register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41, AZ

no permit
1 new
406 37 1
Guide 37 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > Jacob Lake N
3.2 of 5 by 9
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 16.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,850 feet
Elevation Gain -1,322 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,096 feet
Avg Time One Way 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.25
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Enjoy the slideshow!
16  2019-08-22 Sredfield
57  2019-07-04
AZT Utah to South Rim Grand Canyon
5  2018-09-03
Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40
23  2017-07-07
Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40
11  2016-07-23
AZT #41 NF 241 to NF 9104
14  2016-07-21
AZT #41 Hwy 89a to FSR 225
12  2016-07-21
AZT #41 FSR 225 to FSR 9104
6  2016-07-20
AZT #41 FSR 225 to FSR 205
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Sep
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:16am - 6:26pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!
Throughout this passage the route follows Trail #101 and it begins at the Telephone Hill Trailhead on FR 241. From here it heads generally north and parallels Highway 67. The trail reaches a drainage and crosses it, and at the top of the drainage a road is crossed and then the trail continues in a north/northeast direction. The trail crosses FR 205 twice and then crosses FR 205B. It runs next to FR 225 for a while and then begins a long gradual descent. It follows a drainage all the way down to Big Ridge Tank, and after a short climb the trail continues descending until it reaches the Orderville Canyon Trailhead and Highway 89A.

Southern Trailhead: Telephone Hill TH - FR 241

Northern Trailhead: Highway 89A - Orderville Canyon TH

This page is open to authors. Hike must be listed South to North as one-way. Do not include an overview as the above is permanent.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    AZT: Mormon Lake to Utah
    I'm not even sure how to approach a trip log of this magnitude, so I'll try to keep it short and focus on the highlights/lowlights.

    The hike took place between May 31st and June 16th. We had 2 zero days (one in Flagstaff, one in Tusayan), and one "nero" out of Tusayan. We averaged 25 - 30 miles a day, except for in the Grand Canyon. This trip started out with a few hiccups (feet, gear, fires, heat...) but after Tusayan we had the kinks worked out and I felt like a well oiled long distance hiking machine.


    Humphrey's Summit Side Trip
    We decided to include a side trip to Humphrey's Peak. It was a great way to escape the hottest part of the first weekend and let things cool down below 9000ft, even if the summit was swarming with gnats and people. :) On the way back down, I met @joebartels and @the_eagle. Very cool! Nice to have met you both!

    Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim was AMAZING. The scenery had my jaw on the ground nearly the entire time! I was extremely nervous about doing this passage in June and thought it was nearly impossible to score walk-in permits, but the stars aligned and we had no issues grabbing permits for both campgrounds.

    We did it over 3 days to beat the heat, camping at Bright Angel and Cottonwood campgrounds, moving only between the hours of 5am - 9am. Soaking in Bright Angel Creek made the heat tolerable, and it was a nice change of pace compared to the 25 - 30 mile days we were doing above the rims.

    One of the rangers issuing the permits gave us some dire warnings about "130 degrees in the sun", and how "nobody has fun down there this time of year." I even asked him about soaking in the creek to ward off the heat and he made it sound like it was only mildly effective. Contrary to what he said, it probably never got above 105 in the sun and sitting in the creek was actually extremely relaxing.

    We took the short side trip to Ribbon Falls and it was totally worth it. What a neat little oasis in the canyon! We saw a beaver in the creek between Bright Angel and Cottonwood campgrounds, I never expected to see that.

    The climb out of the Canyon from Cottonwood to the North Rim was well graded, and we topped out in about 2 hours 45 mins.

    There is definitely a lot more Grand Canyon hiking in my future come fall/winter/spring.

    North Rim + Kaibab Plateau
    It was so nice to get a break from the hot temperatures when we topped out on the North Rim. They didn't last for long, though. As soon as we were back down around 7000 ft it was getting warm again.

    The aspen and fir lined meadows were also a nice change of scenery. Easy going, dreamy hiking. It was also cool starting the day at Cottonwood and within a few hours being in a drastically different environment.

    We ran out of food just before highway 89A, so we went in to Jacob Lake for a small resupply and also had a great breakfast at the restaurant. We probably had less than 2000 calories per day from the North Rim to Jacob Lake, needless to say the hiker hunger was strong when we reached Jacob Lake.

