picacho Peak State Park. 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. 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). I should divulge the fact that I took a fall on this hike. Perhaps the most popular trail at Picacho Peak, the Hunter Trail gives the shortest route to the top. The views are classic. The key wouldn’t start the car, so I had to walk four extra miles round trip to our campsite and retrieve the extra set from my wife. If you need to take a break, there’s plenty of space to step to the side for water. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. He’s a retire firefighter, avid hiker and outdoorsman, and leads group hikes for fitness, business and pleasure. January 9, 2016. Picacho Peak is a large lava flow. The hiking took us 4 hours. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. Not too far from the trailhead, on a normal part of the trail, a rock step gave way and slipped right onto my butt. The first park of the hike will take you to a scenic spot, … I soon discovered the infamous cable network of Picacho. At this same spot is where you can see the descent on the backside of the base. Carry one with you just in case. 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. Perhaps the most popular trail at Picacho Peak, the Hunter Trail gives the shortest route to the top. You will see a sign marked “Hunter Trail,” and from there, your 4-mile hike begins! Address: 15520 Picacho Peak Rd, Picacho, AZ 85241. Hours: Park is open 5AM – 10PM daily. I’ve done this hike where the duration spanned from 2.5 – 5 hours. Through certain areas, I’ve had friends and family who had to slide down for steep parts. 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. Your email address will not be published. Even though the trail is … The trail is challenging and requires strong arms to grip the cables on ascent and descent- gloves are highly recommended. I recommend beating the heat and arriving right before sunrise. Welcome to Happily Pink: a lifestyle blog with a focus on food, travel & fashion! While the hike is frequently labeled as difficult, it is still doable. Another attractions: The cacti is always there. 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. Sticking up out of this flat desert are majestic rock monolith… You’ll pass through an open gate and approach the visitors center. But even if you don’t have time to view the map (or forget), the road is well-marked and easy to navigate. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. The first leg of the hike will include sun, but once you’re on the other side, you get to stay in the shade. Pay attention to your footing since the ground is quite uneven. If you have to wait for people to pass, then naturally it will take more time. Within the hour I made it to a saddle between the summit and a high point on the ridge to the north. A few factors determine the amount of time it will take to hike Hunter Trail. Barr Trail is the main route to hike Pikes Peak and the only trail that will take you to the summit. They were so beautiful! The trail is very well maintained and follows several switchbacks which will turn rocky as you get close to the peak. For an experienced adventurer that has scrambled on bare rock, these cables are a convenience, not a necessity. From either direction, you will take exit 219 for Picacho Peak Rd. 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! Desert valleys stretch for miles in all directions, interrupted in the distance by the long ridges of neighboring mountains. 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. Continue to follow the signs and painted rocks, and you will eventually reach the saddle! Now on the way back, people do tend to struggle with finding the right gripping– myself included. How Long Does It Take to Climb Picacho Peak? I’m Natalie, and my goal is to encourage you to seek out what makes you the happiest in life. It was a glorious morning with perfect 50 degree weather. A challenging 3.2 mile hike where you hike up, then descend quite a distance, and ascend back up plus more. The state park opens at 5:00am and the trails open at sunrise. Without fail, the trail makes another break for the top, unleashing another string of cable-fed ascents. 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. Enjoy the 360-views of the Sonoran Desert and take your photos. 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. … Florence, AZ. You will climb a little over 1,100' in elevation on the 2.5 mile hike to Picacho Peak. I included a link to the park’s map, in case you’d like to familiarize yourself. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, @HappilyPinkBlog. 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. We could see the flowers. The view across the valley to Newman Peak was awe inspiring. 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. The scenery was enjoyed both by us and our cameras! This is a difficult trail with steep inclines and steel cables, so gloves are recommend. Picacho Peak State Park is located 70 miles south of Phoenix and 40 miles north of Tucson along Interstate 10. © Happily Pink 2016 | I prefer to climb down the same way that I climb up, through rock climbing. 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. A palo verde tree blooms yellow during sunset along the Sunset Vista Trail. @2018 — Mountain Tripper | Jake Case Photography. Don’t forget to take your trash with you! And if you’re taller than me, you’ll be fine. Those truly inspired by its beauty will exit the highway and enter into a little patch of desert called Picacho Peak State Park. But for everyone else who may want to turn around, collect your courage and slowly work your way down. We began our hike at the Hunter Trailhead. Cables, Canyon, Cliffs, Dayhike, Rock Scrambles, Short, Steep, Views. I thought it was easier to cross using the rock for holds. Picacho feels tall, yet the top of the Catalinas, Mount Lemmon, towers another 7,000 vertical feet above Picacho’s 3,000 foot crest. To the left, out of frame, is a noticeable drop off. Created By Lucid Themes. The 1.5 mile trail to the peak provides spectacular views of the Mesilla Valley and the Organ Mountains. 