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.
I love this hike because I live in Tucson and it's halfway between my sister in Phoenix and I!! I love how diverse this hike is from the steep incline, to the rope sections and the saddle. Its easy enough almost anyone can get up with some motivation. Dogs are welcome up to the saddle, although I wouldn't take them much farther as they won't be able to get up certain sections, or down for that matter.
Nice trail, about half of it in the shade which is convenient particularly in summer. We walked up Sunset Vista Trail to the peak and took Hunter Trail back down. Short and steep hike, with several switchbacks and cables. Very nice, rather hard than moderate (in the end). Bring gloves (I didn't have any and now have blisters on my hand), enough water and start early to avoid the heat.
Very beautiful but challenging hike. There is no shade at all, start as early as possible! We started at 8am and forecasts of 100+ degrees later in the day, I'd recommend to start earlier. We went up to the peak, took the Hunter Trail back down and then followed the park road to the car. We brought 4 liters of water each and used it all up (for drinking and keeping our heads and necks wet). Also: the trail seems longer than indicated. I recorded the hike using the alltrails App and it said 6km (not 4.4) on the peak. The trail is beautiful and well maintained, it gets difficult at the end with several steep switchbacks and cables (bring gloves! I didn't have any and now have 3 blisters on my hand). We did the hike on a Wednesday and didn't see anyone (except the ranger) in the whole park, not even a car. A bit scary :)
Surprised that this trail is only rated Moderate! The section to get to the summit is some what strenuous, very do-able, but strenuous! I was so surprised how sore I was for days after this! Very good hike with a great 360 view at the top!
Todd C. on Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak
It was fun exciting not crowded good time
I am 51 yrs old, I have driven by Picacho Peak 100's of times and finally got to hike the mountain. The photos of the cables make it very intimidating, but on the way down or out, the cables became a blessing and I was happy they were there. I am sore today (hiked on Saturday), my quads are on fire, but would have been even more so if not for the cables. I would recommend this hike, but you do need to be in somewhat good shape. Definitely capable of doing lots of steps/stairs.
One of the best hikes in Arizona. Great views, and the cable runs give some extra variety and challenge to make this one fun. Probably not for the everyday leisure hiker, but it's a short enough climb to be accessible to anyone in reasonable shape. Just be sure to bring lots of water and some gloves.
Ellen C. on Sunset Vista Trail
Loved the challenge!