Picacho Peak State Park

Northern AZ had a spruce of wildfires the week my dad and I planned on leaving for our road trip from Arizona to Missouri.  I hadn’t been to Missouri, where I was born, in almost ten years.  My dad’s mom passed away last year and we weren’t able to get back.  Being off four days a week and accumulating lots of PTO, my dad and I were finally able to coordinate a trip.  We decided to take the southern route because of the fires; south through Tucson and then up through New Mexico (always avoiding Dallas – we HATE Dallas).

I live in Arizona and over the years, have travelled to many places that are so familiar to me.  My next journey  is to visit all of the State Parks in Arizona.  A writer from one of the local newspapers has a book coming out soon regarding this same subject.  I’d like to visit them all before that book comes out, so it doesn’t seem like I am copying him.  Not that it matters – I’m just writing on my personal website and he is selling a book.  But still, I’d like to have my own perspective before I read another’s.

Each state we drove through on this trip, I took an interest in all of the State Parks we passed; first, Picacho Peak State Park.  The featured photo is a photo I actually snapped from April 2017.  I’ve been to the park a few times, but I haven’t hiked to the top – yet.  I did Calloway Trail and some of the smaller, easier trails.  I’d like to hike to the top this Fall.  The park is really quiet during the week, very desolate and filled with rattlesnakes.  It’s about 20 miles to a small hospital in Casa Grande. Curious Kat has a cute video on hiking the Peak.

Picacho actually means “peak” in Spanish, which is redundant.  It was founded in 1965.  Everything one needs to know is located at the Arizona State Parks website.  A basic summary:

  • Lots of water.  If you’re hiking to the peak, there are cables you have to grab, so a backpack with water is ideal.  And gloves.
  • Phone.  Number one, for calling in case of an emergency.  And two, photo ops.  The view is going to be spectacular.
  • Pets are welcome and must be leashed.  Hiking to the peak with a dog may not be ideal.
  • Vehicle Fee as of 2018 is $7.
  • Gates are closed from 10pm to 5am.
  • Wear hiking shoes or boots.  The trail I did, regular tennis shoes slipped.
  • Restrooms are located at the Park Visitor Center, plus the Hunter and Calloway trailheads and in the campground. Campground restrooms are handicapped-accessible. Portable toilets are available at Sunset Vista Day Use area.
  • Dog friendly?  Definitely not the main hike to the top.
Road tune: