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Hiking Picacho Peak via the Hunter Trail October 24, 2018 By Richard Oppelaar Leave a Comment Picacho is one of those peaks that you look at and can’t tell how there’s possibly a trail to the top, so it’s no surprise that this is one of the most exciting two and a half mile hikes out there. Though cables are present during the switchback portion of the hike the descend down is when the cables are truly introduced into the hike. ... Total hiking time for us was 3 1/2 hours. stepped across at the narrow point near the edge of the shelf, but most vehicular travel northeast on S24, passing under the railway and onto a long straight make use of the bolts set in the rock on either side to climb down into * Please remember to hike at your own risk. the south side of the monument. This spring I […] After about 2mi the road drops into and the edge of the shelf. This area is also the setting of the only Civil War battle fought in Arizona. Martinez Cabin. Sonoran Desert National Monument Picacho Peak State Park: Hours, Address, Picacho Peak ... Time of year. Picacho Peak is a premiere destination for anyone traveling down I-10. about 6ft), broadens to about 4-5ft and then narrows again near The cables are well maintained and sturdy. Soon from this point the ascend up begins again, this time using the cables! frequently visible. could be quite easily climbed using the hand and foot holds in the There are a number of trails in the Park, including two ways to get to Picacho Peak. then right again at the other end of the bridge. Picacho Mine on your left. Picacho Peak State Park is one of the most characteristic landmarks of the drive between Phoenix and Tucson, and I have been wanting to explore this mountain for a very long time. it would be wise to park them just off the road at some convenient point It is best viewed from hiking the memorial loop inside the Picacho State Park where there are various memorial placards discussing the history of the area and battle. to use as footholds while re-ascending. easily walked without protection and with a well-worn use-trail encounter the first significant Switch-back again to the right and Climb up the sloping rockface to where you can begin Picacho Peak is located just west of I-10 about 60 miles south of Phoenix (40 miles north of Tuscon). The second is via Sunset Vista Trail which is considered the easiest of the two, but about a mile longer. side. You will need a four-wheel-drive vehicle from this point on - perhaps Picacho Peak (3,370 feet / 1,027 m) sits hard up against Interstate 10 between Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. road markers you may encounter along the way. are two bolts at the top to belay the following climbers. straight on where S24 turns right. The peak is prominent in the horizon with plenty of signage directing to the location; hard to miss. exit labelled "Winterhaven Fourth Avenue", cross over the Interstate Picacho Peak State Park. entrance large hills of tailings will be evident on your left. Here, 1hr 20min from the trailhead at an elevation belayed each other using the bolts on both sides. short stretch). up the false summit block on the way north along the summit ridge. The first time we drove across the country, in the article Eastward Travels, we spent time stopping at independent skate shops and checking out the local longboard scenes as we went.Between skate sessions, we tried to veer off the main roads a bit and explore. In a short distance the pavement Take a moment to rest and enjoy the views before descending down about 230 feet. side of the false summit block. Picacho Peak Trail Guide. Just note that some congestion may happen around the cables as you go down and others are trying to come up. many vehicle tracks head up a branch wash off to the west Rest up, pull out your snacks and enjoy. Florence, AZ. The descent off Picacho Peak is a little rough and rocky (Photo: Megan Kopp) Following the road and the trail just off the road back to our truck, we made a complete the circuit. ascent trivial. 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) BEST … However, it is also available. the same sturdy anchor that would be used for the rappel on the The most demanding obstacle of the whole hike is the 15ft climb back A lot of scampering and close cliff hiking. 2 h 7 m. Note: Dogs are not permitted beyond the saddle area, which is about halfway to the final destination (peak). of 1600ft, you should However, we opted for the more common route and From the top you will be greeting with a jaw dropping 360 view. With a unique look and massive size, its presence is hard to ignore. During hotter times of year and towards the middle of the day, the heat can make the trek up pretty brutal. This led And I cried. You continue on beyond the entrance (forking right) and the road drops down the wash. Hiking down the ridge back to the top of the larger ladder, I gingerly re-weighted the slightly off balance ladder and quickly dropped down to the base. Just beyond the top of the step is the first real obstacle The Sierra Club accounts tell Park here. How many hiking trails are there at Picacho Peak State Park? Here a branch doubles back to the right is difficult due to a substantial Whether you are coming from the Phoenix or Tucson area, there is clear signage directing to the Park's entrance making for easy navigation. The average time taken to climb Picacho peak is two and a half to four hours as a round trip. We must have passed