Where the Hell Did Picacho Go?

Picacho, AZ, July 2011
In July of 2011, Sharon and I took a road trip to Tucson, AZ to visit our friend and attend a seminar.  We had noticed some old motel signs and what appeared to be abandoned buildings while traveling north and south along Interstate 10. The signs and motels were on the northbound side of the highway but since we were taking another route south towards home, we flipped a U-turn and check out the town of Picacho.  The town is located north of the famous mountain, Picacho Peak.  It seemed like everywhere we turned was an abandoned place where we could take lots of pictures.  This town was an urban explorer's dream place to visit.  We were so glad we took the detour and checked out Picacho. This little settlement was a place we definitely wanted to revisit again.

Picacho, July 2011

Take note of this sign.

This was across the street from the water tower.
This picture was taken from the parking lot of the place above.
Just this past weekend, we decided to take a road trip and revisit some of the places we hadn't seen in a year or two.  Of course, we wanted to check out Picacho and see what structures might still be standing.  What we found was quite surprising.  Sharon took the exit to Picacho and we drove the same frontage road we took over a year ago.  An eerie feeling came over me when all we saw was a water tower and one old motel sign.  We thought we might have been in the wrong place, so Sharon drove further down the frontage road.  When we got to the Picacho Peak gift shop and Dairy Queen, we were confused.  Where the hell is Picacho?  We stopped at the gift shop and asked the cashier what happen to the town.  She said it was completely torn down and all that was left was a sign and water tower.  We didn't miss the town, it has been wiped out from existence.  I was glad to hear this because I thought I was going crazy. I felt like we were in an episode of the "Twilight Zone" or the town was hiding under Harry Potter's cloak.  We went back to take pictures of what the place looks like now, barren and quiet.  It was a bit sad to see it all gone.

Picacho, November 2012

The lone motel sign is all that is left.

This time the picture was taken in an empty dirt field.


  1. Glad you published this. Wish I know why the entire area was leveled & a town completely gone.

  2. I have been taking this route from Phoenix to Tucson for many years, off and on. And, I must say that I have watched the town slowly deteriorate, but I was shocked when I went that way coming back from Tucson after Thanksgiving. The town was completely gone! Absolutely leveled with not a stick or brick to be seen. If you didn't know beforehand, you would never have guessed that a town had been there except for the motel sign and water tower. Does anyone know what happened? My only guess is that there must have been a imminent domain action, but for the whole town! Very strange!

    1. I am not quite sure why it vanished, but one day we were taking photos of abandoned buildings around town, and nine months later, the entire town was gone. The only things left showing where the town used to be was a water tower and a sign.

    2. We are not completely gone, picacho is still here. You just didt turn and see whats left. We have a school here we are more then just a frontage rd.

  3. ADOT tore it down. They are supposed to be reconstructing i10, make it wider or something to that nature. But it's taking forever. ADOT, I believe, bought all that land for the project but it's been sitting like that for a long time.

  4. They only tore down the stuff north of the freeway between I-10 and the railroad tracks. there's an actual town south of it I have family there so it's not all gone. But it's still really sad to see the old buildings from my childhood gone. Maybe someday ADOT will actually widen the interstate

  5. ADOT only tore down north of I-10 to the railroad tracks there's an actual town still there south of the interstate. I'm from Picacho originally and it's sad to see the old buildings from my childhood gone just empty land left behind. Maybe someday they'll finally finish widening the road.

  6. I lived there in the 70s and 80s and I am sad to see it gone, it was a nice place to live.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

26 Bar Ranch (John Wayne Ranch)

Historic Downtown Payson

Cowboy Mummy Found in Desert