This is from a short weekend getaway to go hiking up Picacho Peak. I’ve passed it several times and finally got to camp out there. Probably the nicest camp grounds I’ve been to, so far. Super clean bathrooms and showers (free), and wifi.
You’ll want to be sure to bring lots of water for the hike as there are no fountains on the trails. Also bring gloves for going to the top. There are metal cables to use for part of your climb, and those will be super hot in the desert sun. I went on Sunset Trail one day. This is the longer hiking trail. It’s relatively flat and kind of boring for the first few miles. Also, the trail could use more markings on it. Sunset trail does have a real cool section that goes straight up. You’ll have to use the cables to make the climb.
The second day I hiked on Hunters Trail. This is the better trail to hike-more scenic. There are still a few sections of the trail that could use better markings. Both trails take you to the top of Picacho Peak which is approx 3400 Ft in elevation.
Little tip, take Hunters Trail. There will be a 3 way intersection marking. Looking east, just past the marking, and down, you will see the cables to climb up from Sunset Trail. I think it’s worth a try for anyone that likes to climb things. It’s very steep. Also, as you get close to the top, keep an eye out for an unmarked trail on your left. You can make it up to another peak that’s about 3000 ft in elevation.
Overall, these are 2 challenging trails-more so than my Grand Canyon hike earlier this year. The hike is fun with the sections of cable that you use for ascending/descending the mountain. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a view once you get to the top. The surrounding area is super flat, but at least you have a good view looking down on the other peaks from atop Picacho. Sometimes it’s about the journey and not the destination. I don’t recommend doing this hike in the summer. I went late November when it was a high of 80 degrees and that was already pretty hot. I can’t imagine the desert summer when it can get 100+ degrees. A two night stay allowed plenty of time for doing two trails and also relaxing.