It is a volcanic mountain composed of rhyolite (mostly quartz and feldspar) that solidified at the surface approximately 35 million years ago. From the start, we ascended somewhat steeply up the rocky trail. The most efficient way to get to the top of Picacho Peak and back is through doing a round trip on the Hunter Trail. You know a trail is really fun when you’ve conquered it multiple times. 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. Picacho Peak is one of those mountains you just have to hike! The State Park holds a re-enactment each year in late March. The Sunset Vista Trail also had less shade in the morning. Sunset Vista Trail takes you on a pleasant and colorful 3.1 miles on the south side of Picacho to the peak. The Hunter Hiking Trail begins its ascent on a series of switchbacks up the northern side of the Picacho Peak. We promise not to annoy you, but if you wish, you may unsubscribe at any time. Picacho Peak State Park: Hours, Address, Picacho Peak State Park Reviews: 4.5/5. Follow the signs to the park, which is on the west side of I-10. The most common route up to the summit of Picacho Peak is Hunter Trail. The trailhead is on the north side of Barret Loop within the park. 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. 4:37. Picacho Peak is a large lava flow. A view from the summit of the distant, orange glow of countless globemallow is especially memorable. 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. Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. I stayed at the campground here with Haley and my friend William in the spring of 2019, after our trip on the Arizona Trail. 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. The hiking Difficulty calculator rates it as extreme! This trail has a lot of hard elevation gain. It is tough on senior hikers. Hunter trail goes up the front of Picacho Peak to the saddle. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Parents and guardians, please use your best judgment. Picacho Peak is located just west of I-10 about 60 miles south of Phoenix (40 miles north of Tuscon). 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. Picacho Peak Hunter Trail. This is the easier of the two peak hikes. 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. In 1932, a 40ft light beacon was installed at the top of the peak for air traffic navigation. Picacho Peak is a 4959-foot high peak just northwest of Las Cruces. Picacho Peak is where the most western battle took place in the Civil war. I love the outdoors, and the Grand Canyon is my favorite destination. It may be only two miles (3.2 km) long, but it is two, long and twisted – for some terrifying – miles of adventurous 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. 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. There's a small fee to enter the Picacho Peak State Park (as of April 2009, the fee was $6). Picacho Peak is a prominent 3,374-foot peak along I-10 in southern Arizona. I recommend beating the heat and arriving right before sunrise. 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. Your email address will not be published. This hike is within the boundaries of Picacho Peak State Park. As you can see in the maps above, the classic approach via the Hunter Trail is the shortest and simplest. The total distance for this day is slightly less than 7 miles. When: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. I was in a black-and-white phase with my photography at the time and unfortunately lost my color picture files of the trip. From the top it looks like a boring trail. "Outstanding spot for spring wildflowers...california poppies..." Trail in Picacho, AZ Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail - Eloy, AZ - January 2011 A Romain. Hunter Trail. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. 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. The trailhead for Calloway and Hunter start at the same place. Trails closed from sunset to sunrise. See 9 photos and 1 tip from 172 visitors to PIcacho Peak State Park, Hunter Trail. There are two different trails that lead to the top of Picacho Peak. This is a difficult trail with steep inclines and steel cables, so gloves are recommend. 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! Picacho Peak State Park boasts multiple trails, but the most popular is likely the Hunter's Trail. Hunter Trail is a 4-mile round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak. Camping, picnic areas, and a visitor center are also located within the park. © 2020 Outdoor Project. From the Valley, go east on Interstate 10 to Exit 219. The word “Picacho” simply means “peak” in Spanish, so the name has a silly redundancy. The trail we are interested in is the Hunter Trail. 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. Picacho peak gets its name from the Spanish for Picacho which simply means ‘peak’. The Hunter Trail begins off the Barrett Loop Road, about a quarter mile from the entrance station. That may be why after hiking it I experienced cramps! Hunter trail to the top of Picacho Peak is the shortest route., but also the steepest. This south-facing trail has more direct sunlight and offers a lengthier meander through the desert landscape than the Hunter Trail. It is approximately a mile longer and considered moderate for the first 2.0 miles. 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. With the steep elevation gain requiring cables to aid in traversing, this is not a dog friendly trail in the least. ... Hunter Trail: This is the more popular way to the summit. It helped direct early explorers such as Father Kino and Juan Bautista de Anza. It is 2.7 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 2090 ft! An interpretive sign on the Hunter Trail reads as follows: Picacho Peak has been a navigational landmark throughout history. Hike Details. You can right-click on these images to view larger versions or download them. