Built by Fred Barr over several years in the 1900s and re-done by the U.S. Forest Service in the late 50s, it provides a well-maintained route that takes you 13.5 mile to the top from its starting point in Manitou Springs. Visitors traveling on I-10 in southern Arizona can't miss the outstanding 1,500-foot-high Picacho Peak State Park. Created By Lucid Themes. The trailhead is on the north side of Barret Loop within the park. This is a unique trail with cables and handrails placed by the Boy scouts long ago. My younger sister is 5’3″ and had no problem holding onto the cables. 5:30am Began hike at the trailhead of Barrett Loop, 6:07am Reached the saddle and first major set of cables. My photographs do no justice to the beauty I saw with my own eyes. “How silly!” I thought. Not too far from the trailhead, on a normal part of the trail, a rock step gave way and slipped right onto my butt. The distance to the top is 2.7 miles with an increase in elevation of 2,014. Within the hour I made it to a saddle between the summit and a high point on the ridge to the north. It is a moderate hike, a constant ascent that totals at a 1100+ elevation gain over approximately two miles. Picacho Peak, halfway between Tucson and Phoenix, is one of the best short hikes in the state of Arizona, and with the weather still cool and wildflowers in bloom, now is the time to get out there. We've passed Picacho Peak close to a hundred times in our time living in Tucson. I know I sound like a big old wussy here, but, be warned: Picacho is not for the weak of heart. The main reason why I recommend hiking earlier is so that your time is shorter. If you would rather hike around 10am, as opposed to 5:00am then I recommend hiking between late fall to early spring. Sunset in the “saguaro forest” at Picacho Peak State Park. Disclosure: Mountain Tripper is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. We’re in the final stretch! Congratulations on hiking all the way to the summit!! Another friendly man greeted me as I ascended a cable-lined embankment, laughing in a self-deprecating manner as he kept a white-knuckle grip on the cable. Perhaps the most popular trail at Picacho Peak, the Hunter Trail gives the shortest route to the top. Desert valleys stretch for miles in all directions, interrupted in the distance by the long ridges of neighboring mountains. We decided to hike to the top of beautiful views. Trailheads fill with cars as hikers take to the network of trails in search of colorful wildflowers and endless vistas. Best months to visit are November to April as summertime temperatures are consistently over 100 degrees during the day. This is another section where people can be intimidated. Hike The first section takes you up steep switchbacks to the saddle. The view across the valley to Newman Peak was awe inspiring. The scenery was enjoyed both by us and our cameras! It’s short but very steep 1.5 miles to the summit, and then back the way you came up. The reason why this varies so much is because on a busy day you will more than likely have to wait for other hikers to climb up before you can so there might be a bit of … In my list, I included my recommended attire and the reasoning: At only 4 miles, Hunter Trail is a relatively short hike. Pay attention to your footing since the ground is quite uneven. Required fields are marked *. The signage to the park is visibly marked and easy to locate. And if you’re taller than me, you’ll be fine. I met a nice couple from south Phoenix and exchanged suggestions for good hikes back in the city. Best Mirrorless Cameras: Landscape Photography Best Sony E-Mount Lenses Rokinon Samyang 12mm F2 Review Why I Switched to a Mirrorless Camera, Mountain Photography Colorado Plateau Photography Grand Canyon Photography Sonoran Desert Photography. Wild Burro Trailhead. Prepare to … I ventured up this steep, rugged path on a pre-dawn on a late March morning. Much of this hike involves climbing and holding onto rocks or cables. But, I think if you did the vertical climb, then you can walk the plank. TRAIL DESCRIPTION Take in some magnificent views of the Tucson area with this challenging but worthy hike! I guess that’s just a little reminder that in every situation, even a simple step, care should be taken to avoid mistakes. If you’re nervous about your speed and other hikers, then this may be another good reason to start earlier in the day. Picacho Peak State Park is a state park surrounding Picacho Peak in Picacho, Arizona.The park is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 in Pinal County.Its centerpiece spire is visible from downtown Tucson, a distance of 45 miles (72 km). Marana, AZ. The first park of the hike will take you to a scenic spot, … Simple and Safe Hiking Practices for Every Hiker. I’ve done this hike where the duration spanned from 2.5 – 5 hours. Picacho Peak is a large lava flow. Where is Picacho Peak State Park? Instead, I prefer to rock climb to the top. Full service campground on site, additional fee (per night) is required. This is a difficult trail with steep inclines and steel cables, so gloves are recommend. Length: 3.2 mi • Est. I … Florence, AZ. But not on the rock faces and cables, I was super careful up there. The base is a great intro to the rocky climbing that you will soon encounter on the other side of the base. The key wouldn’t start the car, so I had to walk four extra miles round trip to our campsite and retrieve the extra set from my wife. All roads within the park are paved. From either direction, you will take exit 219 for Picacho Peak Rd. Ten Dollars for Twenty Minutes of Awe at... Lenox Crater: A Sustainable Hiking Trail Design at... Field Guide to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert Wildflowers. My younger siblings took the approach of sitting at the top and working their way down. Without fail, the trail makes another break for the top, unleashing another string of cable-fed ascents. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you weren’t using the cables’ assistance previously, then I would absolutely use them now. Nobody was on the trail when we started or finished so we didn’t have to worry about the masks. As I climbed, I knew this standard trail would give way to a network of steep rocky inclines with the aid of cables. 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