I’ve driven past this landmark on the way to and from Tucson innumerable times over the last two and a half decades…finally climbed to the top….kinda cool.
Tried to get there at sunrise to see the grand walls adorned with the fresh morning’s light….
Parked outside the gate to Picacho Peak State Park…in the below image. For anyone who enjoys the Wikipedia take on things, here’s another link…which addresses the redundancy of the name. “Picacho” means “peak” in Spanish….so this is Peak Peak State Park….
The trail is going to take us up to the uppermost point on the prominence to the left…the eastern summit.
Hunter Trail goes in a zig-zag switchback manner up the front of the slope in the above image, reaches the saddle at the notch on the right, and then drops down over 200 feet and then skirts along the south side heading east, and finally climbs up and up and up…..
The above photo shows the view looking north and south from the front of the slope in the image just above it….and the photo below shows the saddle…looking east. And yes, that is the “peak”….the destination…at the far left side of the image.
Hmmm….lovely defacing of the placard…the peak is believed to be about 22 million years old….
Looking north and west from the saddle in the below image….a crumpled-blanket-looking-desert….
And now heading down from the saddle (below) with the double steel cable hand-rails…going waaaaay down the steep slope.
Looking directly south from the above slope…out over the irrigated desert’s fields….
In the below image, we have made it safely down that severe slope and have headed east along the south side of the mount…climbed up a bit, and have arrived at something like an arena or amphitheater in the rock’s backside….
Saguaro cacti, Palo Verde trees/shrubs, and Creosote/Grease-wood bushes…. The below photo is what is inside of the shadows in the right side of the above photo…
A singular cross on Golgotha….?
Another incredibly steep climb upward with the double cable hand-rails….nearing the top….
My only company on the summit….
In the below image, we’re looking north and west from the top….fascinating green veins where the water runs in its season…
And looking north and east from the summit, in the below image, over the irrigated fields…over the freeway heading toward Tucson to the right…and over Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich Ranch…in that white hangar-like structure…toward left of center…
Looking west from the east and highest summit…over the western summit….
And now looking further west from that western summit….
In the below image, the eastern summit proper…the Picacho Peak….viewed from the slope of the western summit.
Looking up at the “trail” we just descended…heading down on the Sunset Vista Trail…which loops back around the Picacho Peak massif, heading west….
The southern side of the mount just west of Picacho Peak massif, from the Sunset Vista Trail….
And the western end of the massif…looking east….with Picacho Peak proper being around and behind….to the far right.
So, now we’ve seen Picacho Peak up close and personal…which will change how we “see” it from this day forward.
I hope you enjoyed the hike…thank you for coming along with me….