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Arizona Trail, AZ

370 47 6
Guide 47 Triplogs  6 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Sierra Vista
4.2 of 5 by 10
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 5 of 5
Distance One Way 755 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,881 feet
Elevation Gain -4,931 feet
Accumulated Gain 82,000 feet
Avg Time One Way 30-60 days
Kokopelli Seeds 1028.27
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Creek, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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4  2017-08-11 melstrails
2  2017-08-01 hoopshiker
23  2016-04-01
Peak 4202 - Mineral Mountain Quad
4  2016-04-01
Peak 4202 - Mineral Mountain Quad
16  2015-09-05
Crest Trail Lasso
18  2015-09-05 VolcanoCLMBR
13  2015-06-08 Dave1
6  2014-10-05
Buffalo Park
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
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:09am - 6:19pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Mexico to Utah
by HAZ_Hikebot

Likely In-Season!
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The Arizona Trail, the dream of Flagstaff teacher and hiking enthusiast Dale Shewalter, is a nearly 800 mile non-motorized trail that traverses the State from Mexico to Utah The Arizona Trail is intended to be a primitive, long distance trail that highlights the state's topographic, biologic, historic and cultural diversity. Jody Sixkiller captured the Trail's beauty and wonder in her song The Arizona Trail.

The trail's primary users are hikers, equestrians and mountain bicyclists (outside of wilderness or other specially managed areas). Opportunities will also exist for cross-country skiers, snowshoers, joggers and pack stock users. Government agencies, businesses and volunteers are working together to make the Arizona Trail a reality.

As of late 2007 more than 750 miles has been signed and is open to the public. More than 700 miles of the Arizona Trail have been "officially" designated and signed. The trail is made up of 43 passages ranging from 11 to 35 miles in length. In most cases, the Arizona Trail utilizes existing trails that are also known by their original name and number. In a few areas primitive roads are temporarily being used in areas where linkages are needed. However, new trail construction will eventually be done in these areas, especially to maintain the vision of a non-motorized trail. When completed, the Arizona Trail will become one of the premier long-distance trails in the country.

In late 1993, an Intergovernmental Agreement was established between Arizona State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management (known as the Arizona Trail Partners) that allows these agencies to cooperatively plan for the development and completion of the Arizona Trail. In 1995, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was developed for the Arizona Trail. Pima County, Walnut Canyon National Monument and the Arizona Trail Association became part of the "Arizona Trail Partners." Since then, numerous other cities, counties, businesses and non-profit agencies have become official and unofficial partners of the Arizona Trail Association.
Source: aztrail organization

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a difficult hike. It would be insane to attempt this entire hike without prior experience hiking.

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

2008-05-31 HAZ_Hikebot
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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 of 13 deeper Triplog Reviews
Arizona Trail
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Hart Prairie Loop
On Saturday, after a Friday afternoon and night of heavy rain and wind that shook the tent (camped along Freidlein Prairie Road), I went up to the upper Kachina TH (Lot 6 at Snowbowl). There are picnic tables and views directly across the road to the west from where I parked. I went over there to have a look, and liked the look of the grassy hill below to the west. So I worked out a partially off-trail loop route. Started out hiking down that hill just below the picnic tables. I soon ran into a small trail, which I followed for a while, but when it seemed to be forcing me too far to the south I struck out off-trail again for a while. Eventually I came to another trail that turned out to be the Arizona Trail (section 34c), which I followed south for a short way toward a dense stand of trees (Aspen Corner). I found the old closed road that is shown by a dotted red line on my map. The map is "Flagstaff Trails Map," Emmett Barks Cartography, 7th Ed. 2016. The closed "road" is now just a pair of tracks with lots of grasses in between, and the left track disappeared quickly after I turned west on the "road." This took me to Alfa Fia Tank, which was quite lovely. I tossed a rock into the center to test the depth, and the sound indicated the tank was at least 3 feet deep. The water looks great to drink (after filtering or other treatment, of course). There were bright blue dragonflies on the eastern bank, and wild irises on the western bank, though only one of the irises had bloomed. It would be worth checking this place out in another week or two, if you want to see wild irises blooming -- there were many buds. The western bank has a bench that someone made out of a log across two big rocks. While I sat there making notes, a group of small birds (maybe ducks? - they were awfully small, for ducks) began to swim across the tank. I had not seen them fly in. Maybe they live nearby. This area would be nice to camp at, if you were backpacking along the Arizona Trail -- less than a quarter mile detour off the AZT, and trees nearby to the south to provide you some privacy. (Have to camp at some distance from the water source, and the ground around those trees is where I'd look for a place.)