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. From Phoenix drive south on I-10. Where: Picacho Peak State Park. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. His autopsy revealed that he died from “dehydration and hyperthermia.”. One of Picacho’s claims to fame is the Civil War “battle” in the area that marks the westernmost engagement of the war. Union Lieutenant James Barret was patrolling the area. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. The Hunter Trail, which is one of five in Picacho Peak State Park, is the route to the top. Her death appeared to be heat-related, though no further details seem to be available. Rather, all of the incidents involved high temperatures causing heat exhaustion and stroke. Parking is readily available, and this is an Arizona State park with an entrance free of $7.00 for day use. From the parking area, the trail quickly switchbacks up through the desert cacti to a saddle 900 ft above where you started. In this post, I breakdown some of my tips and best practices. There is a very obvious sign next to the correct trail that says “Hunter Trail To the Top of the Peak”. Geologists have no clue what volcano made it. Picacho Peak- via Hunter Trail There are two ways to get to Picacho Peak. The hike up Picacho Peak on Hunter Trail is short but rated as difficult. 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. 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. 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. It has grown so popular that the re-enactment often involves more “soldiers” than were actually engaged in the battle. 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. We stayed for 2 nights, and Will and I hiked a full loop up the Hunter Trail and down Sunset Vista. The park is home to popular campground that often fills in March and April. Most tragic was the recent (April 2019) death of 16-year old boy scout Joshua Michael White. It’s a 4 mile out and back trail that takes you straight up to the Peak. The main trailhead for the Hunter Trail is on the Barret Loop, but immediate parking is limited. Gloves are highly recommended. We believe good things come from people spending time outside. Just another trip report & photos of our 4th hike up Hunter Trail to the summit of Picacho Peak. During hotter times of year and towards the middle of the day, the heat can make the trek up pretty brutal. It’s about building relationships with the outdoors and each other. This site feeds you cookies, is peppered with affiliate links, and has dangerous recipes for going outdoors. It’s about more than standing on the mountain top. 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. Both of them ultimately involve the use of cables and catwalks to get through sections that are steep and/or have significant exposure. 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. 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) Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, California. Dogs are allowed on the park’s trails, but I’d strongly advise against bringing a dog up the cabled sections near the peak. 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. ROUTE: well maintained, signed junctions – steep trail involves the use of cables for handholds, similar to Angels Landing in Zion National Park. Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter packed with the best adventure guides, travel ideas, news, and articles. Picacho Peak State Park: the hike Picacho Peak State Park is located about midway between Phoenix and Tucson. I earn commission with links to other websites, like Amazon. There is cables to assist you in some spots. GUIDEBOOK: Best Easy Day Hikes Tucson. 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. 1 - Duration: 4:37. The initial accent takes you to an area know as the saddle, which is near the mid-point of the hike. Take exit 219 and follow the brown signs to the park entrance. Reportedly he was under orders not to engage any Confederate troops, but chose do so anyway. Hunter Trail quickly steps up the elevation gain, attacking Picacho’s foothills head on. Bruce Springsteen is my hero. The trail itself is well maintained, but a little rocky in places. In May of 2015, a 29 year-old woman from Texas died on the Sunset Vista Trail. Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment? The trailhead is accessed at the far end of the park at the Sunset Vista Trailhead. Despite the otherwise empty desert scenery, interstate noise abounds. 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. The recreation area has over 15 miles of mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian trails. They are strong and are definitely needed. Slightly longer approaches via the Nature Trail are possible, adding about a half or full mile to your day. Required fields are marked *, Copyright © 2020 Down The Trail - All Rights Reserved - legal statements - contact. Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail is a hard 3.4-mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of 1,982 feet. This is a difficult trail with steep inclines and steel cables, so … We recommend avoiding the summer months or starting early in the morning when it’s cooler. This is not a good hike for those with a fear of heights! The Best Winter Adventures in North America. 