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Flagstaff - AZT #33, AZ

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Guide 35 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff SE
3.1 of 5 by 13
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Distance One Way 14.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,622 feet
Elevation Gain 1,221 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,916 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 21.19
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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65  2019-08-31
AZT South Rim GC to Gooseberry TH
3  2017-11-24
Little Elden-Elysian Buttress
16  2017-09-28
Marshall Lake to Fisher Point
5  2017-09-03 Thoreau
25  2016-06-01
AZT: Mormon Lake to Utah
13  2015-09-12
Arizona Trail Day - Flagstaff
231  2015-07-11 BACKROADER
262  2015-07-04
Walnut Canyon - AZT #31
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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
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Preferred   Sep, Jun
Sun  6:14am - 6:23pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
The southern end of this passage begins at the bottom of Walnut Canyon near Fisher Point. The route starts up Skunk Canyon, follows several drainages, climbs over several small ridges, goes through a fence and descends down into the Rio de Flag drainage. It there encounters an asphalt road that is an extension of Babbitt Drive. Follow this road uphill for 0.60 miles to Butler Avenue (Taco Bell). Turn right and go 0.15 miles to Ponderosa Parkway (McDonalds). Turn left on Ponderosa Parkway and go 0.20 miles to Route 66. Turn left on Route 66 (4 motels) and go 0.37 miles to Switzer Canyon Drive (Starbucks, Subway, Dog Haus, Albertsons, and Frys). Water is available from gallon dispensers at each of the grocery stores. Go right on Switzer, and after 0.56 miles turn right on Turquoise Drive and go 0.69 miles to Forest Avenue. The northeast corner of this intersection is identified as the Urban Trail System. Follow this trail uphill to the northeast for 0.66 miles to the entrance to Buffalo Park (porta potties). Head north 0.53 miles where there are multiple trail signs including the Arizona Trail. Total distance over this route is 3.76 miles. This section of the trail is also identified as the Lower Oldham Trail. It climbs up along the side of Mount Elden and joins the Rocky Ridge Trail. It passes a trailhead and works its way west over to the Schultz Creek Trailhead. The route now follows the Schultz Creek Trail up and around to a trail junction. The route cuts back to the west, crosses FR 420 (Schultz Pass Road) and climbs up to the junction with the San Francisco Peaks passage and the end of this passage.

If approaching Flagstaff from the north, enter Buffalo Park and follow the main "road" south to the park entrance. Go about 100 feet past the porta potties on the right and take the trail downhill to the right. This leads to the intersection of Forest Avenue and Turquoise. Go 0.69 miles to Switzer Canyon Road. Turn left on Route 66 and go 0.37 miles to Enterprise Road. Follow Enterprise for 0.20 miles. Go right on Butler for 0.15 mile to Babbitt Drive. Go left on Babbitt for 0.60 miles where the asphalt ends and the trail soon enters the woods.

Southern Trailhead: Fisher Point - FR 302

Northern Trailhead: Schultz Pass - Sunset TH

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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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 of 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    This was me & my wife’s third annual Flagstaff fall colors romantic getaway weekend. The past two years, I’ve done a shorter hike the Thursday we arrive in in town. Last year, I hiked Colton Crater. A month ago, hiking Sandy Canyon, I had skipped climbing to the top of Fisher Point — which overlooks the intersection of Sandy Canyon, Walnut Canyon and Skunk Canyon — due to being wore out from too much bushwhacking. Eventually, I settled on hiking from Marshall Lake to the Flagstaff Sam’s Club, via Fisher Point, on Arizona Trail passage’s #31 and #33. For some reason, I thought a twelve mile hike would be a good ‘warmup’. :?

    At the Arizona Trail trailhead on the southwest ‘shore’ of dry Marshall Lake, my wife spotted several used tampons. Eww! ‘Leave no trace’ would never have been so appreciated. :o

    It was an easy walk across Anderson Mesa. Just before Marshall Mesa Tank, a large fallen tree blocks the trail. There is already a use trail around it. Not sure if it is scheduled for removal?

    The ‘descent’ to the tank is only 200 ft., and the ‘climb’ back out only 100 ft., so it seemed a bit fussy to me for it to have something like 10 switchbacks. The odd number of switchbacks would be a theme all the next four miles to the rim of Sandy Canyon. The switchbacks add unnecessary, and unexpected, distance to Arizona Trail #31. (A trail sign at Marshall Lake says it is 5.7 miles to the base of Fisher Point: It is now actually 7.4 miles.) Nonetheless, it is a pleasant stroll.

