Summary: You will enjoy a short strenuous hike to the summit of this isolated desert peak. From the start the trail gradually gains elevation until you reach the main saddle just below the summit buttress; once at the saddle, the fun begins. Expect short steep sections requiring hand-over-hand climbing aided by steal cables and handrails. When you arrive at the summit you will be rewarded with 360 degrees of breathtaking views of the surrounding Sonoran desert.
Picacho Peak has been use as a navigational landmark for hundreds of years, was the site of Arizona's only Civil War battle, is a geographic spectacle, and it abounds with petroglyph from prehistoric Hohokams.
Trailhead: From Tucson, follow I-10 north for about 50 miles to the Picacho Peak State Park exit. The trailhead is located at on southwest end of Barret Loop. (Lat:32.64258 Lon:-111.40297)
Trail Guides for Picacho Peak: Hunter Trail:
by Bruce Grubbs and Stewart Aitchision (The Globe Pequot Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Picacho Peak State Park
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Rob Brinkerhoff, who has posted 33 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 4 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Matt on 2/25/2013
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Reviewed by rob on 2/12/2012
one of my favorite hikes. Not too difficult and definitely not too easy. I'll do it at least once a year.
Reviewed by TP on 1/21/2012
Breathtaking views. Would not skip the gloves. Very glad we had them for the cables. Have lunch at the summit and soak in the panorama
Reviewed by JSW on 1/20/2012
Nice hike with great views. Short and steep. For those of you that are used to rock scrambling, this hike is a walk in the park. No gloves or hiking boots needed. However, wearing trailrunners is helpful. For those wanting a workout, a run up to the saddle will deliver. Razorback Ridge (off of the saddle) has a little more element of risk and well worth doing.
Reviewed by GlobeTrekkers on 1/16/2012
I am almost 50 and my husband is 60. We do this hike several times a year during the cooler winter months. It takes us an hour and 25 minutes to reach the summit, and just over an hour for the return hike back to the parking lot. We wear fingertip-less gloves which we bought at Big 5 Sporting Goods for less than $15 a pair. I would recommend gloves for this hike, as they do help protect your hands from being blistered on the cables. But be sure to buy gloves with a suede palm so they won't slip. Sometimes it is windy at the summit, so a light jacket is practical. Also, you will feel safer and more carefree if you carry your water on your back so that your hands are free for balance, especially on the loose terrain during descents.
Reviewed by M S D on 10/31/2011
Started at 10:20. Ranger was very helpful. Bought gloves for $2.50 at the ranger station - gloves an absolute necessity!! Reached saddle at 11:20 and reached summit at 12:20 - trails were well marked and cables were very helpful! View at the top was well worth it. Some steep climbs - good boots very important. Time to the top will depend on level of fitness and weather. A Camelback with lots of water a good idea! Lots of loose gravel/rocks at certain places on the trail. We only saw one couple who had completed the trail. Saw another couple turn back. Great for fitness and views - very challenging at times but well worth it!!!!
Reviewed by Dallas on 1/25/2011
I have always loved hiking but I haven't hiked too much since moving to Arizona from Colorado. This was my first big hike in Arizona and it was awesome. A beautiful, slightly nippy January day with a lot of shade but even in the shade we had to take off our sweaters. My brother and I went up Hunter trail and we were surprised by how fast we went up the mountain. The cables are fun, I didn't have gloves but my brother did but he said they made it too slick so he went without them. I am planning to go up again in a couple of days with my girlfriend.
Reviewed by Bill in Arizona on 1/10/2011
I successfully reached the summit on 22 Mar 2010, my 65th birthday. This is the first hike that starts out on a graded trail to the saddle & then turns into a climb, meaning, you HAVE to use your arms to go up & come down several 80% 100 yard cable assist climbs. GLOVES, are an absolute necessity because the cables can be too hot, too cold, or too wet, for hands to hold onto. Here is a link to a set of photos I took of my hike/climb http://www.flickr.com/photos/bc_az/sets/72157623679315256/
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