Picacho Peak State Park

sights / Parks & gardens

Lonely Planet review

Distinctive Picacho Peak (3374ft) sticks out from the flatlands like a desert Matterhorn, about 40 miles northwest of Tucson. The westernmost battle of the American Civil War was fought in this area, with Arizonan Confederate troops killing two or three Union soldiers before retreating to Tucson and dispersing, knowing full well that they would soon be greatly outnumbered. The battle is reenacted every March with much pomp, circumstance and period costumes.

The pretty state park has a visitor center that acts as a jump-off point for trails onto the mountain. If you're fit, you can walk to the peak of the mountain via a rugged trail that includes cables and catwalks. Camping is available at 85 electric, first-come, first-served sites; suitable for tents or RVs.