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Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 9:21 am
by surforcycle
As of 10-6-20, are Passages 11, 11b, & 12 Open for backpacking?
If not, are there projected dates for them beinyOpen?

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 9:46 am
by toddak
This is a July 28 post from the AZT website:

"In southern Arizona, the Bighorn Fire burned 120,000 acres on the Coronado National Forest, including AZT Passages 10, 11 and 12 through the Santa Catalina Mountains, as well as the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Bypass. The trail is closed until further notice, and a potential detour along dirt roads through the San Pedro River Valley is being explored. As a result of the fire’s devastating impacts to the landscape, flash floods are expected throughout the summer months. The Coronado National Forest intends to keep the area closed to visitors until at least November. It may be years before trails are safe and open to the public again."

Also, the AZT-in-a-day event is this Saturday, but the sections from Gordon Hirabayashi to High Jinks Ranch are closed and not part of the event.

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 9:57 am
by surforcycle
@toddak Conflicting info. This recent news article shows AZT (31miles) being open

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.kold.c ... utType=amp

Humm?

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 10:08 am
by Mountain_Rat
surforcycle wrote:Conflicting info
It's what they do best. Anywho, that area is closed at least through the rest of this month with the exception of a few miles here and there. Being the SC FS is in charge, I would bet that's more like a get to work date, followed by winter shutdown on Dec 1. They don't like to rush things.

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 12:55 pm
by toddak
That is confusing. It looks like the language in the news article you linked comes directly from the Coronado NF closure order:

Order Number: # 03-05-05-20-029
NOTE: Portions of certain National Forest System Trails that are outside the burn scar remain
open. The open portions of these trails, and the approximate distance from their respective
trailheads to the burn scar (after which point the trails are closed), consist of the following:
Oracle Ridge Trail #1 (3.2 miles), Mint Spring Trail #20 (0.3 miles), Box Camp Trail #22 (3.5
miles (from Sabino West Fork trail junction)), Sabino West Fork Trail #24 (1 mile), Esperero
Trail #25 (3.3 miles), Finger Rock Trail #42 (1.5 miles), Pima Canyon Trail #62 (2.4 miles),
Ventana Trail #98 (2 miles), Palisade Trail #99 (6.3 miles), Pontatoc Trail #410 (2 miles), and
Arizona Trail (32.5 miles).


The referenced 32.5 mile distance for the AZT is almost exactly the distance from Gordon Hirabayashi to High Jinks Ranch (i.e., essentially the full length of the AZT as it runs through the Catalinas). Maybe some of that is "outside the burn scar" but it doesn't seem possible that it includes just "the approximate distance from their respective trailheads to the burn scar (after which point the trails are closed)." If you go, let us know what you find out.

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 1:15 pm
by joebartels
toddak wrote: If you go, let us know what you find out
Indeed.

I looked earlier, and can only fathom that milege is down through the Rincon which is the same district? I tried calling. Only a loop recording to call 911 for emergencies and check online for info.
The last news release on Oct 2nd links to a Sept 17th closure w/map. Red = closed trails. Yellow = AZT.

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 1:39 pm
by chumley
Using the map in the official Forest Closure Order, I was able to create this handy guide: [ AZT Santa Catalina Closures :: map ]
My mileage of open AZT on the Coronado NF is off by about a mile from the 32.5 miles listed in the typewritten explanation.

(edited: thanks toddak) The map also has the wilderness bypass section marked. The bypass mileage does not appear to be part of the 32.5 miles listed on the forest order.

On a side note, a helpful "life tip" I can offer is to not put any weight behind hiking information that you read on a news site (especially local tv news!) other than using it to prompt you to seek accurate information from the official land management agency. Unfortunately, the reporters who work there rarely have any experience with hiking, trails, geography, maps, or the like, are often new to the area, and are simply regurgitating something they read online or in a news release. It's easy (and common) for their lack of knowledge and experience on the subject to result in misleading or erroneous reporting.

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 2:11 pm
by toddak
I agree with Joe's map interpretation of red = closed and yellow = AZT open, even though the grey areas where everything appears to be closed is designated in the legend as Bighorn Fire Scar Open.

Just a note on chumley's custom map and the yellow line you're calling the incorrect segment of the AZT, that's actually the southern end of Passage 11b Pusch Ridge Wilderness Bypass. In my opinion, 11b should be added to the AZT list on HAZ :D

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 2:29 pm
by chumley
toddak wrote:Bighorn Fire Scar Open.
Even the text of the forest order clearly indicates that the restriction applies ONLY to national forest system trails and recreation areas. It is not -- as written, or illustrated on the map -- a total area closure (as is the case with the Bush Fire burn area on the Tonto NF, for example).

Whether that was their intention or not, who knows -- but it doesn't take a lawyer to read what the forest order and accompanying map say.

Thanks for the clarification on the bypass. I forgot about the eBike crowd : wink :

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 7:40 pm
by ShatteredArm
FWIW, the AZTA's Facebook page has a post dated September 21 stating that the trail is still closed from 0.4 miles east of Hutch's Pool to Campo Bonito Road. The "AZ Trail in a Day" event this weekend is also skipping everything from Hirabayashi to High Jinks Ranch with images that say "closed".

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 06 2020 7:41 pm
by Mountain_Rat
@ShatteredArm
That information is correct

Re: Passages 11 11b 12 status

Posted: Oct 07 2020 6:13 am
by SpiderLegs
The AZT on the backside of the Catalina's may be closed for quite a while. Caught a look at the north side of the range and it's not pretty. My take is that the FS sacrificed the north side of the Catalina's in order to save Summerhaven.