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Babbitt Ranch - AZT #35, AZ

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271 30 2
Guide 30 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NW
2 of 5 by 9
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Distance One Way 25.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,378 feet
Elevation Gain 303 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,078 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 29.19
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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65  2019-08-31
AZT South Rim GC to Gooseberry TH
2  2019-07-20
AZT #35 trail work
3  2018-10-26
Coconino Rim - AZT #36
4  2018-10-08 garyc57
27  2018-09-01 tibber
29  2018-07-09
Coconino Rim - AZT #36
25  2016-06-01
AZT: Mormon Lake to Utah
26  2016-05-27 sandyfortner
Page 1,  2,  3
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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Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Apr
Sun  6:14am - 6:26pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
This passage begins just east of the Cedar Ranch area where FR 417 and FR 9008A intersect. From here the route follows a pipeline road north to the Tub Ranch Camp. The route continues towards the corrals (east of the buildings). Once past the developments, the route goes west towards Chapel Mountain. After passing the high tension powerlines, the route travels north to Upper Lockwood Tank, then turns northeast to the Lower Lockwood Tank and then northwest before reaching the Kaibab National Forest boundary. At the boundary (a gate to the west of the cattle guard), there is a single-track trail immediately west of FR 301. The trail stays west of FR 301, then crosses it, and finally arrives at Moqui Stage Station.

Southern Trailhead: Cedar Ranch - FR 417

Northern Trailhead: Moqui Stage Station - FR 301

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.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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
    Babbitt Ranch - AZT #35
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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.
    Babbitt Ranch - AZT #35
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    This time I was able to make it to the Kaibab forest boundary. It was bitter sweet. The sweet was AZT turned into a real trail that weaved in and out of the woods! The bitter, it was turnaround time. What to do? Go past the turnaround point!

    On the way back I found an abandoned cabin / corral / outhouse just on the outside of the Kaibab forest.

    The views on the trail haven’t changed since the last time. I’m glad I brought my FLAC music player.
    It was the day of locust. I must have seen thousands of grasshoppers jumping around during the day.

    The temps were perfect during the hike. The drive home was another story. I had two jackets and the heater cranked and I was still freezing! I guess it’s time to switch to the full jeep cover.
    Babbitt Ranch - AZT #35
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    I parked at the Cedar Ranch Camp and went through the gate. I was so anxious to hike (after the long 3 hour drive) that I accidently went the wrong way down the AZT :oops: ! I went south. It took me 2 miles in before I realized what I did.
    I turned around and headed north.

    The day was warm, but the cloud coverage and the cool breeze keep the temps down. When the sun did poke out, the temps quickly rose.

    This passage gets boring. It's all roads that are mostly flat. I'm glad I brought my MP3 player for this segment. It helped pass the time/miles. There's not a lot of shade. The trees are sparse and there aren't a lot of landmarks. I did see the Tub Ranch camp, power lines, 5th wheel RV without the truck and the Upper Lockwood tank.

    My goal was to make it to the Kaibab Forest boundary, but with my mix-up I didn't make it ](*,) . I made it to the Upper Lockwood tank, which was about a mile short. I had lunch under a nice tree while there was a light quick rain.

    I went through 8 liters of fluids by the time I got back to the jeep. I didn't see any people all day long. I did see numerous cows through the day. One the way back by the Tub Ranch camp, a bull blocked one the gates. He was giving the stink eye and wouldn't budge. I tried telling him that I was a vegan, but he didn't buy it. At the last minute he took off.
    Babbitt Ranch - AZT #35
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    Good, long day. Left at 1:30am to pick up Nick, leaving Oro Valley to head to Mesa to get Denny who with his girlfriend Grace GRACiously set up a shuttle car for us at the northern trailhead. Met up with the other guys at 4am in Happy Valley and were off. Thought we might also get to hang out with rlrjamy, but unfortunately that didn't work out.

    Started hiking at 6:40am and I finished around 3:25pm. As the other reports said, it was a toasty one, with little cloudcover and virtually no shade for the whole trek...lots of pretty wide-open spaces, with a few ranch cattle and horses roaming around at the south end.

    Very little elevation for the day made the 25 miles go quickly, we kept up an over 3mph pace with no problem.

    In the morning Bruce and Joe were really dishing it out, but at lunchtime Bruce had an epiphany and decided to "be good" for the rest of the afternoon. I tried to be the little "angel" :A1: perched on one shoulder while Joe played the "other" role on the other shoulder :STP: , and except for a few outbursts :--: due to Joe's egging on, Bruce was able to be a "kindler, gentler Bruce" for the afternoon. Nice job, Bruce!!

    So nice to get this segment done, and have personally made it from Kelvin (near Kearny) now to the North Rim.
    Babbitt Ranch - AZT #35
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    met up with dave at 1:45 to drive up and get denny, then meet the boys and drive up to flagstaff to hike section 35 of the AZT. denny had parked his car at then northern trailhead a couple days before, saving us several hours of driving time and proving once again that he is the MAN.

    this section is mostly wide open hiking through plains on dirt roads, save for a 5 mile stretch at the end through the junipers. not the most exciting section, but different and serene just the same. certainly doesn't seem like arizona. i thoroughly enjoyed the day!

    thanks to everyone for driving. big thanks to denny for setting up the shuttle. slowly, i'm getting there :y:
    Babbitt Ranch - AZT #35
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    Out with the boys from the hood to get this passage completed.
    Major thanks to Denny/Grace for saving us 3+ hours in the morning, by getting the North Shuttle car set up 2 days before the hike!!!

    To sum this one up. Wide open spaces, very few trees, dirt roads/2 track for 20 miles, Trail for the last 5 miles. The weather was perfect in the AM, started getting warm in the PM. The clouds would not cooperate by hiding the sun for us. You would think that hiking with Cloud Master Fraley, and Father Dave, that they'd be able to control the weather just a bit better.... Nope.

    I was on my best behavior. Great hiking with the Clan again.
    70% of the distance completed, 29 of 43 Passages completed.
    We now have a 450 mile contiguous section completed from the Gila River in the South, to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the North.
    Babbitt Ranch - AZT #35
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    This segment starts off in bleak fashion following a road for the majority. Nevertheless I'm glad to have had the opportunity to see it all. The final five miles are a tad more decent onto single track through the junipers. Still in my bottom five as the majority is hiking through cow pastures.

    Although the area recently received rain it appeared bone dry throughout. A few tiny cactus were in bloom. We did find a nice lunch spot too.

    A HUGE thanks to Denny for setting up the car shuttle ahead of time. This saved us all at least three hours on an already long day.

    Gila River to Grand Canyon - check

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