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Picacho Peak Camping
Beautiful desert scenery abounds at the Picacho Peak State Park Campground in Arizona!
Stark and stunning desert scenery is what makes Arizona's Picacho Peak State Park popular with both campers and day visitors.
Conveniently located at the side of Interstate 10 on the well-traveled route between greater Phoenix and Tucson, the Picacho Peak State Park is also very easy to find. Combined with the other park attractions and amenities---which you'll discover as you scan this page---make Picacho Peak a popular place to camp during southern Arizona's long stretch of terrific late fall, winter and early spring weather.
During the mild-climate months of the year (November through April or May,) azure blue skies, abundant sunshine...and little rain to impede your hiking within the park itself (or your day-trips to other attractions nearby.)
On this page, we'll talk about the types of campsites you can expect to find at Picacho Peak campground, other things to do within this well-maintained Arizona state park, and private camping options you'll find nearby. At the end of this page, you'll find the contact information, directions, and map that you need to plan your successful camping trip to Picacho Peak.
Picacho Peak State Park --- Things to do
Hiking tops the list of fun for Picacho Peak campers
Hiking tops the list of fun activities at the Picacho Peak State Park. And, why shouldn't it? Picacho Peak is set right in the middle of nature's wonderland of desert scenery...including the saguaro cacti for which Arizona is famous.
Five different hiking trails are available at Picacho Peak State Park, both to day visitors, as well as overnight campers.
Both strenuous trails as well as easy family hikes are available at Picacho Peak Park. You can pick up a map at the entrance station...which also serves as a visitor's center. Don't be shy! The park rangers here are a veritable fountain of knowledge...and quite friendly, as well. Be sure to ask the questions you have about the park, the camping area, the hiking trails...and whatever else you can think of which will make your visit run smoothly.
Families will want to gravitate towards either the Nature Trail, (1/2 mile length) or the Children's Cave Trail (1/5 mile long.) Both are pleasant hikes for families with kids...and include interpretive signs so that you can turn the outing into a learning experience and moment of "nature appreciation.
Moderate to strenuous hikes for tweens, teens and adults include the Hunters Trail, Sunset Vista Trail and Calloway Trail. If you'd like to learn more about these trails, you may wish to check out either the
Todd's Desert Hiking Guide website, which gives a brief discription of these hikes, along with a few photos.
As you can see by the pictures of saguaro cacti to both your right and your left, this popular cactus plant abounds within the Picacho Peak State Park.
But, desert flora doesn't end with the park's popular saguaro cacti; many other species of desert plants can be seen along the park's hiking trails, while driving along the park's interior roads, and sitting right beside you within the campground!
There's yet a completely different annual activity at the Picacho Peak State Park which may startle or surprise you---it's a Civil War Battle Re-enactment!
Every March, Arizona's one and only Civil War battle rages again! The reenactment happens the 2nd weekend in March, and you're welcome to drop in and enjoy the goings-on.
You'll find folks dressed in Civil War-period clothing, and equipped with all manner of accessories from the era, ranging from rifles, guns & knives to women's bonnets & aprons. Horses are part of the Civil War reenactment at Picacho Peak, as the cavalry comes to the rescue once again, as in days of yore.
To your left, you see the picture of a back-in campsite at the Picacho Peak State Park campground. Pull-through camping spaces are also available, as you can see in the photo just below (to your right.)
What kinds of campers are welcome at Picacho Peak? All kinds...tents are welcome, and so are RV's, motorhomes, pop-up campers, pickup trucks with camper shells, etc.
Campground facts: There are 100 campsites at Picacho Peak State Park according to the official website. Most of these campsites are multi-purpose, though a few are tent-only campsites.
Utilities: Electric hookups are available, but there is no sewage hookup. A dumpsite is available at the campground.
Roadways: The park's interior roads are paved, and so are the camping spots. Tents, of course, are pitched in the dirt near the parking space.
Campsite amenities: Each camping site has its own picnic table and grill.
A limited number of handicap campsites are available at the Picacho Peak State Park campground.
As you can see in the image to your left, the picnic area is smoothly paved to make it easier for someone camping with a cane or a wheelchair to maneuver around the site. A grill is placed at the appropriate height for someone in a wheelchair to be able to tend a meal as it cooks over the coals.
Some camping sites have shelters which shade the picnic table.
All campsites are accessible by several circular loop roads. As you can tell from the photos, each Picacho Peak camping site is spaced at a reasonable distance from its neighbors. Also, each site is set right amongst the desert shrubs and native plants, giving an "only in Arizona" feel to your camping experience.