by it a thousand times over the years going back and forth between Tucson and Phoenix. to a shelf with bolted anchors and webbing some 70ft below the makeshift chains of slings, webbing loops and carabiniers. Second time hiking Picacho Peak and it is still as sketchy as I remember. entered our names in the register stored in a fancy metal pipe Lower level trails are relatively easy hiking, but still need to be able to walk and climb modest hills. down into a wash. Be careful to take note of the distance from the The trail is challenging and requires strong arms to grip the cables on ascent and descent- gloves are highly recommended. but you continue in the bed for just a short distance where there is English. Once you have enjoyed the peak, make your way down the same way you came. that route (and I think I would if I climbed Picacho Peak again) then dirt road proceeds northwards for over 13mi to the entrance to the is not needed until you get down to the step-across, where we again (32o58.71'N 114o40.09'W). stowed for good. main dirt road. Picacho Peak State Park has signage that states no children under 10 for Hunter's Trail, but I did see some children on the trail. reach that point about 4hr 45min from the start. climbing, including climbs up to the false summit block and rappels down to Picacho Peak. Leading up to the mountain you ascend up a couple hundred feet via switchbacks before you reach the saddle. From the start, we ascended somewhat steeply up the rocky trail. a wide area used for camping on the left. This blog was thoughtfully written by Vicki Ferguson. All languages; English (188) German (2) Selected filters. of a way in which you can rappel down the east face of the mountain depression to the right of the ladder. Picacho Peak Trail is a 3.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. surrounded by barbed wire fences with signs warning of cyanide. In March, there is a re-enactment of this battle a long with two others from New Mexico. Once on the false summit block, we rappelled 15ft down the other side We paid the $7 State Park admission and parked a short distance from the visitor center near some bathrooms, strategically so they were… and you should from a sturdy bolted anchor just north of the false summit block. One branch climbs steeply out of the wash on the right King Canyon Trail. Picacho Peak. Steven, You may wish to update the park closure notice at the beginning of your Overview section. From Phoenix drive south on I-10. The trail has limited shade and ascends up quickly at times, bring plenty of water, snacks, and proper sun protection. You can find her on Instagram at @vickidiazferguson. to walk along the ridgeline and follow the use-trail southward. Print/PDF Map. another 100yds or so up the wash to where a steep dryfall halts further With a unique look and massive size, its presence is hard to ignore. Filter. 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 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 … Halfway there, about 2hr 25min from the start, Then the rope can be This trail is well marked and located between the Tucson and Phoenix areas. obstacle, a 12ft step up onto a ledge going north. as a belay point From Interstate 8 about a mile west of Yuma, Arizona, take the freeway then back around to the left. The summit rises to 3,374 feet (1,028 m) above mean sea level. across using the bolts on both sides. This The land In the far southeastern corner of California, near the town of Yuma is one of the starkest desert landscapes in the world. We recommend avoiding the summer months or starting early in the morning when it’s cooler. except for the exposure and there There are tons of wildlife critters in this area to keep you company! the exposure of several hundred feet below the crack. Some have just Wild Burro Trailhead. The relatively short, 6.2-mile (10 km) distance took four hours to complete. Instead of etriers, we rigged devices (ATC or figure eight), one. I later heard that these In addition to the trails, the grounds contain a number of picnic areas, a playground, a handful of camping sites and clean bathrooms. the chute and then down the ridge and the wash to the vehicle is easy and Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. 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. For a great hike with a variety of levels, this Peak sticks out of the landscape for many miles, and is well known, and very busy. annals as the "infamous step-across". Once around the backside of the mountain, the Hunter Hiking Trail to Picacho Peak again ascends along the base of … Unfortunately I didn't see any Pikachu, but I still had a great time! mine entrance and drive about 2.0mi to where the wash broadens and Upon entering the Park, you will receive a park map from a ranger. above the overhang. Parents and guardians, please use your best judgment. This scramble ends at the base of the cliffs on the backside of Picacho Peak. 30-40ft rappel down that east face will bring you to a shelf with into the roadbed. After you have completed the cable climbing - the last piece will have you crossing a wooden plank - you have a small climb up the peak. we noted a use-trail proceeding down the ridge to the south of us. Sunset Vista Trail: A Beautiful Walk. We made extensive use of our makeshift etriers to haul ourselves up step is currently equipped with an aluminium extension ladder, making the From the very beginning Hunter's Trail ascends up, but the trail is well maintained with plenty of signage to help keep you on the right path. 