Picacho Peak, not just a pretty mountain

Picacho Peak’s history stretches back centuries, encompassing various periods and significant events:

Early Inhabitants:

  • Evidence suggests that the area around Picacho Peak was inhabited by the Hohokam people as early as 750 AD.
  • They likely used the area for temporary settlements and relied on wild food resources due to the lack of major rivers.

Landmark and Navigation:

  • The unique shape of the peak made it a prominent landmark for travelers for centuries.
  • The Anza Expedition, led by Juan Bautista de Anza, documented the peak in 1775, using it as a navigational point.

Civil War Skirmish:

  • The most notable historical event occurred on April 15, 1862, during the American Civil War.
  • The Battle of Picacho Pass, the westernmost battle of the Civil War, took place near the peak.
  • Confederate and Union scouting parties clashed, resulting in the deaths of three men.

Development and State Park:

  • In the 19th century, the area saw the construction of the Mormon Battalion wagon road and the Butterfield Overland Stage route.
  • In 1966, the Arizona State Parks and Recreation Department acquired the land, and Picacho Peak State Park officially opened in 1968.

Modern Significance:

  • Today, Picacho Peak State Park attracts visitors for its scenic beauty, hiking trails, and historical significance.
  • The park also hosts annual reenactments of the Battle of Picacho Pass, keeping the memory of this historical event alive.