This hike is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I figured was a good Mt Whitney milestone hike.
The wife and I took all this week off, it’s her birthday week and we both needed a break. We took a few day trips and just relaxed! We saw Arcosanti, Montezuma’s Castle, Tombstone, and cruised around Phoenix.
I had Wednesday morning free so it seemed like a good time to tick off this hike. Woke up a little after 5am, grabbed the gear and headed out. After a quick stop for coffee I was on the road. It’s about an hour to get there from my house, pulled into Picacho State Park about 6:45, a few cars in the lot, but pretty quiet other than that!
The hike starts off uphill and really doesn’t ease up much at all until you get to the saddle, where the first of the cable sections begins. From the saddle, where some nice people have stashed extra gloves (make sure you bring gloves), you descend a steep rocky section, taking you around to the west side and meeting up with the Sunset Vista Trail for the climb to the peak.
There are 3 main sections of cables from here to the peak, it’s a pretty cool section of a hike. The exposure isn’t too bad but I was definitely glad to have the cables in a number of places! After the last cable section it is a few minutes hike to the top and a great view. As you make your way down you might be even more glad to have the protection the cables provide, I know I was!
When you reach the saddle again the work is done and you can cruise on downhill to the parking lot, there’s some cool rock formations to check out, and they’re easier to enjoy on the way down!
Overall it took me just over 2 hours, I felt good the whole time, can’t wait for some more time hiking up big hills!