Thanksgiving Suggestions for sections

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BigCheese
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Thanksgiving Suggestions for sections

Post by BigCheese »

I am looking for suggestions on a good 3-4 day section of the AZT to do during Thanksgiving this year (2022). I am an experienced hiker/backpacker hoping for good water sources and not too cold yet. Would be good to find a section with easy access to the ends and good options for shuttling as well. Alternatively a section that could be done as a loop or out and back. Welcome any and all suggestions.
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xsproutx
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions for sections

Post by xsproutx »

16/17 is always the one I recommend for that time period. Beautiful section of trail, easy to set up a shuttle, easily doable in 3/4 days. I'd recommend parking a car at the BLM lot on the southside and starting from Picketpost, heading south. The first stretch won't have reliable water until 12 miles in at the water collector so either dry camp night 1 or make it to the collector. Once you get to the Gila, water is abundant. The Gila part is the lowest part of the trail so also tends to be the warmest as well
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garyc57
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions for sections

Post by garyc57 »

@BigCheese
Another suggestion: Start where the AZT crosses Hwy 87 north of Clint's Well. Hike south on section 27 and 26 to the Pine Trailhead. If the distance isn't enough, continue south on sections 25-22, getting off at Sunflower where the AZT cross Hwy 87. Given the amount of rain we've had recently, water shouldn't be a problem.

Please, let us know how it goes!
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nonot
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions for sections

Post by nonot »

Something to be mindful of is that October and November backpack planning is difficult for Arizona. The long term (week+ out) weather forecasts are nearly always incorrect. It is often useful to have both a "cold weather plan" and a "hot weather plan", and to wait until a day or two before the trip to actually decide.

In the two suggestions you've received thus far, I would consider xsproutx's suggestion to be the cold weather plan (plan for if there is snow in the high country and desert temperatures are reasonable), and garyc57's suggestion to be the warm weather plan (plan for if the desert forecast is still pretty hot and there is no snow in the high country.)
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BigCheese
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions for sections

Post by BigCheese »

@nonot
Thanks for highlighting this. I usually do this anyway and pack accordingly. I often even bring the cold/warm stuff to the trailhead and decided then. I am comfortable with cool temperatures (I am originally from Canada so my definition of cool is into the couple degrees below freezing range at night) but not keen on dealing with snow or cold during the day kind of weather.
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Re: Thanksgiving Suggestions for sections

Post by rcorfman »

I'll just suggest what I've done with 2, 4-day trips. Both starting the weekend before Thanksgiving. The first, in 2014, I hiked from Patagonia to the Gabe Zimmerman trailhead. Seems that was about 62 miles. The second, in 2019, was from Tiger Mine trailhead, near Oracle, to Picketpost trailhead. That might be pushing it, as it is about 92 miles. It includes the stretch that xsprout mentions.
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