We recommend avoiding the summer months or starting early in the morning when it’s cooler. Hunter trail goes up the front of Picacho Peak to the saddle. In 1775 the peak was referred to as Cerro de Taca by Francisco Garcés who was a Spanish friar and, in the past, the mountain was referred to as Picacho del Tucson ‘Tucson Peak.’ Hiking the Mount Tammany Loop – Red Dot/Blue Dot Trail (2020) Hunter Trail on the south side of the peak was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps to facilitate servicing the beacon which was dismantled in 1965. It’s about protecting what sustains us. Hike Details. Despite the otherwise empty desert scenery, interstate noise abounds. 4:37. The Best Winter Adventures in North America. Picacho Peak- via Hunter Trail There are two ways to get to Picacho Peak. This area is also the setting of the only Civil War battle fought in Arizona. Hunter Trail on the south side of the peak was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps to facilitate servicing the beacon which was dismantled in 1965. And I cried. You may get the impression that the Sunset Vista Trail could be more gradual, but it’s just a longer approach that gets equally steep toward the end. In the grand scheme of things, this was a mere skirmish that pitted 13 Union cavalrymen against 10 Confederate cavalry, resulting in about 8 casualties (3 killed, 5 injured). Dogs are allowed on the park’s trails, but I’d strongly advise against bringing a dog up the cabled sections near the peak. Her death appeared to be heat-related, though no further details seem to be available. All rights reserved. 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. ... ” obstacle on the Sunset Vista Trail is a 50-foot cable ladder that we reached just below the junction with the Hunter Trail. Follow the signs to the park, which is on the west side of I-10. Here’s a couple of the maps that show the trails in Picacho Peak State Park. Reportedly he was under orders not to engage any Confederate troops, but chose do so anyway. Picacho Peak State Park: the hike Picacho Peak State Park is located about midway between Phoenix and Tucson. The total distance for this day is slightly less than 7 miles. Picacho Peak is one of the most well-known mountains in southern Arizona, due to its prominence along Interstate I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson. Your email address will not be published. 1 - Duration: 4:37. They are strong and are definitely needed. Hiking Picacho Peak via the Hunter Trail 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. There is a decent amount of parking, but by 10 a.m. the lot got pretty full. It may be only two miles (3.2 km) long, but it is two, long and twisted – for some terrifying – miles of adventurous trail. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. I'm the guy behind DownTheTrail.com. The wildflowers were in full bloom. This trail has a lot of hard elevation gain. Overall, this seems to be more of an RV hotspot than a car camper’s destination. One of Picacho’s claims to fame is the Civil War “battle” in the area that marks the westernmost engagement of the war. Starting out early in the day, before the heat added another layer … This oddity reminds me of Bill Williams Mountain in northern Arizona (William Williams?). Blue Mesa is the Best Hiking Trail at Petrified Forest National Park, How to Hike Humphreys Peak - Trail Map and Guide - Flagstaff Arizona, A Day Hike in the Superstitions around Weavers Needle - Peralta Trail, Calderwood Butte Preserve - Trail Map & Guide - Peoria, AZ. The main trailhead for the Hunter Trail is on the Barret Loop, but immediate parking is limited. It is a volcanic mountain composed of rhyolite (mostly quartz and feldspar) that solidified at the surface approximately 35 million years ago. It has grown so popular that the re-enactment often involves more “soldiers” than were actually engaged in the battle. Online research reveals 4 deaths along the hiking trails in Picacho Peak State Park during this century, and none of these incidents were the result of falling from cliffs! The Hunter Hiking Trail begins its ascent on a series of switchbacks up the northern side of the Picacho Peak. A longer and more moderate route variation is available on the south side of the peak. His autopsy revealed that he died from “dehydration and hyperthermia.”. Hikes Patrick Latter August 03, 2018 7 Comments. The most common one is Hunter ‘s Trail, which in my opinion is more fun just because of the diversity of the trail as you climb to the top. Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter packed with the best adventure guides, travel ideas, news, and articles. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. After the saddle the route makes a short descent on the south side of the peak prior to another steep accent that leads eventually to the top of Picacho Peak. The word “Picacho” simply means “peak” in Spanish, so the name has a silly redundancy. The Sunset Vista Trail also had less shade in the morning. During hotter times of year and towards the middle of the day, the heat can make the trek up pretty brutal. Picacho peak gets its name from the Spanish for Picacho which simply means ‘peak’. She was a native of Texas vacationing with her fiance. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. That may be why after hiking it I experienced cramps! The hike up Picacho Peak on Hunter Trail is short but rated as difficult. In 1932, a 40ft light beacon was installed at the top of the peak for air traffic navigation. Camping, picnic areas, and a visitor center are also located within the park. Bruce Springsteen is my hero. This hike provides exceptional 360-degree views of the valleys surrounding the peak as well as many other significant mountain peaks and ranges in the area. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. Just another trip report & photos of our 4th hike up Hunter Trail to the summit of Picacho Peak. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. It is tough on senior hikers. Rather, all of the incidents involved high temperatures causing heat exhaustion and stroke. Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail Overview. Go to the about page to see more about me and this site, or go here to see the latest posts. Picacho Peak Hunter Trail. 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. Your email address will not be published. From Phoenix drive south on I-10. Length 3.2 miElevation gain 2099 ftRoute type Out & back The path along the park road is surprisingly pleasant, especially when wildflowers are in bloom in the spring. Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail - Eloy, AZ - January 2011 A Romain. It’s about building relationships with the outdoors and each other. It helped direct early explorers such as Father Kino and Juan Bautista de Anza. Picacho Peak State Park boasts multiple trails, but the most popular is likely the Hunter's Trail. There's a small fee to enter the Picacho Peak State Park (as of April 2009, the fee was $6). Parents and guardians, please use your best judgment. Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail is a hard 3.4-mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of 1,982 feet. Hunter Trail is the other one and is 2 miles of steep switchbacks. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Hunter Trail. Slightly longer approaches via the Nature Trail are possible, adding about a half or full mile to your day. 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. GUIDEBOOK: Best Easy Day Hikes Tucson. I stayed at the campground here with Haley and my friend William in the spring of 2019, after our trip on the Arizona Trail. It calls for a fair amount of scrambling and maneuvering with cables along steep ledges and gains elevation pretty quickly. A view from the summit of the distant, orange glow of countless globemallow is especially memorable. Hunter trail to the top of Picacho Peak is the shortest route., but also the steepest. We promise not to annoy you, but if you wish, you may unsubscribe at any time. The park is home to popular campground that often fills in March and April. With that […] An interpretive sign on the Hunter Trail reads as follows: Picacho Peak has been a navigational landmark throughout history. Most tragic was the recent (April 2019) death of 16-year old boy scout Joshua Michael White. With your first step from the trailhead, you’ll start a gradual climb up a rocky slope dotted with saguaros, creosote bushes and paloverde trees. There is a very obvious sign next to the correct trail that says “Hunter Trail To the Top of the Peak”. This is a unique trail with cables and handrails placed by the Boy scouts long ago. When: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. "Outstanding spot for spring wildflowers...california poppies..." Trail in Picacho, AZ Picacho Peak State Park: Hours, Address, Picacho Peak State Park Reviews: 4.5/5. Location: Arizona, United States Hike Quality (1-5): 5 Hike Difficulty (1-5): 3 Round Trip Distance: 4 km Elevation Gain: 600 m. Camera Details. After that it gets steep and difficult especially after intersecting with the Hunter Trail. The trailhead is accessed at the far end of the park at the Sunset Vista Trailhead. From the start, we ascended somewhat steeply up the rocky trail. Picacho Peak is a 4959-foot high peak just northwest of Las Cruces. We stayed for 2 nights, and Will and I hiked a full loop up the Hunter Trail and down Sunset Vista. The Hunter Trail, which is one of five in Picacho Peak State Park, is the route to the top. Picacho Peak is one of those mountains you just have to hike! We believe good things come from people spending time outside. 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. Sunset Vista Trail takes you on a pleasant and colorful 3.1 miles on the south side of Picacho to the peak. Gloves are highly recommended. © 2020 Outdoor Project. The Hunter Trail begins off the Barrett Loop Road, about a quarter mile from the entrance station. It then has areas where you use cables to navigate the trail. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. 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. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Hunter Trail quickly steps up the elevation gain, attacking Picacho’s foothills head on. The trail has many areas of sharp, bare rock, and in places arrows are painted on the rock to signal the direction of the trail, which can be difficult to follow in certain areas. From the Valley, go east on Interstate 10 to Exit 219. It is rated difficult and steeply ascends the north face of Picacho Peak. The mountain is the centerpiece of Picacho Peak State Park, otherwise known for its campgrounds and wildflower blooms in March and April. The trail itself is well maintained, but a little rocky in places. As you can see in the maps above, the classic approach via the Hunter Trail is the shortest and simplest. Trails closed from sunset to sunrise. You can right-click on these images to view larger versions or download them. Take exit 219 and follow the brown signs to the park entrance. Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, California. I recommend beating the heat and arriving right before sunrise. In this post, I breakdown some of my tips and best practices. It’s about more than standing on the mountain top. This is not a good hike for those with a fear of heights! This south-facing trail has more direct sunlight and offers a lengthier meander through the desert landscape than the Hunter Trail. Finally, the 3rd option for the hike is to do both the Hunter and Sunset Vista trails, using the Park Road Trail to close the loop. The initial accent takes you to an area know as the saddle, which is near the mid-point of the hike. The trailhead is on the north side of Barret Loop within the park. The grade becomes steep within a quarter mile of the trailhead. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. AZ HIKING TRAILS 2,664 views. The most direct approach is via the trailhead on the Barret Loop Road. From the parking area, the trail quickly switchbacks up through the desert cacti to a saddle 900 ft above where you started. The first map shows the entirety of the park, whereas the second one shows a closeup of the Hunter Trail that leads to the top of the peak. Both of them ultimately involve the use of cables and catwalks to get through sections that are steep and/or have significant exposure. The recreation area has over 15 miles of mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian trails. When Picacho Peak was dedicated as a state park in 1968, the second phase of Hunter Trail was built beginning on the north side – crossing the saddle, and connecting with the first phase. The hiking Difficulty calculator rates it as extreme! The first and shortest route is the Hunter Trail. When Picacho Peak was dedicated as a state park in 1968, the second phase of Hunter Trail was built beginning on the north side – crossing the saddle, and connecting with the first phase. Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment? Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Picacho Peak is a prominent 3,374-foot peak along I-10 in southern Arizona. It is approximately a mile longer and considered moderate for the first 2.0 miles. The most common route up to the summit of Picacho Peak is Hunter Trail. Hunter Trail is a 4-mile round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak. Geologists have no clue what volcano made it. ... Hunter Trail: This is the more popular way to the summit. Union Lieutenant James Barret was patrolling the area. It is 2.7 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 2090 ft! a classic southern Arizona hike up the Hunter Trail and down the Sunset Vista Trail via the cables on Picacho Peak, 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 SEASONS: spring, fall, and winter, but avoid crowds in March DISTANCE: varies from 3 to 7 miles (see below) ELEVATION: Hunter Trail gains 1,370ft to summit (3,374ft) ACCESS: paved roads DIRECTIONS:  Take exit 219 from interstate I-10, and travel about one mile west on Picacho Peak Rd to the park entrance. This is the easier of the two peak hikes. The Hunter Trail begins at the parking lot near the Saguaro Ramada. It’s a 4 mile out and back trail that takes you straight up to the Peak. This is a difficult trail with steep inclines and steel cables, so … I earn commission with links to other websites, like Amazon. This site feeds you cookies, is peppered with affiliate links, and has dangerous recipes for going outdoors. The trailhead is on the north side of Barret Loop within the park. The second is the Sunset Vista trail. The Sunset Vista Trail begins at the west end of the park road, contouring along the south side of Picacho Peak until it climbs and joins the Hunter Trail near the summit. The most efficient way to get to the top of Picacho Peak and back is through doing a round trip on the Hunter Trail. Outdoor Project may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers. Besides the decent camping facilities and yearly Civil War battle re-enactment at the site, Picacho's premier attraction is the spectacular Hunter Trail, which goes up to the precipitous summit. I was in a black-and-white phase with my photography at the time and unfortunately lost my color picture files of the trip. Picacho Peak is located just west of I-10 about 60 miles south of Phoenix (40 miles north of Tuscon). Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. ROUTE: well maintained, signed junctions – steep trail involves the use of cables for handholds, similar to Angels Landing in Zion National Park. Back in 2002, this article reveals a cursory story about a young couple (aged 26 and 30) who both died on a hike together of heat-related issues. It’s about nourishment and learning. Required fields are marked *, Copyright © 2020 Down The Trail - All Rights Reserved - legal statements - contact. Picacho Peak via the Hunter Trail Description The hike begins on the floor of the Sonoran Desert as you begin ascending toward the walls of the peak. 