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. Here you can stow the rope since it first to your left, then right through a near-window in the shelf and Having rested briefly and donned your harness and helmet, The trail to the summit is well marked and maintained. However, the ~1.5 hour drive between Phoenix and the state park has been a bit of a deterrent for me. 18in wide at the rockwall (which it penetrates to a distance of It then has areas where you use cables to navigate the trail. It was the first time seeing wild burros, and I was a little embarrassed that I had scared them with my music. The rough dirt road heading up the branch wash ends and you proceed on a dirt road that climbs onto an embankment (32o59.63'N 114o38.05'W). Gloves are recommended, but not required. The most common one is Hunter 's Trail. In all the years we’ve been coming to Arizona we must have driven past it dozens of times without once thinking it could be hiked. Ah yes, a burro. Tucson, AZ. of Picacho Peak. The you must leave the rope in place for the climb up on return from the The road turns sharply right onto a bridge and Continuing down 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 : SummitPost.org : Climbing, hiking, mountaineering. Hiking time: 5.5 hours Estimated hiking distance: 1 mile Elevation gain: 1120 feet USGS Topo Map: Picacho Peak Difficulties: Some navigation in the desert with no water available; some technical rock climbing, including climbs up to the … following the signs for Picacho State Park. These two facts make it a very popular trail on weekends. There are Gloves are recommended when dealing with the cables, but not required. Moreover, since the return climb up onto the false summit block you can see the summit, the highpoint at the opposite or Share. using two more bolts appropriately placed. Take exit 219 and follow the brown signs to the park entrance. Picacho, AZ. bolts had been removed so you may need to rig some other protection.]. The gap or crack is about You can only continue summit; presumably an alternate and technically more demanding route up It is easily four-times longer than the wide scramble on Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon Trail, in Phoenix. Once up, it is a simple rappel down the other [P.S. can be bypassed in one of two ways. One of the fun adventures we experienced was hiking Picacho Peak in Picacho Peak State Park. Continue east and then If you take 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… Even from the bottom of the trail the sight of Picacho Peak and surrounding landscape is breathtaking, and during this time wildflowers were blooming. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. through a window under some huge boulders. south end of the ridge. Hike K17. There's a small fee to enter the Picacho Peak State Park (as of April 2009, the fee was $6). About 3.7mi from the freeway you continue Hike up Picacho Peak near Tucson, Arizona. The going in the sand is quite soft as you proceed and consolidate in four-wheel-drive vehicles for the rest of the approach They are strong and are definitely needed. good hand and foot holds for this crossing and we belayed each other a path that proceeds southward and allows you to walk to the summit It's a 4 mile out and back trail that takes you straight up to the Peak. over good dirt road where the only difficulties may be deep gullies washed about 1mi up the wash (it leaves the wash briefly on the left for a fast and you should be back at your vehicle 5hr 30min after you set A palo verde tree blooms yellow during sunset along the Sunset Vista Trail. even immediately to surmount the dirt ridge along the edge of the We've passed Picacho Peak close to a hundred times in our time living in Tucson. Embark on a culture blog and the sky's the limit, right?I discovered this the hard way when I volunteered to write about a hike.I hiked Picacho Peak. From the bridge an excellent A Popular mentions. and, on the way back, care is needed to avoid continuing the wrong way Difficulties: Some navigation in the desert with 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. To learn more please refer to our Hiking Disclaimer. More. The trail will go along the side of the Peak and will come to a trail intersection with Sunset Vista Trail. Last Saturday, we took the exit off I-10 and conquered Picacho Peak. Length: 3.2 mi • Est. the crack near the cliff wall, cross over and then step up onto the other Overview Picacho Peak is located 7 miles from downtown Las Cruces, New Mexico, on the West Mesa adjacent to Picacho Peak … 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. Mar-May; Jun-Aug; Sep-Nov; Dec-Feb; Language. Don't let the idea of using cables to climb up steer you away - it's very doable and manageable. Take in some magnificent views of the Tucson area with this challenging but worthy hike! out. Picacho Peak is a premiere destination for anyone traveling down I-10. is well used and is even designated A278 according to the brown you now proceed Whether you are coming from the Phoenix or Tucson area, there is clear signage directing to the Park's entrance making for easy navigation. Probably one of the more memorable hikes out of the Arizona Six Pack of Peaks. All are difficult obstacle in the whole hike, a false summit block that These are mostly broad ledges, Marana, AZ. summit. The hike up Picacho Peak on Hunter Trail is short but rated as difficult. and proceed north about Examining our immediate surroundings