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

Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40, AZ

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426 37 1
Guide 37 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > North Rim
Rated
4.3
4.3 of 5 by 7
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 20.77 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,026 feet
Elevation Gain -587 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,268 feet
Avg Time One Way 9 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 28.33
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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57  2019-07-04
AZT Utah to South Rim Grand Canyon
BiFrost
5  2018-09-03 toddak
15  2018-08-05
East Rim - North Canyon Loop
BiFrost
8  2018-05-26
Canyons and Cockscombs loop
toddak
23  2017-07-07 pjhikes
17  2017-05-18
AT #39 north portion #40 South Portion
markthurman53
23  2017-05-16
AT #40 FSR 213 to Sourdough Well
markthurman53
20  2016-07-24
AZT #40 FSR 213 to Telephone Hill
markthurman53
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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Preferred   Sep, Jun
Sun  6:12am - 6:33pm
Official Route
 
6 Alternative
 
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Named place Nearby
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Likely In-Season!
Overview
This passage begins at the Kaibab National Forest boundary. At the 0.3 mile mark it intersects with FR 610 and begins following Trail #101. The trail heads north past Sourdough Well following Upper North Canyon, and then out of the canyon and along a ridge. At Crystal Spring it climbs a drainage and traverses the rim to East Rim View. From here the trail crosses FR 610 at Dog Canyon, then descends the east ridge of Tater Canyon. Climbing west the trail crosses FR 131, FR 221, FR 213, and then follows an aspen-covered ridge. Crossing the DeMotte Burn area, the trail descends steeply, crossing a valley and then descending to the north overlooking Pleasant Valley. The trail then passes Little Pleasant Valley, Little Round Valley and Crane Lake. It parallels Highway 67 and then ascends Telephone Hill where it ends at the intersection of FR 241.


Southern Trailhead: GC NP Boundary FR 610

Northern Trailhead: Telephone Hill TH - FR 241

Note: 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.

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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 Triplog Reviews
    Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    A beautiful weekend to finish up the AZT up north. We planned these two passages as day hikes with lodging at Jacob Lake Inn. So we were able to walk leisurely and really enjoy these easy and absolutely lovely passages. Car shuttles were easy too. All in all a perfect weekend away from the heat (although it did get warm in the afternoons even up there, but we had great clouds and even a few rain drops). Some wildflowers along Passage 40 too. And the solitude was amazing - We saw no other hikers on the trail, but a few people at or near a couple trailheads. We finished the hike up with a return trip back to the North Rim to enjoy a glass of wine and the views.
    Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    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.

    Hightlights

    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. :)


    Lowlights

    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.

    Fires
    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.

    Heat
    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 South - AZT #40
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    this segment was spectacular from the moment we stepped off the dirt road at the northern 39 trailhead. wonderful trail through wonderful forest and meadows and it never let up until the last little climb up telephone hill.

    i was in lala land the whole time and enjoyed this segment as much as any on the azt or really in the state of AZ for that matter. windy but pretty warm. the east rim was awesome and i just chilled there while dave cranked out the hike down and back. i was trying to preserve the broken toe so i avoided the extra wear and tear, though i would have liked to.

    had first encounter with the through hikers near the end, who we would see several times over the next two days. really cool guys.

    finished up in screaming wind so i used the extra time to find a decent spot for camp out of the wind as much as possible. seemed to work pretty well. dave cooked up a great dinner and we had an extremely nice evening eating, chatting and watching the sun set high up on telephone hill
    Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    GREAT segment. Personally, my second favorite of the whole AZT, second only to segment 38 (the R2R). Lots of aspen, the East Rim views are jaw-dropping, and meadows galore that provide one photo op after another. A few deer around top top it all off. This area reminded me a lot of the White Mountains in eastern AZ.

    When we made it to the East Rim Trail #7, I couldn't resist. I dropped my pack, grabbed a couple of Gatorades and headed down. Nick stayed on top to charge his cell phone, eat lunch and relax. I made it down and up pretty quickly (about 85 minutes), but that put me behind him the rest of the trip as he was rested and I was not!