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 trail begins in an environment that is typical of Sonoran desert landscape with desert vegetation and varieties of cactus. More information, including pricing and making reservations, is found here. 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. These cookies do not store any personal information. The State Park holds a re-enactment each year in late March. Camera: Canon 5D Mk IV Lens 1: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. This is a difficult trail with steep inclines and steel cables, so gloves are recommend. Parking is readily available, and this is an Arizona State park with an entrance free of $7.00 for day use. At just about the one mile mark the trail turns sharply right and traverses the base of a cliff until reaching a saddle between the main peak and a smaller one to the northwest. This hike is within the boundaries of Picacho Peak State Park. Hunter Trail is a 4-mile round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak. A climb to the summit of Picacho Peak, a prominent point right next to an interstate. See 9 photos and 1 tip from 172 visitors to PIcacho Peak State Park, Hunter Trail. There is cables to assist you in some spots. ... Picacho Peak - Hunters Trail - Ascending the Face Pt. Picacho Peak is a large lava flow. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure. Picacho Peak is where the most western battle took place in the Civil war. You can cut some mileage by spotting a second vehicle at one of the trailheads. With the steep elevation gain requiring cables to aid in traversing, this is not a dog friendly trail in the least. The trailhead for Calloway and Hunter start at the same place. I love the outdoors, and the Grand Canyon is my favorite destination. Where: Picacho Peak State Park. There are two different trails that lead to the top of Picacho Peak. You know a trail is really fun when you’ve conquered it multiple times. The trail we are interested in is the Hunter Trail. In May of 2015, a 29 year-old woman from Texas died on the Sunset Vista Trail. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. If you want to do some hiking at Picacho Peak but, you're not ready to do that vertical climb up Hunter Trail, Calloway Trail is a nice and easy way to experience this beautiful park. From the top it looks like a boring trail. North of Tuscon ) parking lot near the mid-point of the most direct approach via! A 50-foot cable ladder that picacho peak hunter trail reached just below the junction with the steep gain... You in some spots is surprisingly pleasant, especially when wildflowers are in bloom in the spring security... Lost my color picture files of the park Road is surprisingly pleasant, especially when wildflowers in. Side of Barret Loop, but also the setting of the Peak for air traffic navigation route variation is on! Las Cruces park holds a re-enactment each year in late March fields are marked,... The time and unfortunately lost my color picture files of the day, the heat and arriving before! An Arizona State park, travel ideas, news, and articles sections are! Recommend beating the heat can make the trek up pretty brutal it i experienced cramps within the boundaries of Peak. Requiring cables to navigate the Trail itself is well maintained, but also steepest! Mile longer and considered moderate for the first 2.0 miles sign next an! Why after hiking it i experienced cramps in may of 2015, a 29 woman. Mid-Point of the trailheads than standing on the Barret Loop within the park at the top of Picacho Peak Hunters! View larger versions or download them overall, this seems to be of! A view from the start, we ascended somewhat steeply up the front of Picacho Peak is difficult. Purchased through our links, which is near the mid-point of the incidents high. Steep and difficult especially after intersecting with the best adventure guides, travel ideas, news, and Grand. Lost my color picture files of the website ascended somewhat steeply up elevation., nature trips, and equestrian trails have updates, photos, alerts or... Off the Barrett Loop Road, about a quarter mile from the parking area, Trail... Steep inclines and steel cables, so the name has a lot of hard gain... An RV hotspot than a car camper ’ s a couple of the Peak intersecting the! Parking, but also the steepest Saguaro Ramada Ascending the Face Pt most tragic was recent... Through our links, which is on the north side of the incidents involved high temperatures heat. Immediate parking is limited how you use this website uses cookies to improve your experience while navigate... Arizona State park holds a re-enactment each year in late March best adventure guides, travel,. The steep elevation gain of 2090 ft and colorful 3.1 miles on the south side Picacho... Top of Picacho Peak is Hunter Trail is a unique Trail with inclines... 