Arizona Hiking Gallery
Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike
Picacho Peak State Park, Picacho, AZ
April 2, 2008
Gallery contains 45 photos
Gallery last updated: 3/29/2008

This was a loop hike through Picacho State Park following the Hunter Trail to climb to a saddle on the ridge and then connecting with the Sunset Vista Trail to descend the other side of the ridge and loop around the northern portion of the park and then following the road back to the start. The spring wildflowers were going strong along with the hordes of people wanting to get a look at springtime in the desert. For more information on Picacho State Park visit AZStateParks.com.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 1
At the beginning of the Hunter Trail there are good views of the lava ridges. The Hunter Trail climbs up to the saddle on the left side of this photo.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 2
Picacho Peak as seen near the start of the Hunter Trail.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 3
Golden patches of poppies dot the slopes of the ridges at Picacho Peak in the early spring.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 4
A field of Mexican Gold Poppies mixed with purple Scorpionweed.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 5
The poppy flowers are just beginning to open in the morning sun.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 6
Scorpionweed (Phacelia crenulata).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 7
A couple of Coulter's Lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus) mingle among the Mexican Gold Poppies (Eschscholtzia mexicana).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 8
A field of gold.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 9
Coulter's Lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus) and Mexican Gold Poppies (Eschscholtzia mexicana).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 10
Desert-Chicory (Rafinesquia neomexicana).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 11
Closeup of Desert-Chicory.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 12
A trio of Desert-Chicory.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 13
A field of poppies.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 14
A view from the slopes of Picacho Peak across I-10 to the Picacho Mountains.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 15
Colorful lichens clinging to volcanic rock.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 16
A view of the cliffs and the desert floor below as the Hunter Trail climbs up the ridge.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 17
As the Hunter Trail climbs the ridge long views of the desert come into view. (In this photo you can see the Hunter Trail starting at the green tanks at the lower left.)

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 18
A northerly view along the cliffs.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 19
Dryopetalon (Dryopetalon runcinatum) growing in the shade of the cliffs.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 20
Looking back along the Hunter Trail as it skirts the cliffs.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 21
The Hunter Trail reaches the saddle and vistas of checker-board farmland come in to view.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 22
View from the saddle.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 23
A view looking northwest along the ridge at the saddle.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 24
A view to the southeast from the saddle.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 25
From the saddle the Hunter Trail descends steeply down the other side of the ridge. Steel cables assist hikers traveling along this portion of the trail.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 26
The Sunset Vista Trail descends down the backside of the ridge. This is a view from the Sunset Trail look back at the ridge.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 27
A Beetle looking for a bit of pollen in a Desert-Chicory.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 28
White-Bracted Stick Leaf aka Sand Blazing Star (Mentzelia involucrata).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 29
White-Bracted Stick Leaf.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 30
Scorpionweed (Phacelia crenulata).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 31
Emory's Rock Daisy (Perityle emoryii).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 32
Starflower (Gilia sp.) (Possibly Broad-Leaved Gilia, Gilia latifolia.)

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 33
Master Blister Beetles (Lytta magister).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 34
Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 35
Teddy Bear Cholla (Opuntia bigelovii) glistening in the sun.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 36
A stand of Saguaro Cactus (Cereus giganteus) on a hillside.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 37
Poppies and a lone desert chicory.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 38
Hillside of poppies.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 39
Picacho Peak.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 40
Saguaros marching into the endless desert.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 41
Coulter's Lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus).

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 42
A field of orange and white (yes, white) poppies.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 43
A slow exposure and a good wind create a smear of orange and white.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 44
Closeup of a white poppy.

Picacho Peak State Park Loop Hike: Image 45
Hillside of poppies below Picacho Peak.

All images Copyright ©2008 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.