Heading west-northwest from the tank, the old road becomes a much wider and more obvious line that you can envision used to be a road. On it I crossed a pipe that was partially buried but very visible where it crossed the old road, and I passed two groups of hikers who were headed uphill along the same path. It brings you out onto Hart Prairie Road (FR151) at a place where there is what looks like a chute for livestock, built of flat, planed boards. (Most wood fencing out there is made of round, stacked logs.) The chute was on my left, as I headed west. Turning right (north) and hiking along Hart Prairie Road, I came almost immediately to a sign for "Galinas Tank" on the west side of the road. I made the short detour, on a trail through tall grasses, to check out the tank, which had no water, only plants that like damp spots. Here there were two, 3-foot high mounds of dirt. I couldn't imagine what, or who, would have made these big piles of dirt -- I snapped a photo with my phone, and I will post a photo later, after I finish the trip I'm on and if I can figure out how to post a photoset from the phone. (I'm way behind most of the country on tech!)

Back on Hart Prairie Road headed north, there was a sign for private land on the right side for a camp (its name is Camp Colton, if I recall right) owned by Flagstaff Unified School District. I had seen a few huge green tents from the abandoned road/trail, before I reached Hart Prairie Road, so I guess those were part of this camp. Continuing north along HP Road, I came to a red-dirt trail headed uphill to the west. I'm bad at estimating heights, but the hill looked about 40-50 feet high, and I took that detour to see what I could see. Nice views of the mtns to the west, which I'd been using for orientation during the off-trail portions of the hike. Also nice views east, to Humphreys and Agassiz. Could see rain falling on a couple of places to the south -- maybe raining in Sedona.

Continuing north on HP Road, I passed mile post 4 and hiked what felt like another half mile or so, to a right turn on Road 9007T. This road is only 1/4 mile or less long, and it ends at a parking area big enough for several vehicles, with a sign that says "Fern Mountain Wildlife Area." The road is a dead end, but points you to the east in between two areas of private property, so you can do an off-trail hike east from road's end across Hart Prairie without trespassing. I hiked uphill across the grassy prairie to catch the Arizona Trail (34c) again, and close the loop that way. While I was on that off-trail part of my hike, I began to hear gunshots. Since there's a cell signal in that area I called 911 after the 5th bang, but the man who answered said it was "probably just someone target shooting," which is a legal activity in the National Forest in July, "as long as they're not shooting toward campsites." I was concerned since I was off-trail, that the shooter might assume he could shoot in my direction without hitting any people. But I could not be sure where exactly the shots came from, because I was hearing them echo off Humphreys -- the only thing I was sure of was that the shooter was somewhere between me (in the middle of Hart Prairie), and Snowbowl. Later I saw the man with the gun, and he was on the Arizona Trail, just hiking at that point, having fired off 15 rounds or so.

I came into dense trees again, just before reaching the AZ Trail. Then I hiked south a couple miles along the AZ Trail (section 34c) until I reached Aspen Nature Trail, which I followed up (east) to the TH for Aspen Nature Trail, which is a very short walk from the TH where I'd left my car.

I saw two white-tail deer after hearing the gunshots. One was headed north on Hart Prairie, across my path as I headed east off-trail, about to enter a stand of pines. The second bounded across the AZ Trail, in a section where the trail was in dense trees.