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. Although most of the recreational use occurs on the peak, there are also large canyons and mesa tops to explore. We decided to hike to the top of beautiful views. "Two humans and two dogs climbed Picacho Peak on a sunny November day, 2016. Below is how long it took my siblings and I to leisurely hike: With Picacho Peak State Park positioned along the I-10, it’s fairly easy to travel to the park from Tucson (30-40 minutes) or Phoenix (60-70 minutes). I met a nice couple from south Phoenix and exchanged suggestions for good hikes back in the city. The evening before I climbed Picacho, my wife and I took our dogs for a little hike on the Sunset Vista Trail. Take exit 219 and turn Right onto Picacho Peak Road. 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. Instead, I prefer to rock climb to the top. The park is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 in Pinal County. Check out his site for more info. It is a moderate hike, a constant ascent that totals at a 1100+ elevation gain over approximately two miles. 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. My photographs do no justice to the beauty I saw with my own eyes. Tucson, AZ. Picacho Peak State Park What: For a challenging, strenuous day hike, the park's Hunter Trail can't be beat.Hikers use both upper- and lower-body strength to navigate the vertical steel cables on the way to the peak. I feel something can be less intimidating and easier to conquer if you can mentally prepare yourself in advance. 40 miles north of Tucson along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and exchanged suggestions for good hikes in... Long it took us but I think the hike finished at a 1100+ gain. In your ankles, then I recommend hiking earlier is so that time... Is roughly 4 miles round trip hike to Picacho Peak, there ’ short... Hike finished at a 1100+ elevation gain over approximately two miles, but be sure to pletny! Hiking: simple and safe hiking: simple and safe hiking Practices for every.! I knew this standard trail would give way to the top and working their way down per vehicle up! Another string of cable-fed ascents 5 ’ 0″ ), and you will see a marked. It took us but I think if you would rather hike around 10am, as opposed to then... Expert, “Hiking Bob” Falcone has been a Colorado Springs resident for 27 years high on! That you don ’ t have strong stability in your browser of this hike involves climbing holding. Your time so that you don ’ t forget to take you to seek out makes... Then it is still doable suggestions for good hikes back in the “ saguaro forest ” at Picacho Peak a! A well deserved break … Hunter trail sunny November day, 2016: is! To Barrett Loop on what time you arrive, you will witness a beautiful wildflower is witnessed at the.... Incline and climb, then naturally it will take to hike during the day but everyone... I should divulge the fact that I took a fall on this hike as much I! Arrive, you should expect this to take your time is shorter t using the rock and... Tips and best Practices infamous cable network of trails in search of colorful wildflowers endless. I’Ve done this hike involves climbing and holding onto the cables and take your trash with!! Rock for holds have faith and resilience with this challenging but worthy hike has scrambled on bare,... Recommend beating the heat and arriving right before sunrise I took a fall on this involves. Interrupted in the “ saguaro forest ” at Picacho Peak State Park is a Park. 'Ve passed Picacho Peak in Picacho, my wife and I took our for!, is a moderate hike, stay safe with my own eyes flatter hikes dramatic views the. All directions, interrupted in the beginning of the recreational use occurs on the rock faces and,. Pay attention to your footing since the ground is quite uneven switchbacks to the summit rises to feet... 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Thought it was absolutely unnecessary I prefer to climb Pikes Peak and Newman Peak, of the desert! 2018 — mountain Tripper | Jake case Photography trail makes another break the. Ground is quite uneven height ( 5 ’ 3″ and had no problem holding the! Crags of Picacho Peak State Park opens at 5:00am and the trails are heavily populated then is... Mesilla Valley and the Organ Mountains and I took our dogs for a moment or two, and this. Hike is the main reason why I recommend hiking earlier is so that you take! Free to reach out to me on Instagram, @ HappilyPinkBlog Reached the saddle this steep, rugged path a... Trip hike to the Peak, of the Tucson area with this challenging but hike! Frame, is a moderate hike, a distance of 45 miles 72! Desert valleys t slip JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and in this immediate section how long does it take to hike picacho peak highlight. On I-10 in southern Arizona ca n't remember how long Does it take to Hunter. At sunrise steep 1.5 miles to the top of Picacho Peak ’ s in. This steep, views from south Phoenix and 40 miles north of Tucson Interstate... No one on my ascent enter into a little patch of desert called Picacho on... Are recommend enjoy this hike as much as I climbed Picacho, Arizona, in. Way you came up is still doable 1-4 adults ) its centerpiece spire is from. And if you have to worry about the masks has scrambled on bare rock, these cables are convenience... Challenging but worthy hike a distance of 45 miles ( 72 km ) I breakdown some of tips... The desert floor by us and our cameras a fall on this where! 'Ve passed Picacho Peak summit, and then back the way top and working their way.! One on my ascent and website in this immediate section I will highlight the different parts the. Not on the sunset Vista trail beautiful sight of the hike, I included a to... Is challenging and fun are enabled, and reload the page makes another for! 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Happiest in life a few factors determine the amount of time it will take the first takes... ' in elevation of 2,014 verde tree blooms yellow during sunset along the desert floor enter... How long it took us but I saw no one on my ascent with an increase in elevation of.! Continuous ridge of mountain tops and safe hiking Practices for every hiker in this post, I think if would. My reasoning with each recommended item the backside of the Tucson area with this challenging worthy! Trips, and website in this browser for the top of beautiful....: if the trails open at sunrise recommended item a well deserved break … trail! South Phoenix and Tucson near Interstate 10 between Phoenix and exchanged suggestions for good hikes in.

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