the wandering chick
Picacho Peak from the west

If you're traveling west on the I-10 between Tucson and Casa Grande, the distinctive outline of the Picacho Peak is unmistakable. The peak itself, but not the mountains on the north side of the highway by the same name, has a handful of hikes, rated from easy to strenous.

There's a state park at the foot of the peak on the north side with both picnic and camping areas.

This is the west side of Picacho Peak which rises to 3,374 feet.
The Picacho Mountains
Across I-10 from Picacho Peak is the Picacho Mountain Rainge. It's pretty much desolate save one hike to Newman Peak. It's said to be difficult and traveled by few.
The Calloway Trail
The Calloway Trail is the easiest of the hiking trails at Picacho Peak. It's a .7-mile hike with a very gradual incline that ends at the overlook (seen in the picture to the right) facing east.
the view from the top of the Calloway Trail
the Hunter Trail
The Hunter Trail is rated difficult. Cables are posted in bare places along the two-mile route as it twists and climbs toward the peak.
Monument of the American Civil War
The pass between Picacho Peak and the Picacho Mountains is the site of the western-most battle of the American Civil War.
Along the Sunset Trail
The Sunset Trail is appropriately named as the sun approaches the western horizon, casting a glow on Picacho and creating long, narrow shadows of the saguaros that stand in the path of the sun rays. The Sunset Trail was my favorite. It's a moderate 3-mile hike up the 'back' (south) side of Picacho. I didn't make it all the way up, but I understand it becomes more difficult after the first two miles. The next several shots were taken from the Sunset Trail.
Saguaro skeleton on the Sunset Trail
Saguaro shadows cast by the sun
Looking west from the Sunset Trail
Standing on the Sunset Trail looking west toward the falling sun
sunset from the Sunset Trail
sunset from the Sunset Trail
saguaro skeleton
sunset from the Sunset Trail
sunset from the Sunset Trail
sunset from the Sunset Trail
sunset from the Sunset Trail
sunset from the Sunset Trail
sunset from the Sunset Trail
sunset from the Sunset Trail
sunset from the Sunset Trail
Along the South Picacho Highway
On a previous day, I took a ride along the South Picacho Highway which is a two-lane straight-as-an-arrow road with hardly any traffic. It heads due south toward Mexico with the west side of Picacho Peak to my left. While I took a couple of shots of Picacho, I was also intrigued by the cottonwood and mesquite trees stil without their leaves and the tumbleweed lining the fence along side the road. The sunset this evening was pretty impressive, too. The remaining shots were taken along this route.
Trees silhouetted against the sun
tumbledweed of various shapes, sizes and colors lines a fence
A row of tumbleweed ends its journey against a fence.
Tumbleweed, like most things of nature, comes in all shapes, colors and sizes.
Tumbleweeds end their journey along a fence made of mesquite and ocatillo limbs.
Picacho Peak at sunset
sunset from the South Picacho Highway
Picacho Peak at sunset
As I traveled along the South Picacho Highway, it was interesting to see the change in profile of Picacho Peak.

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