Friday, February 7, 2014

Picacho Peak February 1, 2014

                                           Looking south from saddle

West of Tucson, Arizona, Picacho Peak rises out of the desert. It looked like a technical climb with ropes and harnesses required when I drove by it on my way to San Diego. After reading online I discovered that this peak is hikable because  boy scouts built cables and bridges in places to aide hikers.There are cables in four sections. One section is relatively scary because it is straight up.

On Saturday Nathan and I climbed Picacho by way of the Hunter Trail. This is a four mile round trip with an elevation gain of around 1600 feet. This hike is strenuous because of the high elevation gain in a short period of time. Even though I had some trepidation about the cables before starting the climb, the rock provided great hand and foot holds and the cable sections were not hard but really fun. I look forward to hiking this trail later this spring.

If you are looking for solitude do not summit Picacho using the Hunter Trail. In fact this year Phoenix rated this hike as one of the best winter hikes in southern Arizona. The view from the top more than makes up for the lack of solitude because it is unobstructed by other mountain ranges.

Directions: Picacho Peak is located west of Tucson, Arizona, directly off of Interstate 10. The Hunter Trail is located in Picacho Peak State Park which charges $10 per vehicle for the day.

                         One of the sections which utilizes cables to aide hikers

                       View on the mountain

                            Me near the top of the vertical cable section

                         Me on top

                   View from the summit looking toward Tucson

                       The summit

                         Train and rockwall

                                  Picacho Peak

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