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Picacho Peak State Park Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 48 photos

Picacho Peak State Park

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 Battle of Picacho Pass

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.

Hiking Trails

There are several hiking trails available at the 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.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Good Place to Spend a Day or Two and Hike
  • Last visit to Picacho Peak State Park: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated Jun 23, 2008
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