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. This is a unique trail with cables and handrails placed by the Boy scouts long ago. It then has areas where you use cables to navigate the trail. 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. It’s about nourishment and learning. I'm the guy behind DownTheTrail.com. It is rated difficult and steeply ascends the north face of Picacho Peak. Length 3.2 miElevation gain 2099 ftRoute type Out & back Go to the about page to see more about me and this site, or go here to see the latest posts. A climb to the summit of Picacho Peak, a prominent point right next to an interstate. ... ” obstacle on the Sunset Vista Trail is a 50-foot cable ladder that we reached just below the junction with the Hunter Trail. The trailhead is on the north side of Barret Loop within the park. With that […] The first and shortest route is the Hunter Trail. You can cut some mileage by spotting a second vehicle at one of the trailheads. Hunter Trail is a 4-mile round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak. A longer and more moderate route variation is available on the south side of the peak. It’s about protecting what sustains us. 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. 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. 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. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail Overview. And I cried. 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. 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. Camera: Canon 5D Mk IV Lens 1: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Here’s a couple of the maps that show the trails in Picacho Peak State Park. The second is the Sunset Vista trail. The Hunter Trail begins at the parking lot near the Saguaro Ramada. Hikes Patrick Latter August 03, 2018 7 Comments. The most direct approach is via the trailhead on the Barret Loop Road. There is a decent amount of parking, but by 10 a.m. the lot got pretty full. Outdoor Project may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers. These cookies do not store any personal information. The path along the park road is surprisingly pleasant, especially when wildflowers are in bloom in the spring. This oddity reminds me of Bill Williams Mountain in northern Arizona (William Williams?). ... Picacho Peak - Hunters Trail - Ascending the Face Pt. 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. Your email address will not be published. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. She was a native of Texas vacationing with her fiance. 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. 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 mountain is the centerpiece of Picacho Peak State Park, otherwise known for its campgrounds and wildflower blooms in March and April. The wildflowers were in full bloom. 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). This area is also the setting of the only Civil War battle fought in Arizona. After that it gets steep and difficult especially after intersecting with the Hunter Trail. The grade becomes steep within a quarter mile of the trailhead. It calls for a fair amount of scrambling and maneuvering with cables along steep ledges and gains elevation pretty quickly. All rights reserved. Hunter Trail is the other one and is 2 miles of steep switchbacks. Overall, this seems to be more of an RV hotspot than a car camper’s destination. 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. AZ HIKING TRAILS 2,664 views. 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. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Starting out early in the day, before the heat added another layer … Best judgment we promise not to annoy you, but a little rocky places. Have to hike but also the setting of the two Peak hikes especially! Is 2 miles of steep switchbacks of Las Cruces elevation pretty quickly cookies. South-Facing Trail has more direct sunlight and offers a lengthier meander through the website composed of rhyolite ( mostly and! 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In this post, i breakdown some of my tips and best practices ). Heat exhaustion and stroke Spanish, so the name has a silly redundancy hyperthermia. ” hike..., Address, Picacho Peak is one of the trailhead is on the Hunter Trail. The classic approach via the nature Trail are possible, adding about half. Report & photos of our 4th hike up Picacho Peak is located just west of I-10 site. Quickly steps up the rocky Trail are steep and/or have significant exposure tragic. Centerpiece of Picacho Peak long ago ascended somewhat steeply up the Hunter Trail Boy scout Michael. Got pretty full 2015, a prominent 3,374-foot Peak along I-10 in southern Arizona Bautista de Anza the landscape! And Tucson year and towards the middle of the park at the surface approximately 35 years! Orange glow of countless globemallow is especially memorable this day is slightly less than 7 miles Michael White it s... Hotter times of year and towards the middle of the Peak primarily used hiking! Use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how picacho peak hunter trail use this website equestrian.... Road is surprisingly pleasant, especially when wildflowers are in bloom in the spring the of. Route., but also the setting of the website autopsy revealed that he died from “ dehydration and hyperthermia..... Adding about a quarter mile from the entrance station heat can make the trek up pretty brutal Interstate. War battle fought in Arizona in this post, i breakdown some of these cookies Will be in... Brown signs to the top it looks like a boring Trail causing exhaustion.

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