Only a few steps south of where I hit the AZ Trail there was a sign, oriented toward people hiking north on the AZ Trail, about restoring the meadow character of Hart Prairie by removing conifers from some areas. The sign has photos that were taken from the same vantage point, toward Fern Mountain, one in the 1890s and the other in the 1980s, to show the conifers encroaching on the meadow.

A great day. Some distant thunder, a bit of rain, a bit of drizzle, overcast all day, but no scary lightning to deal with. Absolutely lovely views, easy route-finding, a family in a car on Hart Prairie Road who stopped to ask me whether I was "stranded" because a storm was threatening to break.
Arizona Trail
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This was cool!!

Jamie and I popped off around 9am, left the housing area via Transept trail, connected to Bridal Path to NK TH then hopped on the AZT to Widforss Trail...

Eventually cut off from the Widdy to a sweet break in the Kaibab, contoured Toroweap for a hot minute then summited Oza right as the clouds rolled in.

Very Hazey day! Lots of Rx burns in the Kaibab nf

Had a blast placing the Oza Butte register with Jamie, also buried a pinch of Dads ashes on the Oza saddle because the views were great!!

Found our exit route (different than our route in) through the Kaibab, lots of very steep scrambling through scrub oak and soft choss yummmmm!

Back to Widdy for a nice evening stroll home.

Why did I live on South Rim so long before coming over here!!? North is Best!
Arizona Trail
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I started from the beginning of segment #2 above Parker Canyon Lake where Bob and I left off sometime last year and finished off about half-way through #7, on HW83 just south of the I-10. Right away the hike started off in snow and I wondered if I was making a mistake. As I dropped down in elevation the snow disappeared but the trail was sometimes muddy. Only other snowy part was below Wrightson where I had to walk for about 2 miles in 6" of snow. Wasn't bad though as it was probably in the 50s then. Nights were quite cold with lows in the low 20s. Woke up with frost on my sleeping bag every morning. Surprisingly, good campsites were hard to find. One night I had to camp alongside a road, next to a stock tank. Most flat spots were either very rocky or covered with cow poop. The invasive cattle really rule this area and have thoroughly marked all water sources. BTW, if anyone needs a water cache along #6 let me know, I have one buried out there. Didn't see any hikers on the trail in 4 days, just 2 horse riders. Wildlife was scarce: 1 coyote, 1 javelina, 2 dear, 1 red-tailed hawk, 1 ant (yes just one. not many insects out right now) but hundreds of cattle. Was planning on going to Molina Basin CG but the cold nights got the best of me and I called it quits a few days early. Glad to get some more AZT done though.
Arizona Trail
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Decided on this hike because of the elevation. I wanted to get acclimated to the elevation, for my Thursday Humphrey's summit hike. Also, I wanted to see Bismarck Lake, which I estimated was 2.52 miles North on the AZ Trail from the Nature loop. However, at 2.25 miles, I ran across two old gals going South and they said they never saw it and it must be much further North :? . So, I went a spell further and decided to turn around, as I did not want to over exert myself the day before a big hiking day.

Conversely, the area is extremely green and lush! The wildflowers should be stellar!
Arizona Trail
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My original plan was to hike the Arizona Trail from Utah, heading south to I-40 in Flagstaff. I only made it as far as the South Rim due to foot problems, other issues, etc...

Monday: Left home around 2am. On the way to the canyon I cached some water off of HW180 near segment #34. Once at the South Rim I took the TransCanyon Shuttle towards the North Rim. They were cool and allowed me to get dropped off at the start of House Rock Rd (after the Vermillion Cliffs and before the start of the Kaibab Monocline). I walked House Rock Rd for about 4 miles (loaded up with 10 liters of water) until a nice couple from Austria picked me up in their rented camper van. They were headed north to 89 in Utah but had no maps or GPS. I think they were happy to have someone confirm they were headed in the right direction but it took me some convincing at each road intersection. They dropped me off at the State Line Campground and the northern terminus of the AZT, saving me about 16 miles of walking under the ever warming sun. I believe we stopped to photograph every cactus flower along the way. Hope they made it to 89.

