Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix) by An Pham
Located just off Interstate 10 between Tucson and Phoenix, this unincorporated town may be small, but it stands tall with attractions.
At 1,500 feet, Picacho Peak has been a landmark for travelers for centuries, as the mass of volcanic rock juts into the sky, disrupting the relatively flat surrounding landscape. But there’s more to this town’s centerpiece than meets the eye.
Picacho Peak State Park is most famous for its Civil War connections. In 1862, Confederate and Union scouting parties collided in the Battle of Picacho Pass, becoming the largest Civil War battle in Arizona. Catch the annual battle reenactment during the Civil War in the Southwest celebration each spring (also a great time to see the fields of Mexican poppies surrounding the peak displaying their golden blooms).
The hiking trails on the peak remain open year-round. From the peak, expect expansive, panoramic views of the valley below. The visitor center’s informational exhibits are worth a gander, as is the gift shop. Campsites, picnic areas, ramadas, grills, restrooms, and other facilities are also at your disposal year-round.
Just down the road, you won’t be able to resist stopping at Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. Proudly advertised as one of America’s best roadside attractions, this ranch will entertain any road-weary traveler. Who can say “no” to frolicking with quirky ostriches, as well as deer, African goats, colorful lorikeets, and more. And don’t forget about the monster trucks! That’s right. They’ve got monster truck tours of the ranch, which are great for all ages.
Visit City Site
Picacho Peak State Park | PO Box 907 | Eloy, AZ | (520) 466-3183 | azstateparks.com/picacho/
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