How many times have you passed it on the way to Phoenix. Picacho Peak is still a natural landmark much as it was through history. In 1775, Juan Bautista de Anza, commander of the Presidio of Tubac passed through this area during his expedition to settle San Francisco and establish a Presidio there. The expedition of soldiers and their families, interpreters, priests, cooks and cowboys along with 1000 head of livestock were to stop at El Aquituni, a well-known watering site just east of Picacho Peak. Anza was reluctant to stop due to Apache raids in the area. Since there was also a lack of water, they continued on to the Gila River and to a settlement of Pima Indians. The result of the expedition was the building of numerous settlements and missions along the trail as well as the San Francisco Presidio. Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail covers over 1200 miles of rich and diverse history. The historic sites, stops, and views are plentiful. Travel it today to discover and explore an important chapter in Southwest/California history.
Near El Aquituni: Camp 21 on the Bautista de Anza expedition