Every year, we like to go look for wildflowers in the desert. When we lived in San Diego, we would drive almost two hours to Borrego Springs to find wildflowers (even when it was not a super bloom year), but this year, we only had to drive 30 minutes to Picacho Peak State Park. We also plan on driving up to Mount Lemmon in the next few weeks but we aren’t sure if there will be many wildflowers at that time.
It was our first time to Picacho Peak State Park as a family. I got a little bit of sticker shock when we paid our entrance fee. $19 for the 8 of us! I realized later that maybe we should not have been charged that much since half of our family is under the age of 14. I emailed the State Park website about it just to find out for next time. I have a feeling though that children do count as adults. I will update this post once I find out for sure. Though I guess $19 is a small price to pay for a few hours of hiking in a beautiful place. We are considering investing in two annual Arizona State Park passes if both will cover our family of 8 to enter a State Park in one vehicle.
Josh has been to Picacho Peak before and actually hiked Hunter Trail to the peak. Since that would have been too strenuous a hike for us (with a toddler and two under the age of 10), we opted to walk over to the Children’s Cave Trail to see what that was like. It was the perfect length: less than a half mile round trip with an excellent place for kids to play at the end. Our kids had a great time “rock climbing.”
It was great exercise for the kids and the weather was gorgeous for hiking. We weren’t the only ones who were out enjoying the nice weather. There were quite a few people at the park: some hiking, some for a barbecue, some drawing or painting, and some sitting and enjoying the views.
We arrived at the park around lunchtime and had packed a picnic lunch, so we enjoyed that before going on our hike. Our little picnic area was surrounded by flowers and a very interesting saguaro!
Mexican Poppies were everywhere. Their orange and gold colors sometimes seemed too bright to be real!
The desert in springtime is a wonderland of green!
You just can’t help smiling when you see these pops of color everywhere.
Little bits of sunshine encased in a flower
My daughter’s favorite flowers we saw today. She loves flower hunting as much as I do! These are Coulter’s Lupine. Purple is my daughter’s favorite color.
Yellow waves of brittle bush. I think I took this picture right by where we parked our van. There were so many flowers just by the parking lots.
The puffy white clouds in the blue sky often made interesting shadows on the land below. Josh joked with the kids that this shadow looked like a huge alien.
Even though we weren’t anywhere close to the peak, we still felt like we could see forever. We definitely plan on coming back to Picacho Peak State Park, probably next month!
Note: There are too many pictures for me to post here but if you’d like to see more, Josh made a photo album on our blog’s Facebook page!