    Finishing the AZT
    Damn did it feel good. :)


    Feet Issues
    On day one I had a nasty blister form on the bottom of my foot due to AZ rocks tearing up the tread on my one month old Altra shoes. When we reached Flagstaff I initially tried to remedy the problem by buying thicker insoles (SuperFeet) for my shoes and taping up my foot with climbing tape. I was apprehensive about getting new shoes because I've always had issues with breaking in new shoes, even trail runners. The tape and thicker insoles worked for about half of a day. I think the tape actually might have made matters worse. I decided the next day after leaving Flag to hitch back into town from Snowbowl Rd in order to pop the blister and let it heal with a zero day. We got a ride by the first vehicle that I thumbed!

    Popping the blister and staying off of it for a day helped, but after our Humphrey Summit and a couple more days of hiking the blister was back with a vengeance by the time we reached the Babbit Ranch passage. I was very nervous about going forward from Babbit Ranch because it would mean committing to about 60 miles before any relief in Tusayan. I nearly walked out to the highway from the TH and called for pickup. But after sleeping on it, I sucked it up and continued. Eventually, after hiking on it for another 40 miles, it stopped hurting so much.

    When we reached Tusayan I decided to bite the bullet and take a shuttle back to Flagstaff to get some new shoes. I bought some Brooks Cascadia 11's, swapped out the insoles with the SuperFeet I bought, and never had a single foot issue the rest of the trip. :)

    Gear Issues
    Sleeping pad got punctured and I lost my sunglasses the very first night. These items were replaced on the first visit to REI in Flag. Somewhere along the way, the "stay bar" in my backpack ripped through the bottom of my pack again and went missing.

    The nearby fires on the rim made the miles into Flagstaff smokey. It was particularly bad on the second day when we woke up at the Horse Mesa Trailhead with thick smoke to hike through til Marshall Lake. Those were some lightheaded, oxygen deprived miles.

    When I planned this trip, I expected the highs to be in the high 70s to low 80s, actual highs were in the high 80s to low 90s for the entire trip, expect for the North Rim and Kaibab Plateau South & Central passages. As expected, it reached low triple digits in the Grand Canyon. We combated the heat by taking a long 2 hour break during the hottest part of the day under a cedar or pine. If there was a good enough breeze, usually we could still hike in the heat. We were also consuming up to 2 gallons of water a day.

    Final AZT Thoughts

    In my opinion, the Grand Canyon takes the cake for the most scenic passage of the trail. That being said, I believe that below the Mogollon Rim the AZT is way more scenic per-mile than on top of the plateau. It's easy to keep motivated below the Rim when you're getting drowned in gorgeous wide open views in every direction, and hard to keep motivated above the Rim when all you're seeing most of the day is the next ponderosa or ceder 10 yards ahead of you. Just my opinion, though.

    AZ rocks with eat up your shoes.

    If I was to ever attempt a thru-hike of the trail, I would most likely start in the early fall and head south. The terminus in Utah isn't a terrible place to end, but Miller Peak and Mexico would have been a much grander ending.
    Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    started early to avoid possible late day weather and to take advantage of some down time before the last long day.

    very windy and a little cool through the burn section. the burn through here did open up some interesting views.

    the second half of the hike was through a very nice forest and i ended up liking this segment quite a bit.

    we finished at 1230 and headed into Jacob Lake for a good lunch. chatted with the through hikers for quite a bit. dave drove them back to the TH for the night. we check in the lodge (THANK YOU JJ3) and relaxed and cleaned up. headed back for good dinner then ran into the boys where we laid out our plan for the next day. JJ3 told us about his crazy flat tire story before bed...this guy could be a writer for sure. he tells excellent stories :)
    Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Got a 7:20 start for this one, with the intent of busting it out and being at Jacob Lake for lunch. The two through-hikers passed us about an hour before we started, getting an early jump on the day, we didn't run into them again until Jacob Lake. Spent the first half of this hike in dead forest, but the last half was nicer.

