Picacho Peak State Park

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Coordinates: 32°37′52″N 111°24′56″W / 32.63111°N 111.41556°W / 32.63111; -111.41556
Picacho Peak State Park
Arizona State Park
PicachoPeak CMM.jpg
Picacho Peak
Country United States
State Arizona
County Pinal
Location Picacho
 - elevation 2,000 ft (610 m)
 - coordinates 32°37′52″N 111°24′56″W / 32.63111°N 111.41556°W / 32.63111; -111.41556
Area 3,747 acres (1,516 ha)
Founded 1965
Management Arizona State Parks
Location of Picacho Peak State Park in Arizona

Picacho Peak State Park is a state park surrounding Picacho Peak in Picacho, Arizona. The park is located between Casa Grande and Tucson near Interstate 10 in Pinal County. Its centerpiece spire is visible from downtown Tucson, a distance of 45 miles (72 km). The summit rises to 3,374 feet (1,028 m) above mean sea level. Though appearing to be the remnant of a volcanic neck, it is now believed to be a tilted and eroded piece of rock overlain by a lava flow. The place name is redundant: "picacho" means "big peak" in Spanish.

Description[edit]

The park is celebrated for wildflowers that appear mid-March to early April following good winter rain. Though set next to an interstate highway, the park's west face possesses an unspoiled Sonoran Desert setting. A small flat space on top of the spire can be reached via two trail heads. Portions of the trails are precarious, and hikers are aided by cables and catwalks, making the routes some of the few via ferrata in the United States. From the top, there is a view south to the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, northwest to Tabletop Mountain near Casa Grande, north to the many mountain ranges surrounding Phoenix, and west to where the north-running Santa Cruz River runs underground supporting farms in a desert

The Hunter Trail is a hiking path to the top of the peak. It is not a technical climb, but includes an interval where steel cables have been installed to aid ascending hikers. The park recommends that hikers wear hiking boots and carry two liters of water per person. Gloves are commonly used to help grip the cables.[1]

History[edit]

Pechacho or Picacho Station a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail existed here until the 1870s. The park is near the site of the Battle of Picacho Pass, one of several American Civil War era engagements to occur in Arizona Territory. A Union cavalry patrol from California skirmished with Confederate scouts from Texas, and three men were killed. This marks the second westernmost battle of the American Civil War.[2] Every year during early March, there are reenactments of the battle and other demonstrations of Civil War military history.


Appearances in fiction[edit]

Picacho Peak features prominently in the novel The Host by Stephenie Meyer, serving as a guide to the main character in the first act of the story. Much of the action of the novel takes place in or near the state park.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arizona State Parks. "Picacho Peak State Park: Facilities". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  2. ^ The westernmost engagement was at Stanwix Station on the Gila River.

External links[edit]