Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak, Arizona

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Like many others driving between Phoenix and Tuscon, I’d always wanted to climb this unique volcanic plug.

It looks challenging, but I found it not too bad.


It’s not via ferrata, but there are cables and other assistance everywhere needed.


Bring gloves.


As a former gymnast, I was certainly overconfident on arrival at the trailhead.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

I’d already embarrassed myself pronouncing the name of the peak as Pikachu. That’s wrong.


Though one hiker cried 4 times getting up and down, I found it fun.

I love the giant, individually unique saguaro cactus.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

On the way up it’s difficult to imagine there’s actually a hiking route.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

This beautiful day attracted many to the peak. Everyone made it to the top so far as I could see. Myself included.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

Certain birds and animals make a good living waiting on lunch crumbs here.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

The vista from the top is not all that spectacular.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

I made a sidetrip to a smaller peak. Here’s the vista looking back to the summit.

Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

Still, Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak is unique and interesting enough to be added to our list of best hikes in North America.

If you have two vehicles consider climbing up via Hunter Trail, returning via Sunset Trail. 




3 Replies to “Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak, Arizona”

  1. Great post Rick! Picacho sure is a fun hike. If you’re in southern Arizona for a while, check out the trails at Organ Pipe National Monument. Mt. Ajo is one of the best summit hikes in the southwest.

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