Hike Picacho Peak's Hunter Trail

Hunter Trailhead, Picacho Peak State Park - Search Nearby - Added by Kevin Kaminski

Hike one of the only Arizona trails with cables, handrails, and bridges that resemble a via ferrata cable system. Also get beautiful unobstructed 360 views of the surrounding areas.

If you've ever done the drive on highway10 from Phoenix to Tucson, you've definitely noticed an intriguing looking mountain peak about an hour into the drive. It broadly rises from the earth and tapers off into a point at the top, appearing like an illustration straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. It's called Picacho Peak, and if you haven't already, exit off the highway and check this rad mountain out!

Picacho Peak State Park boasts multiple trails, but the most popular is likely the Hunter's Trail. This 4 mile out and back trail that takes you to the summit of Picacho Peak will not disappoint, especially if you're looking to get that adrenaline pumping. What sets this hike apart from most trails in Arizona is the system of cables, handrails, and bridges in some sections of the hike. This was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps to service a 40-foot light beacon that was installed at the top of the peak for air traffic control, later the Boy Scouts of America added to this, which resembles much like a via ferrata cable system. With that in mind, expect some steep sections of ladders built into the rock. and remember to bring a pair of gloves though you can get by without.

The trail starts straight up switchbacking, gaining almost 968 feet until you reach the saddle. Next the hike will take a twist and descend about 225 feet. And you guessed it- after making that descent you go right back up, but this is the fun part! Now you start to play with the cables and ladders, and the views are breathtaking. As you keep hiking up you'll actually merge into the Sunset Trail. The trail goes around the mountain and ascends steeply near the end, where you'll meet more cables and handrails. Once past all the cables you'll have one last climb to the summit. At the summit you'll have awesome 360 views of the surrounding area.

Distance

4 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1400 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Fitness, Photography, Yoga, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

Picacho / Tucson NW KOA

Picacho, Arizona

From $189/night

Under Canvas Grand Canyon

Marana, Arizona

Tucson / Lazydays KOA

Tucson, Arizona

From $159/night

Under Canvas Tucson

Tucson, Arizona

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Challenging but so rewarding!

Hunters’ trail is the one that goes all the way up to the top, and I would advise taking that way up instead of through sunset vista trail. Sunset vista trail adds an extra 4.5 miles (round trip) onto the hike! It was such a cool experience. Okay for not very advanced climbers, but you should definitely be physically fit. I HIGHLY reccomend!!

Such a fun hike!!

This is one of my favorite southern AZ hikes because of the cables & the view from the top

Tours

More Tours

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Camp at Picacho Peak State Park

Adventure

Hike the Valley View Overlook Trail in Saguaro National Park

Adventure

Hike the Hugh Norris Trail, Saguaro National Park

Adventure

Summit Wasson Peak

More Nearby Adventures