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Scoping options for a Northbound trip starting late November

Posted: Dec 29 2014 9:23 am
by eastcoastdenise
Hi everyone,

I'm interested in your input on the feasibility of a northbound hike of a large portion of the Arizona Trail starting in late November (2015), including Passages 1 - 29 or so (basically stopping somewhere around the Mogollon Rim). What are the major issues that I would face hiking the southern 2/3 or so of the trail during that part of the year? Lack of water? Bad weather? Snow pack? Hungry mountain lions? I'm an experienced backpacker including winter backpacking, but have limited Arizona backpacking experience (a few December/January 3-day trips in the Superstition Mountains over the past few years). I'd anticipate 20-ish mile days, though I'd have flexibility to adjust to the reality of the trail.

I've reviewed a good portion of the posts on this forum and am delving into the ATA site resources--all of these have been superb. Thank in advance for any input you can provide!


Re: Scoping options for a Northbound trip starting late Nove

Posted: Jan 03 2015 9:39 pm
by igellen
Water sources would be your first problem...monsoons end sometime in September usually so that by November, many water sources could be dry.
There are many high elevation sections before you hit the Superstitions (talking 8-10,000 feet), so if winter comes early, there could be some good snow storms. If no snow, expect freezing temps at the higher elevations.
Finally, the AZT still does not get tons of hikers in many parts, and those that do hike generally go in the spring. Expect a solo experience in November.
In 2009, a thru hiker named buck30 did the AZT after he finished the PCT. He hiked southbound, but you may find his experiences helpful in planning a fall trip. The link to his journal on postholer is below: ... ent_id=534
Good luck!

Re: Scoping options for a Northbound trip starting late Nove

Posted: Jan 04 2015 8:21 am
by eastcoastdenise

Hi, Thanks so much for this insight as well as the link--great info!