I hiked the Nature Trail which is a .5 mile loop and the Calloway Trail which is .7 miles each way. I did not take the trails to the top of the peak because it had been a long weekend alreday and I had no gloves. The Calloway Trail is steep in some parts but is not too difficult. It leads to a nice view feom the ridge; and there are great views of...more
The nature trail also offers educational information about other desert plants like: Lichen which is a combination of a fungus and algae that grows into the slightest cracks in a rock breaking it down into the soil essential for other plants to grow in; the Littleleaf Palo Verde which is the state tree of Arizona and is essential for protecting...more
While hiking the Peak you will need at least 2 liters of water per person. Do not take this warning lightly! . Dehydration can sneek up on you. Inexperienced as well as experienced hikers have died at this park.
NOTE: longest trail up the peak is only 3 miles long. (6 miles there and back).
Don't forget, the sun can be very deadly, very quick!
Luggage and bags:
a fanny pack or small back pack with water carrying capabilities. I use a camel back with a 2 liter water bladder. You will need both hands to climb with.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: shorts, good hiking shoes(good for climbing rock), gloves ( for steel cables), and most importantly a good hat.
Photo Equipment: Don't forget the camera!!!!....It's a long way back to the car.
Protiens: peanuts, walnuts, almonds, beef jerky, tuna
fruits: fresh peaches,pears,apples, apricots
There are several nice hiking trails at Picacho Peak State Park: The Hunter Trail, 2.0 miles; difficult; begins on the north side from Barrett Loop and goes to the top of the peak. The trail climbs a resistant path typical of the Sonoran desert. The route is steep and twisting, with steel cables (gloves are recommended) anchored into the rock in places where the surface is bare; the Sunset Vista Trail: 3.1 miles; moderate first 2 miles, becoming difficult; travels on the south side from the westernmost parking area and goes to top of peak; the Calloway Trail: 0.7 miles; moderate; leads to an overlook; the Nature Trail: 0.5 miles; easy; includes interpretive signs; and the Children's Cave Trail: 0.2 miles; easy; includes interpretive signs.
Equipment: Good hiking shoes; LOTS of water; a snack; sunscreen; a hat; a goos camera. For some trails a pair of gloves for the steel cables. Carry a cell phone for emergencies.
The main reason to pull off Interstate 10 at Exit 219 is Picacho Peak State Park. The first interesting thing about this park is the name. As our Spanish-speaking friends know "Picacho" is the Spanish word for "Peak making this mountain called Peak Peak. Picacho Peak has been a landmark for settlers in the area for many years. Evidence has been found of pre-historic settlers near the peak. Father Eusebio Kino came this way and mentioned the mountain. In 1846, the Mormon Battalion constructed a wagon road through Picacho Pass on their way to California to fight in the war with Mexico. The forty-niners traveled the same road on their way to California, and in 1858, mail and passengers traveled this route via the Butterfield Overland Stage. The most significant Civil War battle in Arizona took place near Picacho Peak on April 15, 1862, when an advance detachment of Union forces from California attacked a Confederate scouting party. The battle lasted for 1-1/2 hours, and three Union soldiers were killed. Today the park offers magnificent scenery and some challenging hiking trails.
Fondest memory: PLEASE NOTE THAT PICACHO PEAK STATE PARK WILL BE CLOSED FROM 1 JULY UNTIL SOMETIME IN OCTOBER DUE TO CONSTRUCTION.