After being closed for the summer, Picacho Peak State Park opened this last Saturday. Even though I have previously hiked up Hunter Trail to the saddle, I didn’t realize that the trail continued on to the summit. So when I saw that the trail does indeed go to the top, I decided I would need to check out the full trail. I took the Sunset trail which is labeled as a 6.2 mile round trip with 1600 feet climb to the top. Sounded easy enough given I had just hiked Blacketts Ridge trail once again the previous weekend at Sabino Canyon which is similar in length and height. Unfortunately for me, Picacho Peak is considerably steeper and exercised some muscles in my legs that I’m not used to using. Basically, being overweight at 255 pounds, I wore myself out on the hike up and my legs had a hard time making it back to my car. So let this be a lesson. Not all trails are equal. And anyone can make a mistake so its good to be prepared for the unexpected. I wished I had carried in more water and had some energy bars with me.
It was over a year ago, when I weighed in at 330 pounds, that I tried hiking up Blacketts Ridge trail and couldn’t make it. I determined after that failure that I just had to lose weight. Well I’ve lost 75 pounds, but that just isn’t enough for some trails. And so now I know I need to lose about 50 more pounds!
Anyway, here’s the Google Earth video of my hike and the elevation profile (GPX file available here):
And the iPhone video I took from the summit:
And here is the map that is available on the park website. Note it is NOT to scale:
Finally, here are the photos I took while on my hike. I had wanted to get some photos of the peak from different angles, but after I wore myself out, I was in no mood to get more pictures.
While they have cables along the steep part of trail,, some are nearly straight up, so they are a bit intimidating, especially when you’re carrying the extra weight. Other people on the trail though seemed to fly up and down these so clearly some people have no trouble.