Location: Picacho, Arizona
Length: 2.7 miles
Elevation: 2,014 feet
Parking: looped road with limited spots, mostly parallel parking along the side
Cost: $7 per car
(above stats gathered from AllTrails)
Ah, okay! I love talking about Picacho Peak because it's just so fun, unique, and not too many seem to know about it – Which is a crime. I'm adding this hike as one of my top three favorites because I had such a great time.
First of all, don't be fooled by the fact that this hike is less than 3 miles. Let me tell you, this one kicked my ass more than Flatiron and Picketpost combined. I was dying, but it was worth every tired step.
Here's the deal, Picacho is incredibly steep, so they installed cables in several spots to help you not die. I highly do not recommend having short legs for this one. Unfortunately, short legs were all I had available to me during this particular adventure, so I had to make due. But if I can do it, you have zero excuses!
In addition to the cables, there's even a plank drilled into the side of the mountain at one point that you have to step across. Because of the cables, again, I would recommend gloves. And maybe periodic 10-minute naps throughout the hike to keep your refreshed too!
Picacho definitely gets crowded, and parking can be a complete pain on the weekends. But the unique experience is well worth it. Once you get to the top, you get a view that just goes on for miles.
By happenstance really, I tackled this hike at the start of spring just after we had been hit with some good rain. As a result, everything was green and blossoming. I could tell it was the perfect time to go even as I was pulling up because the entire mountain was the brightest green. Once I reached the top, I was rewarded with a breathtaking view of patches of flowers in the distance – Fields of green, yellow, and orange.
I couldn't tell you how this area looks during the rest of the year, but the seclusion of this hike, I have no doubt that the view from the top will be incredible regardless.