First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
Post Reply
User avatar
northwoodshiker
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 04 2019 5:33 pm
City, State: Ludington,MI

First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by northwoodshiker » Jan 04 2019 6:21 pm

My wife and I are hoping to spend a week in AZ possibly the first week of March. We are avid backpackers who love to see wildlife, historical areas, different ecosystems, and so on. We're both foresters by trade and have only spent time in the SW on wildfires (we are from Michigan), but have always wanted to come back to the west at our leisure.

We've been lurking on this site for a couple of days and first off.... what a fantastic site!!!! Like, wow!!! you all know how to pull a site together.... We are so grateful and impressed. AZ has many phenomenal things to do as we happily found out and which also caused us to instantly become overwhelmed and bogged down.

We need help with building an itinerary.... We don't mind driving some, but definitely prefer to spend more time hiking, exploring, and so forth. Below is a brainstorm itinerary I threw together to get things rolling...... Besides what I have, how would you spend 8-10 days as a AZ newbie to explore nature's bounty with the knowledge you hold now? Specific things that we think that would be cool to see are cacti/succulents, canyons, ridges, critters, ruins, pictographs, great vistas, and fossils. What everyone wants basically, lol!

Draft #1
Day 1: Fly in to PHX, (Depends on arrival time) - lodge in town or jump in rental and go straight to the superstition mtns, base camp there, maybe day hike too
Day 2: the SUPES either day hiking or backcountry for 2 nights
Day 3: SUPES
Day 4: SUPES or packup and head to Petrified Forest N.P. and stay night there (don't mind drive)
Day 5: Packup and head towards Sedona, check out historical areas enroute, or if coming from P.F.N.P. check out crater, walnut canyon enroute to either Flagstaff or sedona area for lodging
Day 6: Sedona hiking
Day 7: Sedona hiking
Day 8: Sedona hiking
Day 9: PHX to fly out same day or next morning.

Your wisdom and insight is greatly appreciated!

User avatar
nonot
Bon Fire Kokopelli
Posts: 1872
Joined: Nov 18 2005 11:52 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by nonot » Jan 04 2019 7:15 pm

March to me is a bit early for Sedona hiking if its a cold winter, but to each their own. If its a warm winter you will probably have most of the options, but some of the hikes like Bear Mtn may be too snowy. 3 day/2 night backpacks in the Supes can be easily done from First Water TH or Peralta TH with regular cars, except for an hour or two after a heavy rain.

Since this is your first Time, I would recommend that you consider backpacking this loop, and consider coming back on Peralta Trail rather than Bluff Springs:
[ Charlebois Loop II ]
Basically - Dutchman Trail to Peralta in a big loop.
Last edited by nonot on Jan 04 2019 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

User avatar
big_load
You talkin' to me peli
Posts: 4298
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by big_load » Jan 04 2019 7:43 pm

nonot wrote:March to me is a bit early for Sedona hiking if its a cold winter, but to each their own.
Somebody from Ludington would probably scoff at a "cold" March day in Sedona. (I'm still shivering from my last ferry ride from Manitowoc).
Last edited by big_load on Jan 04 2019 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

no avatar
DixieFlyer
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 82
Joined: Jan 07 2017 7:03 am
City, State: Fountain Hills, AZ

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by DixieFlyer » Jan 05 2019 4:53 am

@northwoodshiker
Sedona and the Supes are good choices, although as was mentioned above Sedona MIGHT be cold in early March...personally, I would skip the Petrified Forest...if you are looking for other options not too far from Phoenix, you'd probably like the Mazatzals and the Mogollon Rim country not far from Payson

User avatar
northwoodshiker
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 04 2019 5:33 pm
City, State: Ludington,MI

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by northwoodshiker » Jan 05 2019 5:10 pm

@nonot

Thanks nonot for the SUPE suggestion! I'll look into that loop further.

It was 40 degrees here today with clear baby blue skies, so we hiked Ludington State Park and basked in the sun in our Hammocks. It's a rare treat to see the sun this time of year with those kind of temps!