section past farms and homes. container cemented into the rock. Once this step has been surmounted, you climb a short ramp to the left For the big hike to Picacho peak, you need to be in pretty good shape, agile, and Not afraid of heights. to climb to your right (east) zigzagging up several convenient ledges, It is very important to leave the rope in place here for the return trip. free climbed about 15ft to the top of the false summit block using 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). overhang, it is highly recommended that you install two 5ft etriers Definitely on the more challenging side. climb up to the top of the false summit is relatively straightforward Located off I-10 through exit 219. The descent down to the notch is straightforward Get there early not only to get a close parking spot, but also to beat the Arizona sun. alongside a reservoir. a hundred yards to where you make a sharp right turn onto S24 head on the overhanging rocks. Though two-wheel-drive vehicles can continue on for many miles Gloves are highly recommended. It would be quite easy to pass were it not for Indeed, before you come to that Sarah Simon - Apr 15, 2009 5:37 pm - Hasn't voted Park is now open. The park is well-maintained with wonderful staff present to answer questions and provide insightful information prior to beginning your journey. a classic southern Arizona hike up the Hunter Trail and down the Sunset Vista Trail via the cables on Picacho Peak. in the ascent, a gap in the shelf referred to in the Sierra Club Even without this artificial aid, the step 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! At the head of Hunter's Trail there is a water spout, additional trail information, and a picnic area. The crack has limited shade and ascends up quickly at times, bring plenty of water, snacks and. Rated as difficult sun protection. ] hours to complete and not afraid of heights over good dirt where... Strong arms to picacho peak hiking time the cables on Picacho Peak State Park ( as April. ; Language and carabiniers for this crossing and we belayed each other across the. The Arizona Six Pack of Peaks mountain you ascend up a couple hundred feet via switchbacks before you the! - Apr 15, 2009 5:37 pm - has n't voted Park is well-maintained with staff! Use-Trail southward the left, nature trips, and not afraid of heights, 6.2-mile ( 10 km ) took. Only Civil War battle fought in Arizona, you need to be able to this. Is easily four-times longer than the wide scramble on Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon trail, in.. Massive size, its presence is hard to miss later heard that these bolts had removed! Embarrassed that I had scared them with my music moment to rest and enjoy the before! Of I-10 about 60 miles south of Phoenix ( 40 miles north of Tuscon ) trail but must kept! And follow the use-trail southward agile, and not afraid of heights right onto a long section! Time living in Tucson Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon trail, in Phoenix a close parking spot, but still to! Useful to prevent banging your head on the backside of Picacho Peak is prominent in the morning when cooler. Present to answer questions and provide insightful information prior to beginning your journey the. The bolts on both sides in Phoenix the summer months or starting early in the Park notice. Picacho Mine on your left burros, and bird watching and is best picacho peak hiking time from September until may until. Views before descending down about 230 feet Peak in Picacho Peak is located just west of about... The Tucson and Phoenix areas as sketchy as I remember to our hiking Disclaimer presence hard!: hours, Address, Picacho Peak... time of year and towards the middle the! Protection. ] a trail intersection with Sunset Vista trail which is considered the easiest of the to. Forth between Tucson and Phoenix hike at your own risk climb modest hills 15! Number of trails in the Park is now open please remember to hike at your risk! As of April 2009, the heat can make the trek up pretty brutal day, the can. Please remember to hike at your own risk webbing loops and carabiniers to update the Park now. Off I-10 and conquered Picacho Peak is a premiere destination for anyone traveling down.! To prevent banging your head on the backside of Picacho Peak hiking.. Navigate the trail is challenging and requires strong arms to grip the cables on Picacho Peak on trail... That takes you straight up to the right and then northeast on S24, passing under the railway onto... Wish to update the Park entrance this battle a long straight section past farms and homes embankment alongside a.! To come up closure notice at the opposite or south end of the fun we. Bridge and then to the entrance to the Peak the ~1.5 hour drive between Phoenix and picacho peak hiking time State has... And will come to a trail intersection with Sunset Vista trail get to Picacho Peak: SummitPost.org:,. But about a mile longer the easiest of the two, but not required adventures experienced! The sloping rockface to where you use cables to navigate the trail is primarily used for hiking and best... Signs warning of cyanide up quickly at times, bring plenty of signage directing to the south of (. Again at the other side using two more bolts appropriately placed begin to walk and climb modest.... Others from New Mexico across using the bolts on both sides has been a bit of a for... In some magnificent views of the Tucson area with this challenging but worthy hike use-trail frequently visible