Picacho Peak Camping -- Amenities
One of the nicest amenities at the Picacho Peak camping ground is running water! There are modern bathrooms with flush toilets and showers available in the camping area.
Pets are allowed, as long as they remain on a leash with the owner in attendance.
As mentioned above in the "things to do" section, there are hiking trails for both families and for serious hikers. Separate facilities for picnicking are available in the day use area, if you don't want to return to your campsite for lunch.
Brochures and maps are available in the park's entrance building. Security within the campground is good, and fellow campers tend to be quiet.
What is Picacho Peak State Park's campground lacking?
It's a very "back to nature" type camping experience. There are no camp stores, laundries, restaurants, snack bars...not even vending machines nor phones. There is no swimming pool.
You can find a store and a restaurant about a mile aways from the campgrounds where you can grab a meal or pick up supplies for your campground cookouts.
Picacho Peak State Park Camping -- Further Information
The Picacho Peak State Park phone number is 520-466-3183. You'll reach a park ranger...or else an answering machine on which you may leave a message.
Picacho Peak State Park address and directions: Picacho Peak State Park is located on Picacho Peak Road just to the west side of I-10 at exit AZ 219. The address is 15520 Picacho Peak Rd, Picacho, AZ 85241. However, the mailing address for Picacho Peak State Park is P.O. Box 275, Picacho, AZ 85241.
Picacho Peak State Park entrance fees: As of January, 2013, it costs $7 per vehicle (1 to 4 adults) to enter Picacho Peak park...or else $3 per individual or bicycle. There is a reduced entrance fee (50% off) to Picacho Peak for members of the military, reserves, national guard and state militia troops and their ramilies. WiFi is available at all campsites for an extra fee. For a complete list of campground rules & regulations, you may check the RV and Tent Camping Info page of the AZ State Parks website.
Picacho Peak camping reservations: You may call the campground's reservations center phone number, 877-MY-PARKS, seven days per week between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm Arizona time. In addition to the campground fee, there will be a $5 reservation fee per each site. You may also make your reservations on the Picacho Peak camping reservations page of the Arizona State Parks website, if you prefer. If this link becomes broken (as it sometimes does when their site makes updates,) you can try the master Reservations page which lists all of the campgrounds served by the AZ State Parks reservations system.
Picacho Peak State Park Camping Fees: As of Summer, 2018, electric campsites cost $30 per night. As mentioned earlier on this page, both RV's and tents are welcome at Picacho Peak camping ground. Both back-in sites and pull-through campsites are available for motorhomes.
Picacho Peak State Park Website: You may find out further information by visiting the Arizona State Parks website. The Picacho Peak State Park maintains its information on this site, along with the other Arizona State Parks. Picacho Peak State Park does not have its "very own" website.
Directions from Picacho Peak State Park to the Gilbert Ray campground: Some camping choose to visit both of these nice camping facilities. Picacho Peak has more creature comforts (Showers! Proximity to gas and food!) Gilbert Ray, a Pima County campground, however, is long on scenery...being located at the doorstep of Saguaro National Park. If you'd like to try both, here's a map of the route between the Picacho Peak and Gilbert Ray campgrounds. This is a distance of 40 to 45 miles, depending on your exact route.
Picacho Peak---Other nearby Camping Grounds
If you arrive at the Picacho Peak State Park campground only to discover that it's full...there are private campgrounds nearby.
1.) The Picacho KOA Campground, (formerly the Arizona Hideaway campground) is just a bit north of Picacho Peak State Park. The privately-owned Picacho KOA Campground's phone number is (888) 562-4186 (toll free) or (520) 466-2966 (local.) The privately-owned Picacho KOA Campground's address is 18428 S. Picacho Hwy, Picacho, AZ 85241. Directions to the Picacho private campground: from Interstate 10l, take AZ exit 211 (state Hwy 84/Picacho Highway.) The campground is on the west side of the freeway. Here's a Google map to the Picacho Campground in Picacho, Arizona. The Picacho Campground welcomes both tents and RV's; please call for current rates. Website: You may get further information at the Picacho KOA page of the KOA.com website.
2.) The Picacho Peak 55+ RV Resort, lies just a bit south of the Picacho Peak State Park. As its name would suggest, the Picacho Peak RV Resort is for motorhomes only; tents are not accepted. The Picacho Peak RV Resort's phone number is (520) 466-7841. The Picacho Peak RV Resort's address is
17065 East Peak Lane, Picacho, Arizona 85241. Here's a Google map to the Picacho Peak RV Resort in Picacho, Arizona. You may use the following link to view the www.PicachoPeakRV.com official website.