Day 352 ~ Hunter Trail to Picacho Peak

March 12th, 2017 ~ Day 352

After a 15 mile hike in Tucson yesterday, Eric and I headed to Picacho Peak State Park to camp for the evening. This morning we would be hiking Picacho Peak. The beast was looming overhead as we arrived at the trailhead. 

We began our hike up the Hunter Trail. When I say up, I mean up! The elevation of Picacho Peak is 3470 ft. My tracker ended up recording a 1904 foot elevation gain. Climbing up the Hunter Trail is a tough uphill climb. It took Eric and I almost 50 minutes to get to the saddle and we hadn’t even made it a mile. 

The views were spectacular as we began to climb higher. You could see the highway below. Driving by Picacho Peak, it lays just off the I17, looming off in the distance. 

The views just kept getting better. Everything so green. I stopped to take lots of pictures and to rest my breathing. More for the opportunity to rest than to enjoy the view. Did I say this hike was tough?

Love this man, he’s such a great partner on all of these adventures. I’m grateful he’s here with me to join me on all my hikes. 

We made it to the saddle. Less than a mile, and it took us almost an hour. The views from the saddle weren’t any less spectacular. 

Once over the saddle, you then have to climb down with the help of the cables. All that elevation…gone. As we began heading downhill Eric decided he would wait for me at the saddle instead. His shoes weren’t made for this and so off I went trying to make it to the peak and hurry back to my boyfriend. 

More amazing views on the other side of Picacho Peak. This place is so beautiful!

Once you climb down, there is a short trail alongside the mountain before you have to go up. Climbing up there are more cables. Holding onto the cables as I hurried myself along. I felt rushed and energized. I was excited to be doing this hike. 

A fence, so you don’t fall off the edge. A little sketchy as I’m not sure it would hold the weight of a body. I wasn’t going to be the one to test it out. 

About to climb a ladder of rock up the side of the mountain. The most difficult part was trying to get a foothold, but I made it. Remembering from the last time I hiked this a few years ago, I knew I was almost to the peak. 

The views from the top were amazing! The colors so vibrant. I’m so happy that I made it here!!!

I made it!!! I had someone snap my picture before heading back down to meet Eric. 

As I headed downhill, just before the rock ladder, I ran into these two on the trail. At yesterday’s event Kaveh mentioned they may be doing Picacho Peak today. I’m so glad they did. I love seeing friends on the trails!

Time to continue down. The ledge over this rock ladder is a little intimidating. The views, however, are absolutely amazing!

Waiting on the side of a cliff as people climbed up, I held onto a cable, as my feet dangled off the side of the mountain. Who knows how far the drop was. Did I just come up this? I didn’t realize how difficult this may have been. I was so focused on getting to the top. 

My final climb uphill back to my love. I was exhausted. I had pushed myself harder than I have in a long time. I didn’t want Eric waiting on me so I hurried as best I could. When I made it back to him, he was fine, enjoying a relaxing time on a mountain. In some ways I wish that could have been me. 

Grateful to be heading downhill for good. No more ups and downs. It took me three hours to get just over two and a half miles in. A difficult hike that was so worth it. I’m so grateful to have completed this hike in my 365 day journey!

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