I started on #43 as soon as I arrived. It was the middle of the day and already quite warm. The trail wastes no time in gaining elevation via many long switchbacks. I was expecting lots of shade along this segment but the junipers come up a little short. Found some water jugs at the 43/42 junction (and pretty much every junction after that) so I really didn't need to start with so much water. Oh well. I set up camp somewhere along segment 42. Finished with about 19 miles for the first day. Fell asleep as a pack of coyotes howled in the distance (at least I told myself it was very distant :scared: )

Tuesday: Cloudy with very light rain off and on all morning. Much cooler than yesterday though. Ponderosa Pines started appearing more and more. Took a side trip to Jacob Lake to get a bacon cheeseburger and an oatmeal cookie (best cookie I've ever had!). The rain picked up as the day wore on. I was soaked by the time I found camp in the evening, somewhere along segment 40. About 37 miles for day 2.

Wednesday: Packed up my drenched tent, not looking forward to crawling into a wet tent tonight. Heavy rain most of the day. My sneakers were soaked and my feet were feeling very tender and starting to blister. The rain finally let up as I neared the Grand Canyon NP border. This passage is very beautiful but the pain in my feet made it tough to enjoy. I thought about stopping to dry out my tent as the sun made a few appearances but wanted to make it to the North Rim today and didn't have extra time. I sent a message to my wife via Delorme inReach and their superior Iridium Satellite network to see if she could find me a room at the North Rim. At about 6:30pm I checked to see if I had received any messages only to find my inReach was no longer in my pack :o . I knew I must have left it somewhere during a break but couldn't remember where. It was too late to turn back as I would need to make camp soon but didn't have a permit to stay in the park (my plan was to stay at the NR hiker's campground which usually has spots). I continued on to the campground and spent a near sleepless night racking my brain as to where the inReach could be. My coughing and gas-passing neighbor (the campsites are very close together) didn't help much. About 33 miles for the day.

Thursday: I woke up early to more rain and lots of wind. Fought hard to take my tent down and pack it up. I started walking along HW67 north towards the entry station and the end of segment 39, close to where I thought the inReach might be. After about 6 miles and 21 vehicles (not a lot of people leaving the north rim this early in the morning apparently) I finally got a ride. A nice woman who happened to be a park employee drove me a few more miles north where I could pick up the trail. Luckily after only about 2 miles of walking I spotted the inReach sitting on rock. I was overjoyed! It was wet from the night's rain but still working. I got back on HW67 where I was almost immediately picked up by two older brothers in a sweet RV. They drove me all the way back to the North Rim so I could start my walk back to the South Rim. So about 9 miles for a morning warm-up before the real hike started.

I headed down the North Kaibab with a lot of pain in my feet. It was very slow going. Took me about 6 hours to reach Phantom Ranch but I made it just before 4pm (closing time) so I could buy a lemonade and 2 bagels at the canteen. I met a group of four who had a permit for five at the Bright Angel Campground. They offered me their extra spot but I very reluctantly refused as I had almost no food left. I did stay for a ranger program though: GC Triva put on by BCO Ranger Casey. Very similar to Jeopardy, it was actually a lot of fun. Left PR around 5:45pm and hiked out Bright Angel. My feet felt much better hiking uphill for some reason. Topped out around 9:30. Pizza at Maswik. Thanks to all the kind people who gave me a lift! :y:

Did you know a Garmin Oregon 600 only holds tracks up to 10,000 points? I do now. I put together a route on HAZ RM of segments 32 to 43 and loaded it onto my GPSr at home. When I got to the canyon I found it had only loaded from Utah to the Colorado River, exactly 10,000 points. Mistake number 4,256 and another reason I decided to call it quits at the south rim.
Arizona Trail
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Philomena Springs - Arizona Trail Loop
Well Jim and I got a late start. The weather was awesome. The Humphreys Trail was a little busy as we started up. Once we left the trail and cut across toward the spring my ankle started bothering me. Once we reached the spring we were rewarded with some great views. Autumn is here. Jim decided on a different route out that would be easier on my ankle. And I am glad he did as the scenery was beautiful. There were a lot of down trees across the trail some that I believe were from more recent storms.
Jim pointed out some different mountains to me and named them all, but I already forgot there names. Jim spotted a bear but I missed it. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.
Thanks Jim for the hike and your patience with me. I am sorry that I slowed this hike down.
Arizona Trail
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Sandy Seep Trail :next: Weatherford Trail :next: Humphreys Peak :next: return same way