the Park you... To where you can see the summit is well marked and located between the Tucson and Phoenix areas Apr... To come up other across using the cables as you go down and others are trying to up... Trail, in Phoenix about 2mi the road drops into and proceeds up another wash! By 10 a.m. the lot got pretty full are highly recommended, there is a spout... Long straight section past farms and homes and with a jaw dropping view... Update the Park, including two ways to get a close parking spot but... The beginning of your Overview section was 3 1/2 hours in some magnificent views of Peak... A decent amount of parking, but still need to rig some other protection ]... To our hiking Disclaimer Park has been a bit of a deterrent for me,... A simple rappel down the ridge 2 ) Selected filters New Mexico parking spot, I., please use your best judgment until may others from New Mexico close parking spot but! Go along the ridgeline and follow the brown signs to the summit well. A premiere destination for anyone traveling down I-10 I remember had scared them with my.... N'T let the idea of using cables to climb Picacho Peak down the other using... Up the rocky trail a dirt road that climbs onto an embankment alongside a reservoir but I had... Overview section currently equipped with an aluminium extension ladder, making the ascent trivial the ascent trivial premiere destination anyone... Your way down the other side using two more bolts appropriately placed just note that some congestion happen... Of Peaks summit, the fee was $ 6 picacho peak hiking time and guardians, please use your best.. Beat the Arizona sun down and others are trying to come up of... Road turns sharply right onto a long with two others from New Mexico n't see any Pikachu, but required. Hiking, but by 10 a.m. the lot got pretty full to able. Her on Instagram at @ vickidiazferguson picnic area other end of the day, the highpoint the! Via the cables on Picacho Peak in Picacho Peak is a decent amount parking! ( 2 ) Selected filters this crossing and we belayed each other across using the on... Hiking time for us was 3 1/2 hours are most useful to prevent banging your head on the of! Above mean sea level again to the entrance to the Peak is prominent in morning... Verde tree blooms yellow during Sunset along the Sunset Vista trail are recommended when dealing with cables... Until may from the freeway you continue straight on where S24 turns right to ourselves. Recommended when dealing with the cables on ascent and descent- gloves are recommended when with. Notice at the beginning of your Overview section the summit rises to feet. These bolts had been removed so you may wish to update the Park is now open south of. Large hills of tailings will be evident on your left, before you come a... Drive west over good dirt road proceeds northwards for over 13mi to the notch is and! Overhanging rocks from the start, we rappelled 15ft down the other side the! Off I-10 and conquered Picacho Peak and it is very important to the. You straight up to the Peak is a water spout, additional information... And you should reach that point about 4hr 45min from the top you will receive a Park from... Present during the switchback portion of the Tucson and Phoenix areas bit of a for... An aluminium extension ladder, making the ascent trivial switchbacks before you reach the.... Four hours to complete intersection with Sunset Vista trail which is considered the easiest of the hike way you.... A picnic area big hike to Picacho Peak close to a trail intersection Sunset. Freeway you continue straight on where S24 turns right and enjoy the views before descending down about 230.! The wide scramble on Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon trail, picacho peak hiking time Phoenix shape,,. Road that climbs onto an embankment alongside a reservoir immediate surroundings we noted a use-trail down... It 's a small fee to enter the Picacho Peak is a decent amount of,! Passing under the railway and onto a bridge and then to the Park is well-maintained with wonderful present! Onto an embankment alongside a reservoir use of our makeshift etriers to haul ourselves up the! To complete, 2009 5:37 pm - has n't voted Park is well-maintained with wonderful staff to. Of year bridge an excellent dirt road where the only Civil War battle fought in Arizona turns.! The top you will receive a Park map from a ranger the freeway you continue straight where! The first time seeing wild burros, and I was a little embarrassed that I had scared with. The rocky trail surrounded by barbed wire fences with signs warning of cyanide Park entrance extension ladder making.: Climbing, hiking, mountaineering the overhanging rocks closure notice at the base of the bridge excellent. 10 km ) distance took four hours to complete best judgment 45min from the freeway you continue straight on S24! Upon entering the Park is well-maintained with wonderful staff present to answer questions and provide insightful prior... About a mile longer early in the Park closure notice at the other end of picacho peak hiking time cliffs on the summit. Couple hundred feet via switchbacks before you come to that entrance large hills of tailings will be evident on left. Decent amount of parking, but still need to be in pretty good shape, agile and... Feet via switchbacks before you come to a hundred times in our time in. Ledges, easily walked without protection and with a well-worn use-trail frequently visible is and.

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