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Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail

HARD 744 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
21 hours ago

A short hike but one to take time with. Starts with a steepish ascent to the saddle. Pretty views to look back at on the way- feels like you’re looking on a vast desert that once was an ocean floor. After saddle you have a descent and first taste of the cables. Gloves help a lot. You only have another 3-4 cable experiences but the first is the longest and most challenging on return. Wish there were more lengthy cable spots- but it can gas you. There are some striking scenes on the back half of the hike. But it is def a high intermediate trail for those who don’t fear heights. Will surely do again.

hiking
5 days ago

Awesome hike, easily one of my favorites.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

This is a great trail for anyone looking for a challenge. We are visiting from Utah and hike quite often. For us, the views were not much to look at, but the terrain of the trail itself was interesting. We were so glad we had gloves; they helped us to use the cables going down to repel and just slide through our hands. Good hiking boots are also helpful for grip and forbankle support. It rained here yesterday, which seemed to help the trail surface have some grip too. We enjoyed every bit of this trail!

hiking
6 days ago

This trail is No joke but one of my favorites in terms of level of fun and excitement. It's steep and vigorous but short and over before you know it. The view at the top is incredible too! If you can do Camelback then you can do Picacho! I will for sure be back next time I am around!

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 days ago

Awesome trail - loved every second of it.

hiking
rocky
scramble
10 days ago

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

hiking
fee
rocky
scramble
13 days ago

Trail is no joke. well maintained trail. The cables felt very secure so I was able to rely on them a lot. Good gripping shoes is so important. 360 degree view at the top is breathtaking.

hiking
no shade
scramble
14 days ago

This was a difficult hike! Once you hit the saddle you're descending a steep trail with the help of cables. Then you're scrambling up and over rocks. Then more cables and then the final push upwards. Or so I thought as a storm rolled in the rocks became slippery af! I turned around and had a harrowing descent. My knees and quads are going to be sore! $7 for park entrance and worth every penny!

hiking
14 days ago

Excellent hike - one of the best of its length anywhere. But this route absolutely deserves its Difficult rating. The first half is notably steep with numerous sections over rough rock. By the time you reach the saddle (excellent views) you're saying "Wow - those reviews that said this was tough were actually understating things a bit." Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet. The second half starts with a super-steep descent, along cables that everyone (not named Alex Honnold) will find close to essential. The route stays consistently interesting and severe all the way to the top. Cables help with all the (many) very tough sections. Views from the top are simply remarkable. Some notes: - Take the warnings about water seriously, especially if the temperature is above about 70 F. Some sections of the hike will be in sun, which will warm the rock and raise the effective temperature a lot. - Without really good footwear (shoes must have soles that grip rock well) expect to be very unhappy. - Hiking sticks highly recommended for the descent. You'll want the collapsible kind that can be carried in your pack, as you'll need both hands free in steep sections (especially for cables). - The rock is generally crumbly and often loose. This area had a lot of rain (more than 2") in the past three days, and the trail showed considerable evidence of erosion. General advice: Expect this hike to be about twice as challenging and twice as interesting as typical reviews would make you think. Prepare properly, then do it.

hiking
scramble
14 days ago

Awesome and challenging trail.

hiking
scramble
18 days ago

Great trail. Definitely can be difficult. You will need plenty of water on this trail and gloves. Please do not do this one unless you are physically able. Even if you are be careful, people have died hiking this trail. My more detailed review and some pictures. https://thegeekhomestead.com/2019/05/12/hiking-tucson-picacho-peak/

hiking
20 days ago

Bring at least 3 bottles of water and gloves for this hike , awesome views , short but challenging, well marked, 2-4 hours

hiking
rocky
24 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
25 days ago

Great day hiking. Really fun to do the scrambles.

hiking
fee
rocky
scramble
25 days ago

Holy cow this is a tough one! With good shoes, climbing gloves, and a lot of water, it is totally doable, though. My fitness level is really low right now, and I had to take many breaks, but I made it to the top. Just keep in mind that getting back is even harder than getting there. Saw hikers at every level on the trail yesterday, from trail runners racing by (one toting a medicine ball!), to little kids, to red-faced old timers. Also got to see search-and-rescue airlift someone off the mountain, so no matter what your skill level, be careful!

hiking
rocky
27 days ago

Beautiful weather for this one at this time of year.

hiking
scramble
28 days ago

Amazing hike and definitely a difficult level for sure! A couple times going down the cables was more freaky than going up. I’m so happy I brought my gloves and 3L of water! It was a perfect day!! I ended going up to the Peak through Hunter Trail and down Sunset Vista looping all the way back to my car at Hunters. Peak 3 of 6; six pack six peaks.

My husband and I did this hike on an early November afternoon. Weather was beautiful. Car to car distance was 3.2 miles and it took us a total of 4 hours (with breaks). Definitely technical and difficult but very fun and rewarding. We needed gloves and plenty of water. Had to be hands free at times to rock scramble or utilize the cable system to climb. Parts are very steep and shear. If you have a fear of heights this will be challenging. Good shoes a must. Not child or dog friendly. Allow plenty of time to be done before dark. I highly recommend this hike though. I thought it was fun, challenging, and unique.

Maybe my favorite hike in the area

hiking
1 month ago

Probably my favorite trail to date! As an experienced hiker, I feel that I’ve finally have hiked a trail that is accurately described as difficult. For those who don’t hike a lot, of attempting this, ensure to wear proper shoes as the trails are slippery due to loose rocks and if you are thinking about being children make sure you have enough adults to supervise. We came across a group of unruly kids today who were alone the adults had left them and were out of water, one almost fell off the cliff and we gave Gatorade to...these adults should have been ashamed and I would have been horrified if I were their parents. Another kid was throwing rocks at us off the top and almost hit us in the head. Overall, this was so much fun! Cannot wait to go again!

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