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Staying on the trail

Posted: Nov 21 2017 11:46 am
by DavidS
In all honesty, how difficult is it to stay on the trail without losing it? Are there trail markers at the beginning of each passage?

Re: Staying on the trail

Posted: Nov 21 2017 11:52 am
by chumley
@DavidS
A properly prepared hiker will have no problem following the trail.

http://aztrail.org/ features numerous trail resources to assist in that preparation.

Here on HAZ, there are descriptions, water reports, and GPS tracks for all the passages.
https://hikearizona.com/national.php?ID=1

Re: Staying on the trail

Posted: Nov 21 2017 1:23 pm
by rcorfman
chumley wrote:A properly prepared hiker will have no problem following the trail.
Yea, sure. For me, there were portions of the trail that were very difficult to follow, even with GPS tracks. For example, when I hiked passage 3 in early Oct. 2015, the trail was completely overgrown with grass, cairns were not visible due to said grass, some carsonite posts were knocked over and missing or just not visible because of said grass, etc. Conditions are ever changing.

Re: Staying on the trail

Posted: Nov 21 2017 1:40 pm
by Sredfield
It's pretty well marked, but it's also 800+ miles through diverse terrain, you'll likely get off course once in a while. It also depends on how well prepared you are with maps, electronic navigation aids, etc. And how engaged you stay-are you anticipating the next turn, or day-dreaming; fresh and aware, or tired and zoned out? It ain't a walk in the park, some areas are extremely remote where it's only you, the critters and a few other hikers now and then. The most common "lost the trail" scenario is where the single track takes off from a two-track. Note that not all that long ago people followed shiny tags hung in the bushes for a long section. If you use good maps, keep your head up and are somewhat experienced, I would expect getting lost to be pretty low risk.