Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Hunter Trail, Picacho Peak
when March 10, 2019
  Trip Report : March 17, 2018
  Trip Report : March 5, 2016
  Trip Report : March 2, 2013
  Trip Report : February 9, 2002
  Trip Report : February 24, 2001
  Trip Report : February 12, 2000
  Trip Report : March 13, 1999
  Trip Report : May 16, 1998
  Trip Report : February 23, 1997
where Picacho Peak State Park
the hike     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”).
distance 5 miles total hiking distance
time 4-5 hours
EC +2921'-3035' elevation change
elevations 1878' (Sunset Trailhead) to 3266' (Picacho Peak)
on trail 100% — Hunter Trail and Sunset Vista Trail
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs? no
cost $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.
weather Tucson
meet 8:00 AM in the parking lot south of Einstein Bros. 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.
drive 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.

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updated June 15, 2019 © Copyright 2019, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.