    On the descent to Sandy Canyon, I narrowly avoided squishing a tarantula. I hate spiders. They scare me. But for some reason, tarantulas don’t bother me near as much. Maybe because they look like furry, eight-legged, puppies?

    Atop Fisher Point, I couldn’t see much to the north, but could see for miles south, including Mormon Mountain. I took more photos & video at Fisher Point than anywhere else on my hike, but I never felt like I quite ‘got’ the feel of the area. After the photogasm, I took a twenty minute break for lunch, relaxing in the shade, enjoying the views.

    After descending back to the canyon floor, I headed up AZT #33 towards Flagstaff. Like Sandy Canyon — if you are not bushwhacking! ;-) — Skunk Canyon is a narrow, but grassy-bottomed terrain feature. Arizona Trail #33 very gradually heads up 1.75 miles to the Flagstaff Loop Trail. Only 200 yds. further, the trail turns east through an ungated fence unto an old forest road.

    The next 1.5 miles, to the Rio de Flag — yes, that is its name — wetlands, is also on old jeep trail, through the same grassy terrain with plenty of shade trees that typified the first 12.5 miles of my hike.

    Just after my final break, with about 1.5 miles to go, I heard something over my shoulder. I looked back to see a toothless, woolen-capped, homeless guy riding a mountain bike out of a trailless draw. We exchanged greetings, and off he peddled towards town. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was for supplies, and he was wild camping up that draw.

    At the Rio de Flag wet lands, the Arizona Trail #33 turns to pavement, heading under I-40, past the Rio de Flag Reclamation Facility, to the Sam’s Club parking lot, where my patient wife was waiting for me.

    Rather than continue sidewalk hiking, we headed off to check in at The Inn at 410 on Leroux, before heading downtown for a (literally) steaming hot post-hike feast at Na-D-Li Korean on San Francisco St. :y:

    Hike Video: [ youtube video ]

    Mostly pine & evergreen along AZT #31 and AZT #33.

    Not much left, not even Sandy Canyon, which was awash in blooms only a month ago.
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    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.
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    I got dropped off on Frontage Rd. Off I-40. The weather was beautiful just having come from Phoenix, where it wasn't so nice :) A lot of wildflowers in the meadow south of the I-40 before entering the trees. A nice breeze picked up as I crossed Old Walnut Canyon Road just north of Walnut Canyon National Monument. I camped a ways off the Road the second time the trail crosses it. The weather reports I had been reading all the way up being dropped off indicated decent weather, but there was a pretty good storm that night.

    Packed up in the morning and followed the trail south of Walnut Canyon Rd. It had rained a lot the night before and the trail was VERY muddy. Other than being wet from the rain the trail was in great condition and very easy to follow, I stopped for lunch at the Fisher Point overlook. Hearing thunder in the distance It was time to continue on. Managed to make it into Flagstaff before the rain hit.

    I didn't see any water right off the trail, but I didn't exactly go looking for it. I packed plenty.
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    We hope you enjoy our Housholder Family adventure hiking the 800 mile Arizona Trail from Sonora Mexico to the Utah state-line. We are hiking it together as a family attempting to finish 20 to 30 miles each month; normally taking a two truck shuttle and usually camping overnight for free along the way in our RV trailer (Boondocking).

    Our third segment is the Flagstaff direct supply route AZT section # 33. First of all, we enjoyed a fantastic and FREE RV Boondocking camp for 8 days near Route 66 with our Arizona State Trust land access permit. The spot rests up a small hill on State Trust Land near an old cinder pit off Route 66 very near the start of AZT # 32 trail where it crosses Forest Service Road 791. There were fantastic views from the top of the hill next to our camp that stretched into Flagstaff and the San Francisco Peaks....I included pictures with GPS directions in this triplog.

    AZT # 33 starts below beautiful Fisher Point. We used Forest Service Road 301 which branches off the Walnut Canyon 303 to make our way by truck out to the somewhat remote Fisher Point trail-head. The trail gently slops and switchbacks down to the floor of Walnut Canyon with nice views northwest towards Flagstaff! We started around 8:30 AM and had lots of shade along the downhill route. On the floor of Walnut we took many pictures of the wave rocks and enjoyed the first cave with its cool shade :) After some snacks we set out in search of "Tibber's Cave", which all 5 of us could not find? Hey Tibber any more clues? We then hiked up Walnut Canyon to a discriptive sign and found a smaller second cave on the south wall. The kids had great fun searching and hunting but were a little bummed they didn't find the gem!