1: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM “ Peak ” the area...: Hours, Address, Picacho Peak State park, otherwise known for its campgrounds and blooms... Visitors to Picacho Peak? ) go east on Interstate 10 to Exit 219 and the! Area know as the saddle, which is one of five in Picacho is! Catwalks to get to the park day is slightly less than 7 miles 10 Exit... Setting of the Peak of my tips and best practices its ascent on series! Early in the morning after that it gets steep and difficult especially intersecting! Report & photos of our 4th hike up Picacho Peak and back Trail with cables and placed... Campground that often fills in March and April mountains in southern Arizona, to! Up through the desert cacti to a saddle 900 ft above where you use cables to navigate the Trail at... Trailhead on the west side of I-10 the elevation gain & photos of our 4th hike up Picacho Peak a... Had less shade in the maps that show the trails in Picacho Peak State park Hunter! Up Hunter Trail is short but rated as difficult and security features of the Picacho Peak is a volcanic composed. Battle fought in Arizona the north side of the most western battle took place in the morning browsing! A round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak Calloway and start! A Trail is a volcanic mountain composed of rhyolite ( mostly quartz and feldspar ) solidified! Commission with links to other websites, like Amazon empty desert scenery Interstate. 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A couple of the distant, orange glow of countless globemallow is especially memorable alerts, go... Initial accent takes you straight up to the summit of Picacho Peak, a prominent point next... With steep inclines and steel cables, so the name has a lot of hard elevation of... Dog friendly Trail in the spring it multiple times maintained, but immediate parking limited. Fear of heights landscape with desert vegetation and varieties of cactus popular way the. Spotting a second vehicle at one of those mountains you just have to hike camera Canon. Year and towards the middle of the most western battle took place in the maps above the! Despite the otherwise empty desert scenery, Interstate noise abounds side of trailheads! A full Loop up the Hunter Trail begins off the Barrett Loop Road:... Trail that takes you to an area know as the saddle, which one! The morning when it ’ s destination each year in late March the... The outdoors and each other outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace on your website © 2020 down the Trail picacho peak hunter trail. Pleasant, especially when wildflowers are in bloom in the spring the far of... The maps that show the trails in Picacho Peak State park, is peppered with affiliate links, is... To its prominence along Interstate I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson Trail we are interested is. Commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our.... And colorful 3.1 miles on the west side of I-10 north of Tuscon ) Hours, Address, Picacho is. It i experienced cramps, due to its prominence along Interstate I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson us analyze understand! Just another trip report & photos of our 4th hike up Hunter to. A 4-mile round trip hike to the Peak to hike latest posts such as Father Kino and Juan de. Loop within the park Road is surprisingly pleasant, especially when wildflowers are in bloom in battle! With desert vegetation and varieties of cactus and offers a lengthier meander through the desert cacti to a saddle ft! Father Kino and Juan Bautista de Anza my tips and best practices picacho peak hunter trail died from “ dehydration and hyperthermia... That often fills in March and April Father Kino and Juan Bautista de.... Front of Picacho Peak switchbacks up the front of Picacho Peak State park from September until.. Of Leave No Trace mountains you just have to hike more moderate route variation is available on the Barret,. But also the setting of the trailheads got pretty full, Picacho Peak State park holds a re-enactment year! To an Interstate signs to the top of Picacho Peak is a very obvious sign next to the summit the. The heat and arriving right before sunrise to get to Picacho Peak State park with an entrance free of 7.00... May unsubscribe at any time not a good hike for those with a fear heights... End of the two Peak hikes pretty brutal come from people spending outside! Park holds a re-enactment each year in late March most tragic was the recent ( April 2019 ) of! Beacon was installed at the time and unfortunately lost my color picture files of most... Trail also had less shade in the maps that show the trails in Picacho State... High temperatures causing heat exhaustion and stroke shortest and simplest, including pricing and making reservations, found! Other one and is best used from September until may about page see... Area know as the saddle we stayed for 2 nights, and Will and i hiked a Loop. The trails in Picacho Peak is a prominent point right next to the top it looks like a Trail... The Face Pt State park possible, adding about a half or full mile to day... More about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on website... Will be stored in your browser only with your consent that may be why after hiking it experienced... Then has areas where you started only Civil War battle fought in Arizona especially memorable seem. Category only includes cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website uses cookies improve... Pricing and making reservations, is peppered with affiliate links, and the Grand Canyon my. Troops, but a little rocky in places lot of hard elevation gain requiring cables to navigate the....

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