    This was our easy day, as we got to relax and recover over the afternoon. We made into Jacob Lake for lunch at 12:30, repacked our bags, visited the Kaibab Visitors Center, talked to the 2 through hikers a good bit more, and watched the clouds roll in. Rain ended up being just a trace, but it was enough of a warning for the through-hikers to decide to get back out on the trail and set up camp. I drove them the 2 miles back to the trailhead and they hiked in about 4 miles before setting up for the night. Meanwhile, frick, jj3 and I set ourselves up in a hotel with a nice shower and real BEDS :zzz: . Ahhh, nice...

    Nice hiking those 3 days with the frickmeister, he likes to move it on the trail just like me. We ended up pounding out each one of these segments (39, 40, 41) at over 3 mph each. :gun:
    Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Day two on the North Rim.

    JJ threatened to make a new Trailhead since the Warm Fire of 2006 had left one none existent. We started between the 15' tall pile of cut logs and the trailer left there to get them out. The first 6-7 miles of this passage were scorched with just a hint of small bushes and Aspen growth. There is also a smattering of untouched conifers.

    There could have been some great views of the Vermilion Cliffs, but the haze made it less than spectacular. The final 9 or 10 miles got into untouched forest and meadows that rolled to the end of the trail. I was glad that my final impression of this trail was slanted toward more positive by these final miles.

    All in all, a great weekend w/ Joe, Denny, and JJ. JJ fit in real well to this group of social misfits. Joe is not a cook.

    Thanks for helping with the shuttles JJ.
    Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This segment starts in the torched forest. If you are interested in completing the AZT or have plenty of free time then perhaps it's your cup of tea. As of this writing a GPS can lead you to the start. There is no trailhead and it may take a little looking around to figure out where it goes. Once on track it's easy to follow.

    It must have taken an army to cut through all the deadfall. Save a small sixteenth mile stretch in a ravine it's remarkably well maintained.

    The trail yo-yos ravines along HWY 67 for 8 miles. At 8.3 miles you have entered phase II. A well established trailhead for the Kaibab Plateau Trail #101 is a welcome sight as you are now out of the torch zone.

    The first half of the hike struggles to pull in a 1 out of 5 rating. The second half is a strong 3 being an enchanting stroll through meadows and low valleys. The pine forest here is oh so pleasant, similar to the eastern side of Willow Crossing #38.
    Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    We stayed at Jacob's Lake lodge for a rim to rim trip. I had 2 and 1/2 hours of free time, so I checked out section 41 of the AZT. I left the pack and sticks at the lodge and hiked in the woods down 89A to the AZT trailhead. I then headed south to the Big Ridge tank. I went back to 89A and went a little north on the AZT before returning to the lodge.
    Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Highway 67 was closed so we took some Forest Roads to FR421 and found the start of the Telephone Hill section just off of SR67. Came back on FR205 and found out that the section from FR421 to FR205 - the Crane Lake section - is still closed because of the damage from the Warm Fire in 2006 and the danger from falling trees. From the looks of things, I doubt that this stretch will open before May 2009 if by then. We saw lots of mule deer and a Merriam's turkey. This was bowhunting season for turkey in this unit.

    We started at FR205. This is a very pleasant hike in the Ponderosa Pines. We hiked a little slower and were rewarded with a couple of sightings of resident mule deer and a Kaibab squirrel. After a couple of miles the trail follows an old unused two-track road. Not much elevation change. As we got within view of the 89A trailhead, we lost the trail a little but just kept going and found it again.
    Kaibab Plateau Central - AZT #41
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    There are parts of the Arizona Trail that are scenic and stunning. There are other parts that are connectors. This stretch is more like a connector. Heading north from 89A you start out in a nice Ponderosa forest. After a couple of miles this transitions to a Pinyon-Juniper habitat. Then you are in a sage meadow on an old unused two-track road. Lots of rusted cans, probably from cowboy & ranching days before LNT. Saw lots of jackrabbits. Great mule deer country and we saw signs of mule deer but they appeared to have migrated north to Utah already. Not much AEG on this section, just a nice long trek. We saw what we think were abandoned badger dens and an unidentified skull that we think is either bobcat or badger.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive

    To hike
    page created by joebartels on May 06 2008 6:41 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker