Good start time for the AZT

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Daggi
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Good start time for the AZT

Post by Daggi » Nov 20 2019 11:37 pm

I'm planning on section hiking the AZT starting early next year. Never hiked in Arizona, and really don't know much of anything about it. All of my backpacking experience is in the Pacific NW. But I am hugely excited about extending the hiking season. I don't mind the occassional little snow field, but don't want to hike for days in snow, and especially don't want to sleep in it. when is a fairly safe time to start at the south end? Late February? Or is that too early?
also, any other things I need to consider (yes, I know water)? No bears, right? How do you store food along the trail since there won't be much chance of hanging it (I assume). I plan on using guthook to figure out water and resupplies. Appreciate any advise i can get.

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Tough_Boots
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Re: Good start time for the AZT

Post by Tough_Boots » Nov 21 2019 6:56 am

Daggi wrote:No bears, right? How do you store food along the trail since there won't be much chance of hanging it
Arizona has plenty of bears and trees.
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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Sredfield
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Re: Good start time for the AZT

Post by Sredfield » Nov 21 2019 9:50 am

One must balance the weather, hiking speed and time.

If you start too early or travel too fast, you’ll get into snow and cold temps on the north end. Too late or too slow and you’ll hit serious heat in the lower areas, like the Gila River or drying conditions further north.

Watch the weather, plan your daily distances including zero days, and be flexible.
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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Daggi
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Re: Good start time for the AZT

Post by Daggi » Nov 21 2019 12:36 pm

Hiking will be slow, as in 10-15 mi per day, and I'm planning for 3 weeks. So the weather further north is of no concern to me, only the 250 most southern miles. Sorry, should have been more clear.

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te_wa
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Re: Good start time for the AZT

Post by te_wa » Nov 21 2019 7:44 pm

sobo, mid april. 45 days.
:D

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desertadapted
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Re: Good start time for the AZT

Post by desertadapted » Jan 11 2020 8:07 pm

@Daggi
I'd vote February. I've had snow in the Catalinas and the Rincons, and even north of Oracle, into early March, depending on the weather. The upshot is the AZT is super easy to follow throughout those areas and there are many bailout points if a nasty front comes through. Use the Guthook App.

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Daggi
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Re: Good start time for the AZT

Post by Daggi » Jan 12 2020 2:02 pm

@desertadapted
Thanks for the reply. I'm fairly settled for mid March at this point. I'm assuming I need to be prepared for 30ies at night, and nice warm to hot during days. And yes, I've got guthook app. Glad to know the trail is easy to follow.

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