Picacho Peak State Park

Easy access off I-10 leads to one of the most famous mountain summits in the Sonoran Desert.

On the drive between Phoenix and Tucson, a prominent peak breaks up the otherwise flat desert floor. Volcanic activity formed this surprising peak with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. Picacho Peak is located right off I-10 at exit 219. Pull over to see where original inhabitants sought shelter and sustenance, where Spanish explorers and gold miners passed through and where Union and Confederate soldiers clashed in the westernmost battle of the Civil War — the 1862 Battle of Picacho Pass. Ask locals about the landmark and most will gush about the spring wildflower super blooms that coat the peak in yellow and orange Mexican poppies.

Hiking Trails

To reach the summit of Picacho Peak, most hikers opt for the 2-mile climb straight up the north face on Hunter Trail. Reach the saddle of the peak before dropping some 700 feet down the south side to connect to Sunset Vista Trail for the final summit climb. This cable-assisted stretch of the hike is the most strenuous and exhilarating, requiring hikers to grip the cables with both hands to navigate steep rock faces and to stay safely hugged to the side of the mountain in the final stretch of the climb. After reaching the summit, enjoy sweeping desert views in all directions. The hike is mostly exposed to the sun and not recommended during the summer months.

Sonoran Desert Camping

While most day hikers hop off I-10 and climb the Hunter Trail, visitors who stay the night have time to add the meandering 3-mile Sunset Vista Trail to summit the peak from both sides. Extend the experience of Picacho Peak by staying the night under the stars at campgrounds at the base of the dramatic landmark. Choose from 85 tent and RV sites with picnic tables, fire rings and electrical hookups. Some sites have ramadas for shade in this otherwise exposed area. Two restroom and shower buildings add creature comforts to this rugged getaway.

Roadside Attraction

Just east of Picacho Peak on the I-10 frontage road, Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch welcomes visitors to a working ranch that raises hundreds of these peculiar birds. The family fun park invites visitors to feed the ostriches and enjoy the petting zoo with donkeys, goats and even stingrays. Join a monster-truck tour on the weekends for an open-air vantage point of the animals and astonishing desert landscapes.

For More Information

Picacho Peak State Park
PO Box 275
Picacho Peak, AZ 85241
(520) 466-3183

Visit Destination Website

More to Discover Near Picacho Peak State Park



Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and is located in the central region of the state. People may know it for its year-round sun, desert...

Outdoor Adventures

Springtime Sensation: Arizona's State Parks' Super Blooms

In some parts of the world, April showers may precipitate May flowers, but in Arizona, wildflower season erupts into its vivid shades in...



Visit Arizona’s second-largest city, a UNESCO City of Gastronomy and a year-round outdoor playground. You can be secluded or social in Tucson....

Nature & Wildlife

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

The reason our slogan is "The Darndest Place You Will Ever Visit!" is because we know you and your family will have a redneck adventure visiting...


Cities & Regions

From the abundance of Saguaro cactuses and unique wildlife in the Sonoran Desert to the high country and forests of the White Mountains to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, Arizona’s regions are full of experiences that don’t disappoint.