Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Hunter Trail, Picacho Peak
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Picacho Peak State Park
Picacho Peak State Park is located about midway between Phoenix and Tucson.
The Hunter Trail begins at the parking lot near the Saguaro Ramada. This trail
has a lot of hard elevation gain. The initial part of the hike will involve
climbing the North Slope to the upper saddle—about one mile with
1,000' of elevation gain. Beyond this point, a series of iron posts and
steel cables are placed in areas where we will cross bedrock or where the
pitch is particularly steep. It is highly recommended that you bring heavy
gloves to grasp the cable handholds, especially on the way back down.
The trail continues along the backside of the mountain and then begins to climb
very steeply towards the peak. At some points, the trail becomes so steep that
some Class 3 climbing is required, again with the aid of the provided steel cables.
The last few hundred feet of the trail begins to switchback one last time until
it finally tops out at the summit, with stunning views of the desert far below.
We will stop for lunch and a well-deserved rest break on the summit.
After lunch we will take the Sunset Vista Trail from the summit down the backside
of Picacho Peak for a change of scenery. This trail is 5 miles long and meanders
through pristine Sonoran desert at the foot of Picacho Peak back to the Sunset
Parking Area. See
Park Map (scroll halfway down the page and click on
“Download Printable Park Map”).
||5 miles total hiking distance
||+2921'-3035' elevation change
||1878' (Sunset Trailhead) to 3266' (Picacho Peak)
||100% — Hunter Trail and Sunset Vista Trail
Rate yourself as a hiker.
||$7 per vehicle for admission to Picacho Peak State Park.
When car-pooling, pay your share the cost of gas. The
club also allows voluntary contributions of $5/non-member.
Email the hike leader to confirm.
8:00 AM in the parking lot south of
Bagels on the SE corner of 48th Street & Ray Road, west of I-10.
For those leaving their cars behind, please park up against the west curb
of the parking lot, not in the Einstein’s common parking area.
||From Phoenix, take I-10 East (actually, the direction
is more south) 70 miles to the signed exit (Exit 219) for Picacho Peak
State Park. We will need to check in with the Park Rangers near the entrance
and pay $7 per vehicle. Hunter Trail is located at the southwest corner
of the park’s Barrett Loop.