Monday, January 27, 2014

We're Back on the Trail With a Doozy - Picacho Peak

Seems like it's been months since we've hiked any really fabulous trails. Our stay at Picacho Peak State Park got us out of our rut with a real challenge. Located between Phoenix and Tucson on I-10, Picacho Peak juts up out of the desert and grabs your attention.


We're in gorgeous Site B-14.
Picacho Peak is the pointy peak right above the back of the trailer.

There's several miles of trails in the park but just one goes to the top of Picacho Peak, at 3,347 feet. The Sunset Trail is 6.2 miles RT, out and back...with some serious cable climbing to the peak. Gloves are recommended for this hike!

Sunset Trail approaches the peak from the South.
We're headed for the point on the right above.

This really didn't seem like cattle range, but there they were!

Lovely layered mountains in the distance.

The first two miles of the hike are easy, the trail winds through rolling hills covered with creosote, palo verde and saguaro, cholla and barrel cactus. Then the trail starts climbing and before long you're looking up at this:

Yeah, that's straight up...prepare yourself for a few photos of Hans' butt!

Hikers dwarfed by the cliff side.

A trail did not exist before the cables were installed!

Notice the little white specks of people on the shadowed rock.
We hiked on a Sunday so the trail was pretty busy.

360 degree views from the top.
The circle of white specks on the right is the campground.


Slightly better view of the campground.

We're really happy to be at the top!

Going back down was even harder in some spots.


A little blurry but we were excited to see a pair of Peregrine Falcons.

A traffic jam on the side of a cliff!
Here's one of me for good measure...

This flaming red barrel cactus has an amazing view.

We'll be a little sore from this hike but boy was it worth it! It was the kick start we needed to get back into hiking mode. And a view like this is not a bad way to end the day:



A few days ago we received an email that we passed off as spam. I didn't even want to click on any of the links it offered thinking my computer might blow up or something! Turns out it was real and we are amazed and humbled to be selected as a Top 50 RV Blog of 2013 by Florida Outdoors!

2 - 3 years ago as we planned our escape from the corporate grind we read RV blogs voraciously trying to decide if full time RVing was right for us. Now this blog is a way of paying forward our own experiences for others looking at the RV lifestyle, or considering a hiking trail, or an RV park... But first and foremost this blog has been the conduit to community on the road. And for that we are immensely grateful.

A big Thank You to our readers!

19 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I couldn't make that part along the side of the cliff. If you did that, you could easily make it all the way to Angel's Landing in Zion next time. It was much easier than Picacho Peak in my opinion.
    Love that last photo!

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    1. Too funny! We only made it up the very first set of chains on Angel's Landing and decided to turn around. We thought Picacho was "safer"! I think the higher drop and fewer chains to hold on to at Angel's Landing made it worse for us!

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  2. Awesome! Good for you for climbing to the summit and for getting down safely.

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    1. It was slow and steady both up and down those chains!

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  3. Yeah, you made it to the top! Wasn't it a great work out? Be sure to take the other side too, the Hunter Trail that is as strenuous as the Sunset trail. Ain't that heated pool at Casa Grande inviting now after that hike ...

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    1. Yeah, the heated pool would have been nice...but I am really enjoying the peace and solitude of the state park after our two months of on-the-go in San Diego!

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  4. It really is a shame that you could not get your exercise. Soooo sad.

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  5. Indeed that is a great hike - got to love the view from the top. I could have used a hot water spa after the climb! We also got some spectacular sunsets while we were at Picacho Peak. All Good!

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  6. Love it!! Yes, you are back into hiking in a big way. What an awesome climb! Wish we were there. Instead I do three a days in flat FL to try to keep some of what I gained hiking.

    Tell Hans he has a cute butt:)

    Thanks for all the cactus photos! I do love those.
    Enjoy your stay.

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    1. I'll dedicate the first crested photo to you!!!

      Hans got a good laugh about your butt comment! ;-)

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  7. Great Pics. Wish we were there. They are actually predicting snow and ice here in FL

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    1. The west is the best!!!! Though I sure do like the pics I see of your sugar sand!

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  8. Boy, talk about jumping in to the hiking....no simple trail for you guys. Looks like you found a sweet spot to call home. Nothing like an AZ sunset and congrats on being on the top 50 list. Happy trails :-)

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    1. After several months of city we were ready for country and this place does a good job of it! Next up Desert Trails in Tucson...at least we'll have good desert hiking right at hand!

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  9. Glad you went and took pictures, because I don't believe I will ever do that. Ever. Congratulations on the Top 50.

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    1. My body is telling me today that I should probably never do it again!

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  10. Wow is all I can say! And falcons to boot! See you tomorrow!!!!!

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