Visitors traveling along I-10 in southern Arizona cant miss the prominent 1,500-foot peak of Picacho Peak State Park. Enjoy the view as you hike the trails that wind up the peak and, often in the spring, overlook a sea of wildflowers. The park and surrounding area are known for its unique geological significance, outstanding and varied desert growth, and historical importance. The unique shape has been used as a landmark by travelers since prehistoric times. One of the first recordings was in the 1700s by the Anza Expedition as it passed through the area. The park facilities include a visitor center with exhibits and a gift store, hiking trails, playground, historical markers, campground (with or without electric), picnic areas, ramadas, grills, dump station, restrooms, and showers. The group use areas, for day & overnight use, are available by reservation. Before you hike, be prepared with enough water and proper footwear as the trails are steep and challenging.
Advanced hike. Easy trail markers. Great views. One of the most enjoyable hikes, in my opinion.
We are average hikers in pretty good shape, and this was a challenge. Mostly up hill, with a few really fun cable sections. As others have stated, leather gloves are highly recommended. You can do it without, but you won't be nearly as confident when holding the steel cables.
Pack a lunch for the top and be sure to take some pictures because it's fantastic!
Time from parking lot to top 1 hour and 11 minutes. Time down 51 minutes.
This was a fun and challenging hike with some surprises. I would agree with the other reviews stating this should be rated hard not moderate.
This was the first time I used a cable system which posed more of a challenge on the way down than up at some points. Consider going backwards not forwards.
Make sure you bring gloves and take time to stop for a bite to eat up top and enjoy the 360 degree views. Definitely worth the drive down if you're in Phoenix.
Tyler, Emily and I hiked up 1800 feet and 2 miles to get to the summit. We had to pull ourselves up using the anchored cables at several places. It was truly an amazing hike. The first mile will test your stamina, straight up the side of the mountain, but when you get to the back side the fun really starts to begin. See my video of our day on the mountain:
Picacho Peak Summit Hike.
3 minutes of SCARY on Picacho:
Peak is 3.1 miles from trail head. First 1.5 miles or so are easy, much steeper later on. The cable-assisted areas of the trail deserve respect and if taken that way are just plain fun. Gloves and boots with good grip will increase confidence. I would put the trail at moderate, recognizing that parts of the trail are easy and parts are hard.