Thursday, April 28, 2011

Picacho Peak (Arizona's answer to Angel's Landing)

We have driven by Picacho Peak hundreds of times. It's on the way to Tucson from Phoenix. It's also the site of a Civil War battle, for which they perform a re-enactment every year, guns and all. It shoots straight up out of the flat desert like a knuckle sandwich, taking you two thousand feet into the desert stratosphere.

Anna and I have tried to hike it twice already
. We failed the first time when I forgot
my wallet and a Ranger
would not let us
mail in a bill. "You really shouldn't be driving without your wallet anyway?" So us two patrons patronized back home to Tucson. The second time a killer storm was rolling across the desert in front of us as we stepped up to the trail. Today was different. Today was normal. With wallets in pockets and the best weather on earth (93 degrees without a cloud or breeze) we made the hike!

It's a hidden gem and well worth the time. If you ever visit we will take you, and it won't disappoint. Some hikes tend to bore or seem too long. Hunter Trail, built by the CCC in the 1930's is the perfect mix of length and variety. We heard and saw hawks, a pack of coyotes
making a kill, and lizards galore. And it was a heart-pumper. A real full-body workout that left both of us a little more than nervous. We finished the hike excited to do it again someday. And with
empty canteens and dusty shoes we walked into a near-by Dairy Queen for some dipped awesomeness.

ps- Don't be like us and scoff at the
Ranger when he says "two liters per person is a must."

Tomorrow's headline could have been: "Desert native and wife die of dehydration 2.1 miles from I-10 Interstate and local gas station."

No need to flirt with the Darwin awards.

1 comment:

NanaH said...

Sound like a great hike. I've always wanted to do that hike.