    Day One: Starting out on the AZT # 33 in a northwesterly direction towards Flagstaff was flat and enjoyably easy going. The noon day sun was our only concern. We had lots of water with us and made the most of shady snack breaks. There were plenty mountain bikers we would yell out "Biker!" So that the kids would step aside. Many of these mountain biking trails converged at a crossing where we rested enjoying lunch at. Shortly after wards the trail did a big "Zig Zag" due east then back due north. The San Francisco Peaks and mount Elden were now visible and getting closer. The trail started up hill gently then sharply downhill towards the confluence with the Rio de Flag River (water treatment plant) where ducks were swimming to great us! Interstate 40 passed high overhead and paved sections of the Flagstaff Urban Trail System started. The kids enjoyed their tunnel echos underneath the freeway and started getting hungry after passing the Taco Bell and all out "HAngry" along Route 66 where we neared the Dog Haus and our car shuttle with Grandma. It was 2:30 PM and we couldn't treat Grandma to Hot Dogs, so we made hast to Brandy's Restaurant (Breakfast and Bakery) which was featured on the Food Network with host Guy Fieri: ... html Grandma and our HAngry kids absolutely loved the comfort food and I scarfed down my Giant Guacamole Apple-wood Bacon Cheeseburger! Brandy's is a stones throw from Buffalo Park, super close to this AZT hike....please note they close early around 3:00 PM on Saturdays and sadly just breakfast and lunch menu. The "to die for" dinners are gone, but not forgotten!

    Day One Total Miles 7

    Day two: We started with a car shuttle downhill near the Dog Haus, where there is a Fry's and another grocery store to stock up on all sorts of trail treats and mixes, Beef Jerky fresh fruit, energy bars, plus other delicious eats for the thru backpackers! Our other car was shuttled to Buffalo Park where we started by taking pictures with the Buffalo and at the memorial tribute to Dale Shewalter Flagstaff teacher and AZ Trail Dreamer who put his plans to action in the early 1980's so that we might enjoy the fruits of his lifelong labor! Thank You Very Much Dale :y: The memorial sign and resting bench is located due east of the entrance gate as the AZT winds around the large water tank.

    We enjoyed our easy two mile hike downhill from the memorial as it joined Turquoise St. Passed the YMCA a and transitioned into Switzer Canyon. The abundance of wild game we saw along the way to the Dog Haus were quite impressive. I remember they were called some exotic names like Mercedes, Tacomas, Avalanches and Buicks!


    Day 3 From Buffalo Park to Schultz Creek Trailhead. August 22, 2015:

    We arrived in Flag at 12 noon, first hitting our favorite Crystal Creek Sandwich Co. for some delicious eats. We love the Grand Rapids and have been coming here for the past 24 years! Our goal was to enjoy lunch at the shaded Dale Shewalter Memorial in Buffalo Park, before we hit the open trail. Second we had to park our car shuttle at the Schultz Creek Trailhead, then we made our way over to Buffalo Park. After scarfing down our Grand Rapids under the shady tree by the memorial we hit the trail around 2:00 PM. Buffalo Park was soon behind us and the pine trees became our companions the rest of the way! The kids enjoyed some boulder hopping literally, and we made it in no time to the junction with the Elden Peak Lookout Forest Service Road. This marked the halfway point and the kids once more were climbing all over the huge granite boulders. The Rocky Ridge Trail is rightfully named for it's many, many rocks and beautiful scenery. We could see far off into the distance, including the NAU Sky-dome in Flagstaff. This was the most beautiful section of the trail from Buffalo Park to Schultz Creek. In no time at all we arrived at our truck shuttle waiting for us at Schultz Creek Trailhead and after logging another 5 enjoyable miles on the AZT, we drove back to Buffalo Park then headed out for a delicious dinner at the Arizona Highways Best Restaurant 2013 issue, award winning eatery Pizzicletta! After grabbing some great to go dinner eats we made our way to one of our favorite FREE Camping/Boondocking spots which was thankfully unoccupied and enjoyed the award winning pizza besides our campfire.


    Day 4 AZT #34 start to Schultz Creek Trailhead (Downhill) August 23, 2015: We jumped into our trucks and drove around the north east side where the AZT 32 trail follows the 556 Mount Elden Springs Forest Service Road. As we arrived at Schultz Tank Trailhead there were a hundreds of mountain bikers having a race on the AZT 32 section luckily, because we were set to hike the rest of AZT 33 which was the other way! The thunder clouds were building as we parked our truck at the Schultz Creek Trailhead and made our way back up to the AZT 33 ending point as it crossed the Schultz Creek dirt road where we parked the other truck. There is nearby room for 4 vehicles. Two at the trail crossing and two just a bit further north of the crossing. The thunder clouds rumbled and then started an hour long downpour that we waited out safely inside our truck. Then things quieted down enough with just some intermittent sprinkles which enabled us to hit the remaining 4 easy trail miles down hill all the way back to where our other truck was at the Schultz Creek Trailhead. This was our first section of Aspen mixed with pine trees and it was thoroughly soaked from the 10 o'clock thunderstorm. The kids were great spirits along the way and the storms helped to clear out only the die hard mountain bikers and few hikers we passed along the trail. All together these 4 miles were hiked downhill in just around 2 hours which was very good for us! Ending the AZT section 33 and sending us off to the Flagstaff Train Station for a tailgate party! WOHOO!!!
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    Happy 4th of July, 2015

    Our next adventure on the Arizona Trail is segment # 31 Starting from Marshall Lake to Walnut Canyon including Fisher Point located in the cooler Coconino National Forest at 7000 feet near Flagstaff.

    The best thing about the AZT is you can either hike the entire length of 800 miles in order or pick and choose from the 44 or so segments, as to which trail is best for the current time of year! Since this is our second hike on the AZT we decided to keep cool on the 4th of July in the beautiful pines south east of Flagstaff.

    The night before our planned hike of 13 miles, there was a huge down pouring of rain at our Boondocking base camp east of Walnut Canyon National Monument's access road. The previous nights rain made for slow going and very muddy shoes, at least one inch at a time was sticking to every step along the Marshall Lake route towards Walnut Canyon and our car shuttle at the 303 Trail-head. This slowed our times but the kids had fun slogging along. No worries as the sunny day started to quickly dry out the trail and we were on our way!

    It is hard to judge how many miles the kids can hike as this was only our second time out, so we ended up slowing the pace down, enjoying lunch along the eastern rim of Walnut Canyon taking it easy before descending down to the canyon floor. Upon arrival to the canyon bottom hikers are treated to a brilliant red rock view of the canyon's walls including a mini alcove or shaded cave! We took lots of family pictures here including a couple panoramas and chatted with six other hikers that made their way in from the closer Canyon Vista Campground and the Sandy's Canyon access trails. The beautiful "Red Rocks" are roughly 5 miles from the Marshall Lake Trail-head.

    Since the kids wanted to see the 4th of July fireworks that evening in Flagstaff....Canyon Vista Campground was our "bug out alternative" and we took it as the going was too slow earlier back at Marshall Lake with the mud bogging in the first few miles (our other choice was to hike out Fisher Point but we would have had to hike by night to make it back to the car shuttle at the 303). It is always good to have a back up plan and we enjoyed the hike up Sandy's Canyon access and finished the day with roughly 8 miles logged. We were proud of our kiddos for their endurance and had a great time telling stories and singing songs along the way. Also a big shout out of thanks to a friendly camper staying at Canyon Vista, who helped shuttle me back to our car at Marshall Lake TH.

    The next few days we were able to enjoy exploring around the 303 and hiking out to beautiful Fisher Point and the following week we made the trek from Fisher Point into Flagstaff along the AZT section #33. Completing what we would have originally planned for.

    Hope you all enjoy the photos.


    Monday July 15, 2019:

    282 / 800 Miles Complete!

    Fenix and Riley enjoyed a couple miles with us yesterday between beautiful Fisher Point and the Hassel Trailhead located of Coconino Forest Road 301 overlooking Walnut Canyon National Monument some 500 feet down below!

    Although a very short hike, this walk in the woods of just two miles completed help to make the next segment an easy five miles. This couple miles is super scenic with overlooks down into Walnut Canyon, where many Agave Cactus were in bloom. My heart skipped a beat when Fenix snuck right up to the edge of a cliff for her own scenic view below!

