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Picacho Peak State Park, AZ

Only 60 miles up I-10 from our spot in Tucson is a beautiful patch of open desert with a stark jagged peak standing up. This is Picacho Peak, centerpiece of Picacho Peak State Park, our home for the next two nights.

Picacho campsite.jpg

I am impressed with the beauty of this park. It sits on a small rise above the desert floor, so that almost everywhere you go the view is magnificent. Because it’s a low altitude park (and thus already getting warm this time of year) this is the off-season and there are few people here. We had our pick of spots.

Picacho train.jpg
The interstate highway and a freight line run down below the park, but we can hardly hear them.

We chose the non-electric loop just for fun. We’ve had full hookups for months now, and it feels like time to do a little boondocking again. There’s so much sun now that it’s hardly a challenge, at least from an electricity standpoint.

Picacho cactus flower.jpg

Photographically this park is wonderful. As the sun moves, every view changes right up to the last second of light on the horizon. There are all kinds of plants and creatures living on this tiny island in the desert, and right now a few of the cactus are flowering. In just an hour hiking around I managed several nice photos, which I’ve posted on Flickr.

The heat has arrived. Today it was 90 and so we spent the afternoon with the fans running, some cold drinks, and a book for everyone. By 5 pm it was cool enough to go for a short hike and do some scouting for a big hike tomorrow. Since it will be hot again tomorrow, we’ll try to get an early start and hike all the way up to the peak.

Google Earth location of our campsite at Picacho Peak State Park.