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Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37
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mini location map2012-10-15
11 by photographer avatarMEWhiteman
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Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 15 2012
Backpack67.10 Miles 4,019 AEG
Backpack67.10 Miles5 Days         
4,019 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Tom and I knocked off three more passages on the AZT this past week. We backpacked south from the South Kaibab (SK) TH to Cedar Ranch Rd completing the Grand Canyon - South Rim (#37), Coconino Rim (#36) and Babbitt Ranch (#35) passages for about 67 miles.

Day 1: After spotting Tom's truck and placing a water cache and a food/water cache, I dropped Tom, his dog and our packs where the AZT crosses Rt 64 near the SK TH, parked my car at the visitor center and took the shuttle back to the SK TH. The first day's hike was easy being generally downhill. We had cached water at the trail's closest point to Tusayan and had our large meal at that spot, then hiked another 3 miles to our planned campsite. It was pretty noisy with planes coming and going from the nearby Grand Canyon Airport to dogs barking and what sounded like a drunk wandering in the woods banging sticks together in the middle of the night. It was 25 degrees in the morning, but I had brought sufficient clothing. However, my light weight tent is a "hybrid" design and condensation is a problem so things got wet and icy. 11.2 miles, 401' aeg

Day 2: We hiked from Tusayan to Grand View Lookout where we had our water/food cache. We saw a small herd of pronghorn on the way near a wildlife tank. We had our large meal at Grand View, dried our gear from the night before, added the food and water to our packs and after a two hour break hiked another 3.5 miles to our campsite. This was the nicest camp on the trip. We had a great view to the east off the Coconino Rim which also meant early morning sun. Well it wasn't as cold this night. It was about 50 degrees in the morning and no gear drying was necessary. It had the highest elevation and the warmest night and morning temperatures we experienced on the trip. 14.7 miles, 1,494' aeg

Day 3: We hiked to Russell Tank in the morning where we filtered water and had our large meal. This was my first opportunity to use my new Sawyer Squeeze Filter in the field. I needed to bring a hard plastic bottle to fill the filter bag since it is flexible and would not fill if just dipped in the water. It appears to have filtered the water OK; I haven't had any bad reactions. However, it doesn't have a carbon filter and so taste was not great. Tom has a similar filter and had an in-line carbon filter as well. I've ordered mine already. After lunch and another two hour break we hiked another 6.1 miles to our campsite in a cleared area frequented by cows about 1/2 miles north of the powerlines. Again, we had another 25 degree morning. 14.8 miles, 817' aeg

Day 4: After drying/deicing gear we continued hiking south. We entered the Babbitt Ranch passage in .7 miles. The northern part was nicer than I expected and until we hit FR301 was pleasant hiking. We planned to get water and eat our large meal at Lockwood Tank. There is supposed to be a trough and float which we planned to use. We couldn't find it. However, while we were looking a truck came down the road. Two men who were building fences on Babbitt Ranch were staying in a trailer nearby. They were moving their camp that afternoon and offered us all the water we wanted AND grilled hot dogs for us. This is the way to backpack! We hiked another 8.2 miles on roads to our camp just north of another powerline. Since we had hot dogs for an early lunch, we ate our freeze dried meals for dinner. The AZT, a road in this area, was popular with hunters getting prepared for the opening of elk hunting season the following day; four or five trucks passed our camp that evening and the next morning. The temps that night were 25 again. 15.9 miles, 874' aeg

Day 5: This was the last day so we skipped breakfast and equipment drying in order to get an early start. It was a road walk through open pastureland and reminded me of the scenes you see in old westerns. About halfway we passed the Tub Ranch which was neat. There were groups of horses around us with views of the snow covered San Francisco Peaks as a backdrop. The rest of the days hike was a trudge! The sight of the truck was a welcome sight. My feet were happy the trip was done. 10.5 miles, 433' aeg

We were glad to complete these three passages. I liked Passage 36, Coconino Rim, the best, but the others provided exposure to areas of Arizona that I would not normally come in contact with. It was worth the trip. Now its time to plan for our next trip.
Wild horse

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