Home to the famous Picacho Peak in the state of Arizona, Picacho Peak State Park is located right between the cities of Casa Grande and Tucson, off Interstate 10. One side of the park opens to the stunning Sonoran Desert while its main claim to fame, Picacho Peak, summits to 3,374 feet above sea level, attracting outdoor enthusiasts to its raw beauty. The desert landscape is interesting to observe, draws folks who are looking to book an RV in Pinal County, an opportunity to explore the geographical significance of the park and its surrounding areas.
The peak has been used since prehistoric times as a landmark by travelers making their way through the desert. More recently, it was acclaimed for being the grounds for the Battle of Picacho Pass during the American Civil War in 1862; a battle fought between the Union and Confederate troops. Camping at Picacho Peak State Park will give the opportunity to explore the historical terrain of the park and participate in a range of outdoor activities.
The biggest attraction at Picacho Peak State Park is the mighty peak that most visitors make a point to discover. For this very reason, there are a number of trails that make the peak accessible. Hiking is the most popular outdoor activity at the park, with trails for every skill level. The standard hiking rules apply. Plan your hike in collusion with the weather forecast, dress appropriately for hot days, and carry adequate water for your hike. Keep in mind that trails are closed from sunset to sunrise, so coordinate your hikes in accordance with permissible timings. For a moderate level hike, try the Sunset Vista Trail at a little over three miles in length, each way. The first two miles of the trek is moderate after which it gets tougher as you get closer to the peak, with steep twists and turns, and the requirement of steel cables anchored into the rock where surfaces are bare. It’s a good idea to avoid this trail during very hot weather. For a more strenuous hike recommended for experienced hikers, the Hunter Trail offers some of the best views at the summit. It’s a four-mile round trip hike that goes to the top of the peak. Here too you‘ll need steel cables and gloves to anchor into the rock where the surface is bare. For easier and shorter trails, try the Calloway Trail, covering a mile and a half, round trip, and leads to an overlook. The Nature Trail is half a mile each way, and pretty easy, as is the Children’s Cave Trail with interpretive signs along the way.
The park is home to varied wildlife that you can observe on your Picacho Peak State Park camping trip. Black-tail jackrabbits, coyotes, foxes, desert mule deer, bobcat, desert tortoise, west banded gecko and gopher snakes are commonly sighted in the park among other wildlife species. Stop by at the Visitor Center for detailed information on wildlife, trails and what to expect in the park.
Camping at Picacho Peak State Park
Those who wish to go camping at Picacho Peak State Park should make reservations in advance, as the campgrounds get pretty busy during season time. There are about 85 electric campsites available for RVs and tent camping with facilities like big rig access, pull-thru sites, a dump station, and water spigot, restrooms and showers. A few of the sites are disabled-friendly, as are two of the restrooms in the campground. You also have the use of picnic tables and fire rings at each site. There is lots of space for the kids to play around in. Bring your pets along but keep them on a leash and be especially careful of the wildlife in the Sonoran desert terrain.
If you’re looking for a place to camp in an RV near Picacho Peak State Park, try Lazy Days KOA in neighboring Tucson. This is a big campground with over 400 sites. Facilities include full hookups, pull-thru sites, 30 and 50 AMP electric service, sewers, water, and good cell phone coverage. You have access to restrooms, showers, laundry, a camp store, pool access, and a large playground and recreational room for the kids to enjoy. There’s a pet area too to walk your pets. Whether you plan to rough it out in a tent or rent a camper near Picacho Peak State Park, this well-equipped campground has everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Exploring the Area
A Pinal County camper rental will serve you well on your adventures through the desert and its surrounding areas. After exploring the Picacho Peak State Park you may consider a stop at Tucson before heading home. The neighboring city is a short drive from the state park, and offers lots of interesting attractions. To get a good understanding of the area, visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is more like a zoo, and lets you get acquainted with the desert life. Take a drive in your rental RV to the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway, considered one of the most scenic drives in southeast Arizona. The drive takes you to the upper reaches of Mount Lemmon and the Catalina Range for the most breathtaking of canyon and mountain views. For architecture buffs, check out the Mission San Xavier del Bac, an 18th-century church built in Moorish, Byzantine, Renaissance and Mexican architecture. Don’t miss the Pima Air and Space Museum, one of the largest in the world, home to over 350 aircraft and spacecraft. And for car enthusiasts, stop by at the Franklin Auto Museum that takes you on a journey through the history of automobiles.
You’re in no better place to sample some great Mexican cuisine, so make use of your time here to explore the thriving food traditions of this city. And don’t forget to fill up your tank at one of the gas stations before heading home in your rental RV.
Picacho Peak State Park, AZ is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
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