Elevation hit me pretty hard. Had to take many breaks on the way up, after 10K ft. Weather was decent, warm but breezy on the summit. Buggy on the summit but not elsewhere. Had to walk through a bit of lingering snow below Agassiz.
Arizona Trail
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Brahma via Sumner Canyon - Freezer Foray
My second run at Brahma. This time I came with reinforcements. We got exactly as far as I got the first time but I felt much more confident about the climbs and they went by much easier so I still call it a success. Actually JJ was able to get to the top of the last (presumed) climb before the Brahma-Zoroaster Saddle. Joe and I, with numb fingers, still struggled. The weather was almost completely opposite from the first round. Cold, rainy and snow. All 3 of us were under dressed and freezing at times. At one point Joe threatened to recreate the R. Kelly scene from Without a Paddle. I frantically ran in place to try and warm up! :scared:

Happy Mother's Day! BTW, your mother is so dumb, she tried to climb Mountain Dew!
Arizona Trail
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Met up with Richard and Bob at the No-tell Motel in sprawling Sierra Vista (home of the first McDonalds drive-thru. The drive-thru was created to serve Fort Huachuca soldiers who weren't
permitted to get out of their cars while wearing fatigues) Sunday morning (I was a little late :oops: sorry). They had already cached a vehicle near Parker Lake the night before (thanks, guys!) so we went directly to the Montezuma Pass Trailhead. Bob and I did the first section to Mexico and back while Richard got an early start on the Crest trail. We met back up again and, with a few revisions to our plan, Bob and I set off up Crest and Richard went on to switch the shuttle vehicles and hit the last 4 miles of #1. The Crest Trail just climbs and climbs! Felt like I was hiking out of GC!

As we were ascending Crest Trail, the elevation started to affect me. I did all I could to keep up with Bob, begging him for breaks as much as possible. We decided to skip Miller Peak which I now regret. Once the trail leveled off more or less, we enjoyed hiking through some nice tree cover with a few peeks of Parker Lake and Sierra Vista way down below. At one point we came upon two deer just off trail. One took off but the other stuck around and allowed us a few pictures. Then he suddenly darted towards us and then took off down the slope! We looked to the opposite side of the trail and just caught the tail end of a bobcat scurrying off! Not sure how long the bobcat was there but I think we ruined its lunch! We kept our eyes open for cats after that but all we came up with was a big turkey, whom Bob seemed to communicate with quite well. Bob would let out a turkey call and the bird replied several times. Funniest thing all day!

The last part of the trail kind of dragged on a bit as it follows an old mining road and then, as you exit the wilderness, becomes a usable road. Great hike overall though! Thanks for setting this up, Bob! And the Gatorade! And thanks for driving and setting up the shuttle, Richard!
Arizona Trail
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Started from Sunflower kinda late at 9:30a. Went north on Saddle Mountain Trail and then Maz Divide Trail until Windsor Saddle (I've already done Y Bar to Red Hills previously). Took Y Bar down to Barnhardt TH and got picked up along FR419.
I didn't much care for AZT #22 but #23 from Peeley to Windsor is pretty sweet. I definitely want to do that one again! Going down Y Bar in the dark pretty much sucked. Saw a few nice campsites along the Divide Trail and all were stocked with firewood! I was worried I'd run into some overgrown sections on the Divide Trail but everything is in good shape right now. I think a trail crew has been out there recently (they were camped out near Barnhardt TH).

Lots of Lupines

Permit $$

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
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