Picacho, AZ

Picacho Peak State Park, when scenery and history meet in one place

Scott Murdoch

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PICACHO, AZ - If you’re planning to reach a summit in southern Arizona, you may travel through I-10 as you will find Picacho Peak State Park. Its trail offers you scenery of the desert and blooming Mexican Gold Poppies in the springtime along your trip to the 1,500 feet summit.

A visitor center is available to ensure your journey experience. It includes exhibitions, a park store, a playground, campgrounds, and picnic areas. This summit is a part of a volcanic flow that has partially eroded, so you may not worry about encountering eruptions while you hike.

Historical markers are also available at the site, meaning it’s more than just a state park. It carries many great American histories in Arizona for a long time. Starting from the 1700s, Picacho Peak was a landmark for the Anza expedition while it passed the area.

As time went by, 49 Mormon Battalion members built a wagon road along the trail to travel to California in 1848. Butterfield Overland Stage, the first transcontinental mail system and stagecoach service, included the path to their “Oxbow Route” to transport its passengers in the late 1850s.

Picacho Peak becomes the silent witness of the most noted historical event in America. On April 15, 1862, Confederate and Union parties met in the Battle of Picacho Pass during the American Civil War, making it the crucial clash to happen in Arizona.

You can visit the park from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round and use its trail from sunrise to sunset. Be prepared for food, water, and proper gear, and know your limit while hiking to make the most of enjoying your natural discovery.

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