Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak is a 2.7 mile out and back trail located near Picacho, AZ that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
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.
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!
Personally thought this trail was difficult. Enjoyed the cables on the way up, make sure to bring gloves. Beautiful view on top of the peak. Would definitely do it again good for upper arm strengthening
Great challenging short hike. Climbing from the beginning. easy to get demoralized at the saddle, but really enjoyed the hike and views.
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.
This was a fun and challenging hike
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.
Fairly short but strenuous hike. Very steep climbs with the help of steel cables. Incredible views at the top! Well worth it! I've done it twice and plan on taking my kids up it when they're old enough.
great hike ..
Challenging when we climbed straight up. Great 360 degree view at top.
What a fun hike! If you want to feel like Indiana Jones, or an old miner, this hike is just for you. Adventure at ever turn, views unparalleled, and a great elevation gain.
Don't underestimate this hike. It is challenging, especially after the saddle (steep and switchbacks), but rewarding. This can be very busy on the weekends so prepare to wait to get on the cables. Bring gloves and at least 2 liters of water. F.Y.I., there is also a fee to be paid at the gate.
This is one of my favorite trails for a few reasons...the 360 degree view from the top, the landscape (I love the desert), and mainly, the sense of accomplishment once you complete it. I have a pretty big fear of heights so I, personally, would rank this trail as bordering on difficult...or at least somewhat technical. However, I wouldn't want to dis-way people from tackling this trail because it's really a self-esteem booster.
The husband and I climbed this in December (2014) so the temps were perfect. We ascended via the Hunter Trail and then took the Sunset Trail down, which added a lot more distance to our hike (including having to get back to our vehicle at the Hunter Trail head). Once you get to the saddle the fun starts and you may worry that your next step is to descend on some cables. And yes, unfortunately you have to regain all those steps down to make it to the peak.
There were definitely parts of the trail that scared me and I'm grateful the husband was there to remind me I could do it. Going down, while brutal on the knees, wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated except for the sheer wall we scaled to get to Sunset Trail...there's cables there as well but someone with a fear of heights it can seem overwhelming. But you can do it!
This is really two hikes - the ascent to the saddle is moderate and can be done in 1.5 to 2 hrs return, less if you are in a hurry and good shape. From there it drops a few hundrerd feet, much of it using cables on steep terrain, then scrambles back up about 750 ft to the summit, with a variety of cable sections, some that would be unnerving to many occasional hikers, especially going down. We saw several people being "talked down", but of course they all made it.
It took us about 5 hrs total, but my 23-yr-old son is vision impaired, so particularly the descent had to be careful, deliberate and at times guided. Took us less than 2 hrs to reach the summit. Views are great for a desert hike, access to parking easy (2 mins off Hwy 10). Start early to beat the heat, and heed warnings about gloves (with decent grip) and 2, or better yet 3, litres of water per hiker.
Was not crowded on this glorious February day.
I would say moderate. Not easy as it says... From the parking lot you hit the trail head and up you go. After the saddle if you feel like your descending most of the way you just hiked up... Well your on the right path lol. Who ever made the cable guides thank you! Bring gloves and enjoy the summit!