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Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail

Picacho Peak State Park

Tucson Area, Arizona

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Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail

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  • The first set of cables up Picacho Peak as trail fades.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • The trail drops off as the rock traverse begins.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • The saddle sits at about a mile into the hike.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • The view from atop the saddle.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • Cables help hikers establish footing.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • A cable section on an incline to Picacho Peak.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • Catcus along trail to Picacho Peak.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • Cable section en route to Picacho Peak.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • More cactus along the trail to Picacho Peak.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • The steepest section of the cable climb.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • Final cable section prior to the summit.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • The view from Picacho Peak.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • The view from Picacho Peak.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • The view from Picacho Peak.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • Heading back down from the summit of Picacho Peak.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • A cable section en route to the base.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • A cable section en route to the base.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • A cable section en route to the base.- Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
  • - Picacho Peak via Hunter Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great vista views. Light crowds.
Cons: 
Day use fee.
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Region:
Tucson Area, AZ
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,338.00 ft (407.82 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,036.00 ft (620.57 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Picacho Peak is a prominent 3,374-foot peak along I-10 in southern Arizona. This hike provides exceptional 360-degree views of the valleys surrounding the peak as well as many other significant mountain peaks and ranges in the area. This hike is within the boundaries of Picacho Peak State Park. Parking is readily available, and this is an Arizona State park with an entrance free of $7.00 for day use. Camping, picnic areas, and a visitor center are also located within the park.

Hunter Trail is a 4-mile round trip hike to the top of Picacho Peak. The trailhead is on the north side of Barret Loop within the park. This is a difficult trail with steep inclines and steel cables, so gloves are recommend. The trail begins in an environment that is typical of Sonoran desert landscape with desert vegetation and varieties of cactus. The grade becomes steep within a quarter mile of the trailhead. The trail has many areas of sharp, bare rock, and in places arrows are painted on the rock to signal the direction of the trail, which can be difficult to follow in certain areas. The initial accent takes you to an area know as the saddle, which is near the mid-point of the hike. After the saddle the route makes a short descent on the south side of the peak prior to another steep accent that leads eventually to the top of Picacho Peak. A longer and more moderate route variation is available on the south side of the peak.

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(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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