    On this segment we ran into a couple of through hikers who had started at the Mexico border on March 29. Their plans were to finish the morning after us, and finish in 53 days. We ran into them at Crane Lake...one was sleeping while the other was fishing.

    Only the last mile of this segment is burned, as you ascend Telephone Hill. With the wind blowing through these trees, it creates a weird, eerie sound. It sounds like crowds cheering in a stadium all around you, nonstop! It was really windy that afternoon, so there was lots of applause for us as we finished out this segment. : app :

    Nick beat me to the end of the segment, and thanks to him for using that time to scout out a spot that wasn't going to be quite as windy. He picked a spot a few hundred yards back from the end of the segment in an indented area. There was still wind that night, but it would have been much worse at the top. I returned the favor by pulling out my Jetboil and cooking us some grub...beef stroganoff and corn, and raspberry crumble for dessert. Yummy.
    Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    North Rim Logistics
    I preached, pressed and hinted to get some of the five north rim segments complete for two years. Each time I was pounded with something like "it'll happen someday, uh but bla bla bla". The odds seemed unlikely and I had written off our AZT adventure as Mexico to the North Rim. Grateful! to have experienced more than ever anticipated that was fine by me too.

    Hiking
    Welcome to someday, we are actually tackling one of the Kaibab Plateau segments! :y:

    Some enjoy cranking out the AZT in record time. Some find peace living on it carrying a house on their back.

    Watching my dad's and grandmother's vacation slide shows as a kid was the best of times. So for myself (at least for the first time) I prefer to see the terrain, record data, go home, understand it, relive the highlights and share the experience.

    Unfortunately this one is kind of a blur. It's a good thing I took a few photos and recorded a gps track. My lasting impression was "enjoyable".

    Luckily jj3 was able to join in and save Denny and myself from pure exhaustion with a bicycle shuttle plan. He even held to the eased pace and took breaks but refused to eat or drink water the entire way save a spring box sample.

    Camping
    We camped the previous night. I forgot to pack pants so I thought I'd be the coldest. Apparently that wasn't the case. I slept like a baby for 7 hours. Woke up and listened to whining about the cold and noise I never noticed.

    After this hike we parked further away from the highway in a nice tucked in valley.

    I volunteered to cook the burgers since I was rather hungry. Personally I prefer med-rare flame kissed. Denny requested no pink on the inside. I delivered on the request only to find myself in whinefest II for the day. Simply no respect for a meal that not only feeds but cleans your teeth and is documented to relieve upset stomach. I've never heard of anyone complaining about whiskey containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

    Based on what I heard the next morning all slept better on night two. I'm sure they'll attribute it to anything but the cooking :roll:

    A Dash of Serious
    I very much appreciate all that made this trip happen! ;) :y:
    Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Finally to the North Rim...

    AZT 40 was the first of two this weekend.

    Arrived Friday Night and camped in 35 degree weather in my 40 degree sleeping bag.

    JJiii met us at the camp at 7am and we drove down to AZT 40 using the Forrest Roads, since the gate on 67 was still closed at Jacobs lake. The Forrest Roads are in great shape.

    We hit the Trailhead and started our journey. It never ceases to amaze me of the uniqueness of the AZT and of the Great State we live in. Meadows, between Ponderosa, Birch, and a babbling creek... mmmm peaceful.

    A couple of miles in we (The Slackpackers) hiked briefly with a women that had started this portion of the AZT in Tucson on March 15th. Fireweed was planning on completing on May 15th. You go Girl.

    This passage of the AZT was unlike any of the others. I really enjoyed the meadows and the Views from the East Rim. Water was plentiful along this section.

    The last mile or so got into the burn zone from the Warm Fire in 2006.

    Fauna spotted on this day and the next.
    1 - Porcupine
    1 - Turkey
    300+ Mule Deer

    The first burger on the Campfire cleaned the teeth. The second well.... IMO was much better

    On to the Next Passage

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