    Forest Road 301 connects the Trailheads and is rather bumpy and slow going with minimal clearance issues if driven in dry weather.


    Tuesday July 16, 2019:

    285 / 800 Miles Complete!

    The Housholder Family Saunterers with Fenix and Riley added another three miles hiking around Walnut Canyon National Monument on the Flagstaff Equestrian Bypass Route. We hiked from the Old Walnut Canyon Road Trailhead over to the Monument Road junction. The trail was super easy going through mixed Ponderosa Pine Forest with a cool steady breeze behind our backs! The dogs loved their walk and so did we!


    Wednesday July 17, 2019:

    290 / 800 Miles Complete!

    This morning we had a fantastic saunter from the Hassel Trailhead off Forest Road 301 over to the Old Walnut Canyon Road Trailhead, Forest Road 303.

    There were more scenic overlooks into Walnut Canyon and the AZT passed through a really cool side canyon, where there was a huge shaded alcove which could have been home to prehistoric Anasazi natives many hundreds of years ago, it made for the perfect lunch spot!

    After switch backing out of the canyon we enjoyed a nice trail all the way back to the 303 Road. There was an AZT Wildlife Camera we happened upon. After adding in the short distance from the Hassel Trailhead the overall hike was around 5 easy and enjoyable miles!


    Thursday July 18, 2019:

    292 / 300 Miles Complete!

    Passage 31 - Walnut Canyon ☑️

    It took our family six segments over a four year span to complete Arizona Trail Passage 31 - Walnut Canyon.

    We first started at Marshall Lake when Bianka was six years old on our second AZT hike and after a down-pouring rain shower the night before we had up to one inch of mud on our shoes back then. It was slow going down into Walnut Canyon and it’s beautifully red cliffs were all around us as the trail dried out. Due to time constraints, we bailed on the Sandy Canyon Trail, connecting us to the Canyon Vista Campground so that we could get to Flagstaff in time for the Fourth of July Fireworks! A day later we hiked to Fisher Point, perhaps our favorite places on this passage followed by a run into Flagstaff via the Re-Supply Route Passage 33.

    Fast forwarding to this week, we were able to finally finish Passage 31 by hiking from Fisher Point over to Hassell Trailhead and on to the Old Walnut Canyon Road Trailhead. We set it up to do easy morning miles over a week so that we could play the rest of the day at places like the Aquaplex in Flagstaff.

    To complete this beautiful passage we needed to hike from the 303 Road further to the Walnut Canyon National Monument Road and finally, this morning we knocked out a quick two mile piece to the Cosnino Interstate 40 Tunnel Underpass which is the start of Mount Elden Passage 32.
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    I hiked over Mt. Eldon, and then returned around the base.

    I parked at the Mt. Eldon TH and took the Elden Lookout trail to peak. Then I hiked the Brookbank trail,then to an un-named trail that's on my paper map(but not on the TH maps). This trail went to an un-named water tank. There's a couple of old jeep/ single track trail in this area. I followed the main trail that dropped elevation. The trail was rough in some spots with downed trees, but it looked like the mountain bikers still use it. The trail dropped into the Schultz's Creek trail. I took the Schultz Creek to the Schultz's Pass TH. The forest service posted that FFR420 (pass the TH), FR 556 and the waterline trail are closed till April 2013. I went down the new section of the AZT a bit and had lunch.

    I started heading back. I took the Schultz's creek to the Sunset TH and did the Schultz's loop back to the Schultz's creek. I then took the Rocky Ridge to Easy Oldham and went to Buffalo Park. I returned and took the pipeline back to the Jeep.

    This was my first time on most of these trails. The spur trails can cause some confusion. Twice I got on a spur trail and had to backtrack.

    The weather was great. I felt like I was back in the mid-west on a fall day. One minute it was hot then it was chilly. It depended on the wind and the clouds.
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    We had debates on whether or not this passage was going to/needed to be done. In my opinion, it had a number, it had to be done.

    The drop into Sandy's Canyon was, as always, gorgeous.... as well as the hike through the meadow at the bottom to Walnut Canyon. I remember this area as being one of my favorites so far on the AZT.

    I agree that hiking on sidewalks is not really my idea of a good hike, but the city portion was memorable none the less. The gang found all sorts of new props in the "Big City" to play with. Joe even found some new hiking partners for future trips.

