Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail

HARD 627 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail is a 2.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Picacho, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,014 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

washed out

Note: Dogs are not permitted beyond the saddle area, which is about halfway to the final destination (peak). The trail to the summit is well marked and maintained. The trail is challenging and requires strong arms to grip the cables on ascent and descent- gloves are highly recommended. Views from the trail and the summit are great! The nature is amazing - you have a great chance to spot the bald headed eagle and see blooming ocotillos.

hiking
2 days ago

Go early during the summertime hours. Bring gloves and lots of water! The trail is challenging and not in very good shape. But it is ok since it is a trail up a mountain. Still my favorite trail. ~Juan S.

hiking
16 days ago

I can’t stress enough, Bring lots of water, my 2 litters bag (backpack) was not enough, ran out of water, almost had a heat stroke..

hiking
26 days ago

What a hike! We thought it wasn't going to be too bad because we saw how long it was but man it was very challenging but the view is worth it! Definitely bring plenty of water and snacks.

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike and easy to get to. Lots of parking. Just enough challenge at the top with the cables. Take a lunch and enough the views at the top.

hiking
30 days ago

Loved it. Not an easy hike. Well worth the effort.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was so much fun. It is not for the faint of heart or for those who are afraid of heights. Gloves and hiking shoes are a must in my opinion because of the cables and lose rock. Will definitely do again.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

I used to do this hike with my family as a kid but we never got to go past the saddle cause my mom had a bad knee. It’s been a goal of mine for years to make it all the way to the peak and I finally did it! It definitely lived up to expectations! It’s definitely a hard hike and gives a full body work out as certain parts are basically just vertical climbs but it’s worth it for the absolutely gorgeous views throughout the entire hike. Definitely not for beginners (I go hiking 3 times a week and it was pretty difficult for me by the end). Make sure you take lots of water!!! It’s hot, there’s lots of direct sun and only a few shaded areas. I took 3 liters and drank about 2.5

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Trail is tough uphill but worth it. Loads of sugaros , lizards, and raptors overhead. Views of the Sonoran at the top are priceless! Was tough and bring water, we stopped at the saddle where it connects with sunset trail. Good grip shoes recommended

Awesome day- lots of lizards jumping out from word places

1 month ago

Super challenging hike but worth it. Definitely bring your upper strength for the cables ascend and descend. Gloves are a must and shoes that have a good grip are recommended. For those that want to add more mileage take Sunset Vista Trail on the way down!BRING LOTS OF WATER! 3LITER minimum.

Wow! It’s been awhile since I’ve done a trail this fun. The cables help a lot on the way up, as do the rails. It’s definitely a burner, but if you are an active hiker and take breaks here and there then it shouldn’t be too difficult. There’s also some cool stuff to check out in the gift shop too if you have time!

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Fun hike - the cables are an added element and would highly recommend gloves. Trail is straightforward, I don't see how you could get lost. Lots of steep parts and vertical scrambling. Reminds me of Camelback's Echo Canyon trail. Took us 3 hrs including break at the top. Started at 10:00 am and would recommend an early start w/ the summer heat creeping in. There's shade as you hug the rocks right before/after the saddle, but other than that there's no shade. $7 entrance fee to Picacho State Park w/ plenty of parking, restrooms, picnic tables, etc.

hiking
2 months ago

Challenging trail but well worth the tough workout.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

Was able to beat this rock at 50 years old. The second half is incredible with the cable ways. Dropped down on back and finished with Sunset View trail. 6.8 miles back to campground loop A.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Conquered this amazing obstacle course of a hike on 4-14-19. Definitely one of my favorite top 5 difficult/hard hikes I’ll look forward to doing again. Well marked trail that pushes you to your limits mentally and physically....spectacular in every way! Washrooms in park, $7.00 fee

Well worth the tedious climb to the top. Perfect weather and time of day (we started up at 2pm). Lots of shade to take a break and feel a cool breeze. My 10 year olds made it to the top, you can too! Just take your time and take plenty of water, snacks, and some electrolyte tabs to stick in your water. Enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

This was one of the most challenging hikes I have done but is well worth it and is an incredible work out! The trail starts off easy until the drop offs begin once you reach the saddle. I would recommend bringing gloves for the cables. This hike works both legs and upper body strength quite intensively especially when you reach the 3rd to the last set of cables when you essentially have to pull yourself up on steep narrow passage. Had a lot of fun and would definitely do again!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome, fun hike! Loved the cables!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

This is definitely a very good trail the views are amazing. You definitely will have to use your hands if you go to the peek so gloves recommend but not necessary. It can get high traffic so I recommend getting there early.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

One of my favorite hikes - halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, right off the I-10 - it’s easy to get to and never super busy. The hike is tough, starting off with a mean uphill till you get to the saddle. Then the rocky, super steep, scrambling section begins - you might want to take some gloves for this part. The views open up even more on this side, as you are no longer looking over the I-10 ... it’s totally worth the 160BPM heart rate that’s busting out of your chest at this point - lol. The hike is even more wonderful in the spring when the flowers are out (like right now), but the view from the top of the peak is spectacular all year round !! You definitely need sturdy shoes (no soft sneakers), lots of water, and a hat - there’s no shade.

Really amazing trail.

Wasn’t able to finish this time. Have done it before though. Awesome hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Love this place! Just off the highway, easy to get to and so beautiful

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

we had a blast! bring lots of water. cheap gloves make the cables much easier. bring a peanut for my squirrell friend up top.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Glad I was able to do this one, but it definitely pushed my fear of heights limits. After you make it to the saddle the real hiking starts. There were so many chuckwallas! The flowers were beautiful and the views were breathtaking (quite literally in some parts). I hiked it alone - I wouldn't suggest doing so if you're afraid of heights as I am - there were definitely some parts I wish I had someone with me. I met a man on my way down who was a volunteer at the park and had summitted this peak over 700 times in the last 8 years!! And he was in his 70s!!! His wife was with him and it was her fourth time up and she was 72. So ya - go do it :) Just be prepared.

3 months ago

The trail is well maintained thank goodness, as you will need the cables to hold. A great adventure trail as there are an amazing variety of challenges, up, down, cable climbs, great views

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Great TOTAL body workout! When it says difficult it means it. Worth the hike, get out there!!!

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

This trail is a challenge! Getting to the saddle, where there's a bench, is pretty easy. After that, the intensity level goes way up. This trail demands focus and you must be in decent shape. you'll be using your upper body climbing up. Wear shoes designed for hiking and bring gloves. You'll need them when pulling yourself up the cables. Not recommended for kids. For some hikers, it is possible to complete in 2 hours, but prepare to take 3 to 4 hours. If you're easily rattled by heights, skip this trail.

hiking
3 months ago

I’m so glad we made a last minute decision to do this trail during our quick trip to Tucson. It’s definitely challenging, but well worth it. The cables are no joke, wish I had gloves, but made it without them. A special thanks to Charles, a volunteer trail guide, who we happened to meet at the peak. He lead us back down which made for an even more pleasant hike!

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