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Nature Trail - Picacho Peak State Park, AZ
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Overview
The Nature Trail is a short, enjoyable loop near the entrance of the park that is suitable for any level of hiker. The trail is well-marked, there are interpretive signs along the way (more in-depth than 'this a tree, it has spikes'), and the views of Picacho Peak in the background is neat. It also goes right past the Memorial Loop for a short addition and can be easily combined with any of the nearby unmarked trails for a longer outing.


Hike
As the trail doesn't really 'start' from a single parking lot (although there is parking near the Memorial Loop that could be used) the most reasonable trailhead is on the corner of the Harrington Loop. This driving loop starts immediately left of the visitor center / pay area, so watch for it before driving too far past the building. If you see the turnoff for the Barrett Loop you've gone too far. Once you park along Harrington head to the southeast corner of the lot and look for a sign for Nature Trail, following the connector trail 175 yards to the start of the loop.

From here turn right (or left, this is a loop hike and it's your life) and start a gradual uphill climb. There are a few large, metal signs along the way, and a marble bench memorial too. A signed fork shows up for the amphitheater, our trail bends left and crosses a shallow wash. After a second wash crossing a more interesting junction shows up, this time the right fork leading over to Calloway Trail, and our trail bends left again and follows the wash northwards. Following the wash is interesting, with some pleasant green growth along the way, though the noise of the highway and view of the ranger housing is a bit jarring.

Before reaching the housing area the trail twists left again and crosses a paved road. Here you could wander off this path a bit, towards the pavilion, and check out the Memorial Loop. This is a very short loop that has colored interpretive signs, an old cannon, and plenty of historical information about Picacho Peak and the civil war. Its a good loop. Nature Trail continues westward and soon meets right back at the cholla tree where you started.
Description 1 Triplog  0 Topics
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Statistics
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 0.33 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,904 feet
Accumulated Gain 43 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5
Kokopelli Seeds 0.55
Author jacobemerick
Descriptions 16
Routes 37
Photos 480
Trips 46 map ( 619 miles )
Age 32
Location Gilbert, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
7  2017-07-29 jacobemerick
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Backpack   No
Preferred   Feb, Dec, Nov, Mar
Seasons   ALL
Sun  7:20am - 5:21pm
Route Scout
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Picacho Peak State Park Campground
0.1 mi away
Calloway Trail - Picacho State Park
0.2 mi away
0.4 mi
277 ft
Hunter Trail - Picacho Peak
0.2 mi away
2.9 mi
1,880 ft
Children's Cave Trail - Picacho State Park
0.3 mi away
0.2 mi
84 ft
Turd Hill
0.5 mi away
2.5 mi
233 ft
Sunset Vista Trail - Picacho Peak
1.6 mi away
5.7 mi
1,838 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Harris Antelope Squirrel
Flora
Creosote Bush
Desert Globemallow
Culture
HAZ Food
Informational/Interpretive Trail Sign
Nature Loop of Picacho Park
by jacobemerick

Overview
The Nature Trail is a short, enjoyable loop near the entrance of the park that is suitable for any level of hiker. The trail is well-marked, there are interpretive signs along the way (more in-depth than 'this a tree, it has spikes'), and the views of Picacho Peak in the background is neat. It also goes right past the Memorial Loop for a short addition and can be easily combined with any of the nearby unmarked trails for a longer outing.


Hike
As the trail doesn't really 'start' from a single parking lot (although there is parking near the Memorial Loop that could be used) the most reasonable trailhead is on the corner of the Harrington Loop. This driving loop starts immediately left of the visitor center / pay area, so watch for it before driving too far past the building. If you see the turnoff for the Barrett Loop you've gone too far. Once you park along Harrington head to the southeast corner of the lot and look for a sign for Nature Trail, following the connector trail 175 yards to the start of the loop.

From here turn right (or left, this is a loop hike and it's your life) and start a gradual uphill climb. There are a few large, metal signs along the way, and a marble bench memorial too. A signed fork shows up for the amphitheater, our trail bends left and crosses a shallow wash. After a second wash crossing a more interesting junction shows up, this time the right fork leading over to Calloway Trail, and our trail bends left again and follows the wash northwards. Following the wash is interesting, with some pleasant green growth along the way, though the noise of the highway and view of the ranger housing is a bit jarring.

Before reaching the housing area the trail twists left again and crosses a paved road. Here you could wander off this path a bit, towards the pavilion, and check out the Memorial Loop. This is a very short loop that has colored interpretive signs, an old cannon, and plenty of historical information about Picacho Peak and the civil war. Its a good loop. Nature Trail continues westward and soon meets right back at the cholla tree where you started.
© 2017 hikearizona.com

-
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
AZ State Parks more info


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Between Phoenix and Tucson on Interstate 10 Exit 219. Follow the signs to Picacho State Park. Turn right immediately after pay station and park on the Harrington Loop.
page created by jacobemerick on Aug 05 2017 9:28 pm
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