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This mountain sticks up out of the desert next to I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson. From the base it looks like it can only be done with ropes, as it is flanked with cliffs on all sides. The Hunter trail is the most recommended route up this monolith. It is two miles of grueling work. The trail heads up steeply to a pass then goes down the other side, loosing over half the elevation in a short amount of time. The trail then continues back up cut through the rock and there are cables to help you up the mountain. The trail is very steep and you have to find footholds and handholds in the rocks. You cannot get around using the cables; I found them in the way sometimes. You have to use them to pull yourself up the mountain.
The other trail, Sunset Vista trail is not recommended. It is 3.1 miles and circles around the backside of the mountain then comes up and connects to the Hunter trail avoiding a lot of the difficulties. From the top it looks like a boring trail.
Picacho Peak is a large lava flow. Geologists have no clue what volcano made it.
Picacho Peak is where the most western battle took place in the Civil war.
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Getting ThereFrom Phoenix take I-10 south to Tucson. About an hour outside of Phoenix you will see a sign that says Picacho Peak State Park. The exit number is 219. The park is on the right side of the interstate.
Red TapeIt is in Pacacho Peak State Park and costs $5.00 per vehicle to ener the park.
Picacho Peak is open for day use only and closes at sunset.
When To ClimbWinter months. November through march is the best. The summer is way to hot.
Casa Grande is the closest city to Picacho Peak. Click here for their weather and a web cam of the city.
CampingThere are about 100 camping spots. First come first serve. There is a picnic area, restrooms and showers.
$10 per night with a 15 day limit.
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