Picacho, Picacho Peak and Red Rock are in the lower Santa Cruz

River Valley in south-central Arizona.  These three unincorporated

communities are 50 miles northwest of Tucson in Pinal County.

 

The name Picacho is Spanish for peak or point. This area was

important to early travelers because it had water and was

halfway between Tucson and the Gila River.

Picacho Pass was the scene of the only Civil War battle fought in

Arizona. It took place in April 1862, when troops from the

Union's California Volunteers encountered a detachment of soldiers

on guard duty from the Confederacy's Texas Volunteers. A

post office was established in 1881.

 

Red Rock is a red butte near the Southern Pacific Railroad. At

one time, a branch spur line to the Silver Bell Mine smelter had

its junction with the Southern Pacific Railroad at Red Rock. A

post office was established in 1887.

 

The Santa Cruz Valley economy is based on agriculture. The

communities of Picacho and Red Rock were established as ship-ping

points for area agricultural products. Livestock, cotton, cit-rus

and pecans are predominant products shipped from these

points.

 

The other major economic activities in the three-community area

are wholesale/retail trade and services. These sectors include old

and well-established businesses supplying agricultural products

and farm implements, as well as many new firms located along

Interstate 10 to serve travelers along that route.

 

The Santa Cruz Valley, including Picacho, Picacho Peak and Red

Rock, is rich in scenic and historic attractions offering a wide

variety of recreational opportunities for residents and visitors

alike.

 

Picacho Peak State Park, located at Picacho Pass along Interstate

10, opened in 1968. The park provides hiking trails that lead to

the summit of the majestic peak, as well as camping, picnicking,

and other facilities. Rock hounds will enjoy the selection of distinctive agates, a type

of quartz with bands of color, that can be found at the nearby

Agate Fields.

 

The 472-acre Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is north of

the Valley, near Coolidge. This facility displays a four-story structure

of coarse caliche, built about 1350 A.D. by the Hohokam

Indian farmers of the Gila Valley. Arizona's famed Superstition

Mountains are 60 miles north of the Santa Cruz Valley near

Apache Junction.