    Once we started getting away from the pavement and close to the halfway point around Buffalo Park, some goof ball remembered that they had left the keys for the Car at the North TH, in the Car at the South TH. No one else so far has named this numb skull, so I'll keep it that way also.

    After lunch in Buffalo Park we discussed our options. Joe, being the trooper he is, never once complained, or squawked (no really!) and offered to go back through his favorite portion of the trail (on the pavement) to retrieve the car and keys. He met up with us at Shultz Tank, fast asleep, dreaming of sugar plumbs and cross walks.

    The hike through the flat, but interesting Buffalo Park and back into the hills and green trees was a treat. It's understandable that we saw more hikers, runners and bike riders on this AZT Passage, than any other to date.

    Thanks guys for another great AZT walkabout. Thanks again Joe!
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    met up with the boys to hike segment 33 of AZT. the beginning of this section is amazing through the canyon with a big meadow and then some views of the peaks. it was pretty cold at the beginning but warmed up quickly. the start of this section has me fired up for the walnut canyon section.

    hiking through flagstaff is simply bizarre.

    once near buffalo park we realized the error of our ways. we had lunch at the park and joe volunteered to save the day...many thanks to joe for that :worthy:

    buffalo park is pretty cool, i was really surprised. as we hiked out of the park onto the network of trails heading out towards schultz pass i was quite impressed with much of the hike and thoroughly enjoyed rambling through the woods. the last half of this hike really did it for me, very nice indeed.

    joe was at the trail head sleeping when we finished. he must have simply hauled pumpkin back to the southern trailhead.

    thanks again, eagle, for the crash pad. :)
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    In between pastoring two churches, just finished serving after 6 years at a church in Chandler on June 1, and start at a church in Oro Valley on Father's Day, so this Sunday I had the rare opportunity to actually "take a hike" on a Sunday! Joined the crew for another AZT segment, which was one we arguably didn't need to do but we did so that we could say we have hiked EVERY segment.

    It was actually a really pretty segment, IMO. Yes, you do hike through town in Flagstaff and that part was a bummer (unless you want to grab a Starbucks or a bit of Taco Bell or Mickey-D's on your way through!). Walnut Canyon is always a gorgeous trip though, and of course from Buffalo Park to Schultz Tank was really nice too.

    Halfway through the hike (at Buffalo Park) we realized that the keys to the vehicle at the northern TH were in my car at the southern TH. Because we couldn't think of anybody who we could call in town to help us out of our predicament, one of us had to go abandon the hike, hike back to my car at Sandy's Canyon Campground off Lake Mary Road, then drive it around (with the keys to the other car) at Schultz Tank. After we at lunch at Buffalo Park, Joe was kind enough to make the big sacrifice. THANK YOU JOE!!! :thanx: :kf: The rest of us headed toward Schultz Tank, stopping in Buffalo Park for a while to see the sign honoring the founder of the AZT.

    On the last part of this hike along the Schultz Creek Trail you follow the creek next to Schultz Pass Road, and about 2.75 miles from our end point at Schultz Tank we saw Joe whizzing by in my Civic toward the northern TH. At that point we realized that not only had he beat us back to a trailhead, but he had also driven my car around from the southern to the northern TH (a half hour drive) and was still going to beat us by an hour to the trailhead! Impressive. :wlift: :worthy:

    Saw a few elk out today and some nice flowers. Along Rocky Ridge Trail we saw several prickly pear in one area and a pincushion cactus, so we are so far 26 for 26 AZT segments completed where we have spotted a cactus. Will we find one on all 43 segments? Another question: should a yucca/agave be considered a cactus? (so far that hasn't been part of the consideration... ;) )
    Flagstaff - AZT #33
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    Did half of this as an out-n-back. It was blistering cold heading in. Not expected for any hike in June... in Arizona! Okay it was upper thirties which is cold to me.

    The views from the start are likely in the top ten for the entire AZT. The mature yet well thinned forest is just postcard beautiful. The canyon creeping in and Humphreys on the horizon give it the dynamite nod.

    That's about it, the rest of the trail if you can call it a trail blows. Okay it's not that bad but hiking the sidewalks of Flag are only good for resupply. Which is why this segment exists for thru hikers. I turned around at Buffalo Park and hiked back naked. About half of that is true. The video tells no lies...

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    page created by joebartels on Jan 09 2010 12:41 am
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