User avatar
northwoodshiker
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 04 2019 5:33 pm
City, State: Ludington,MI

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by northwoodshiker » Jan 05 2019 5:22 pm

@DixieFlyer

Wow! The Mazatzals and the Mogollon Rim look astonishing as well. Perhaps we'll add those as backups to Sedona in case Winter doesn't treat Sedona kindly this year, although, we're still unsure what cold means for Sedona as compared to what we are use to for that time of year.

Also, we are definitely not opposed to driving longer distances. We were originally looking into the Tuscon area as well, but it appeared that it may be cooler over there due to elevation in some places.

User avatar
cactuscat
Zion Dreamer
Posts: 681
Joined: Oct 15 2002 12:08 pm
City, State: Safford

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by cactuscat » Jan 05 2019 6:10 pm

I personally wouldn't budget more than a day or two at the most for Sedona.
Where is the "dislike" button?

User avatar
nonot
Bon Fire Kokopelli
Posts: 1872
Joined: Nov 18 2005 11:52 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by nonot » Jan 05 2019 6:22 pm

@northwoodshiker
In the upper right of any hike is a "historical weather" button, you can use to find average high/low for the month. In March in Sedona, it usually starts out around freezing and may warm up to 60 or so. However that is at the bottom of the mountains, it gets colder as you gain elevation.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

User avatar
nonot
Bon Fire Kokopelli
Posts: 1872
Joined: Nov 18 2005 11:52 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by nonot » Jan 05 2019 6:25 pm

You could also consider the grand canyon for backpacking. Most of my canyon trips are in march or april. You need yaxtrax for the first mile or so. I'd do that over PetFor
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

User avatar
northwoodshiker
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 04 2019 5:33 pm
City, State: Ludington,MI

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by northwoodshiker » Feb 25 2019 1:15 pm

Well, our trip is coming up and looks like northern AZ has been hit with lower than normal temperatures as well as a healthy dose of snow. After monitoring snow depth charts looks like we may need to develop a plan B instead of doing a northern circle tour. Here's plan B;

Day 1: Fly in to PHX - lodge in town
Day 2: SUPES [ Charlebois Loop II ]
Day 3: SUPES
Day 4: SUPES - head out
Day 5: Tuscon - Saguaro East or West
Day 6: Saquaro East or West
Day 7: Organ Pipe
Day 8: Organ Pipe
Day 9: PHX

We are thinking it may be better to enjoy the warm temperatures and explore lower desert areas and to reduce our driving. What ya all think? SUPES, Saquaro, and Organ? Or should we cut one out or change out one for something else?

User avatar
azbackpackr
River Paddler
Posts: 8091
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Needles CA & Flagstaff AZ

Re: First timer visiting AZ for a long week

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 26 2019 4:37 am

Tucson always close to my heart, since I lived there for years. If I were doing a couple nights backpack I'd first consider the Bear Canyon (Seven Falls) Sabino Canyon loop, with a side hike to Hutch's Pool. That's where the really good scenery is. Saguaro NP is okay, but I like the Catalinas way better. If hiking up Bear Canyon, you first visit 7 Falls, then backtrack a short distance to continue up Bear Canyon. [ Sabino - Bear Loop ]
[ Hutch's Pool ]

Other advantages: lots more water in Sabino/Bear than in the National Park. All you need is a filter, or boil it, no need to carry so much on your back. In Sabino, no backpacking permit is necessary, unlike in the Park. Scenery in the Sabino area is more rugged, more interesting. One caveat is that if the falls and creek are running, which they will be this year in early March, it can get fairly busy on the weekends, at least as far as 7 falls. Beyond the falls you may have it to yourself. If you go on a weekday, much more relaxed. If on a weekend, just start hiking at first light and you'll avoid the rush.
cactuscat wrote:I personally wouldn't budget more than a day or two at the most for Sedona.
Big "amen" to that!
Last edited by azbackpackr on Feb 26 2019 5:09 am, edited 6 times in total.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

Post Reply

Return to “Looking for a Hike”


cron