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Sunset Vista Trail - Picacho Peak
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mini location map2015-03-14
35 by photographer avatartibber
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Sunset Vista Trail - Picacho PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 14 2015
tibber
Hiking2.50 Miles 1,031 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   2 Hrs   14 Mns   1.53 mph
1,031 ft AEG      36 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Trishness
Wasn't sure what I wanted to hike today as I only decided on Thursday nite that I would head down to Picacho State Park to join Trishness and the Women of Wilderness Southern Arizona for camping and hiking but mostly, "looking for poppies"! So I packed up Tonto Jr and headed down on Sat AM. It's really a pretty short drive even from North Phoenix. We got a late start as we waited for others to arrive. We departed from the Sunset Vista Trail parking lot which was full except for 3 spots just for us.

It was a lovely day with a slight breeze. However, the breeze could be heard thruout the video which means I have to add music; I hate having to do that. The trail goes up and down with views up to the mountain and over across huge valleys to more mountains on our west side. There was quite a lot of blooming brittlebush and soon other flowers would appear including Desert Hickory, Scorpion Weed, Lavendar Globe Mallow among others, some I couldn't identify. I was hoping for one big patch of poppies and I would be happy. Well I got a couple patches of poppies but I wanted a field I guess. Nonetheless, I was still smiling :D .

The group soon separated and I was pretty much on my own but that was fine. There were other hikers from time to time out enjoying a beautiful day in a most lovely landscape. After going up and down a couple hillsides, it was pretty much flat ground and then the saguaros appeared and dotted the landscape to the south as far as the eye could see. I was always drawn, however, to the mountains to the west so the zoom was busy. I took a lot of video as I thot the area was so pretty. Unfortunately, I didn't clean my lens so there is that spot that does its "sing along with Mitch" impersonation ;) .

I knew the trail would eventually start to climb and rather abruptly based on the elevation profile. It certainly did that. I encountered some other hikers and we did the start and stop thing on the way up. A couple times I would look to the east and south and see this orange color. I kept thinking it was orangish sand or dirt and then I thot maybe it was poppies. But what I think it could have been is fields of globe mallow as Trish had told me there was such a thing outside of Florence that she saw on her drive down.

We continued our stop and go climb as the one older fella remarked he was old and I told him I was the same but then he and his son said they were from IL so to me, THAT was the pass to stop and go. The father had been here before and had hiked up from the Hunter side with his other son. He thot the Sunset Vista side might be easier but now he wasn't so sure. Eventually we arrived at the really long cable vertical climb :o . I, apparently, in all my reading had missed that part about THIS trail thinking the cables were only on the Hunter/peak part of the hike. When I looked up I saw four of the other hikers from our group (the family of four with two children) heading up the cable. I really had no idea where they were were so it was fun to run into them.

I took pictures and video as everyone made the ascent. It isn't easy either. Once atop and after catching my breath, we discussed getting back to the vehicles and/or camp. I would have done the Peak but I hadn't planned on it and had worked out pretty hard the nite before so they proceeded to the peak and said they would be going back via the Sunset Vista trail and to have Kate leave her phone on. I took their group picture and took some more photos and videos as they began their climb. I am happy to report that the little ones under 10 both bagged that Peak :app: and came back to camp like it was nothing. Neither of them was sore the next day either. I was duly impressed.

I, on the other hand, decided to hike down and up and down Hunter to the campground. Sunset Vista Trail is a great hike and I took way too long to hike it but does it really matter when it's a nice day in our beautiful desert?!

3 videos on the trail:
https://youtu.be/QgWi2...
https://youtu.be/0yvsg...
and up we go - https://youtu.be/VvJBR...
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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