Rating: ★★★★☆(4/5) - Worth a Trip
Halfway between Phoenix and Tucson is Picacho Peak State Park, named for the flat topped mountain that dominates the landscape while driving on Interstate 10. Uniquely, this was also the site of the westernmost battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Picacho Pass, an event that is reenacted here every March. Hiking is the primary recreational activity, especially during the spring wildflower season. Three loops of sites are available for camping.
Picacho Peak is the centerpiece of the park, and there are two trails to the top: the Hunter Trail and the Sunset Vista Trail. The Hunter Trail is shorter and more popular, but the approach is steep. The Sunset Vista Trail travels along the sunny southern side of the mountain and is longer and more gradual. Both trails converge at a very steep, cable-assisted climb to the top that is boldly fun. Beyond trails to the summit, other notable trails include the Calloway Trail, a moderate incline leading to an overlood, and the Children's Cave Trail, a quick and easy jaunt to a small "cave" on the side of the mountain.