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Walnut Canyon - AZT #31
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Walnut Canyon - AZT #31Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2015
BACKROADER
Hiking20.00 Miles 1,660 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles   20 Hrs      1.00 mph
1,660 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Happy 4th of July, 2015

Our next adventure on the Arizona Trail is segment # 31 Starting from Marshall Lake to Walnut Canyon including Fisher Point located in the cooler Coconino National Forest at 7000 feet near Flagstaff.

The best thing about the AZT is you can either hike the entire length of 800 miles in order or pick and choose from the 44 or so segments, as to which trail is best for the current time of year! Since this is our second hike on the AZT we decided to keep cool on the 4th of July in the beautiful pines south east of Flagstaff.

The night before our planned hike of 13 miles, there was a huge down pouring of rain at our Boondocking base camp east of Walnut Canyon National Monument's access road. The previous nights rain made for slow going and very muddy shoes, at least one inch at a time was sticking to every step along the Marshall Lake route towards Walnut Canyon and our car shuttle at the 303 Trail-head. This slowed our times but the kids had fun slogging along. No worries as the sunny day started to quickly dry out the trail and we were on our way!

It is hard to judge how many miles the kids can hike as this was only our second time out, so we ended up slowing the pace down, enjoying lunch along the eastern rim of Walnut Canyon taking it easy before descending down to the canyon floor. Upon arrival to the canyon bottom hikers are treated to a brilliant red rock view of the canyon's walls including a mini alcove or shaded cave! We took lots of family pictures here including a couple panoramas and chatted with six other hikers that made their way in from the closer Canyon Vista Campground and the Sandy's Canyon access trails. The beautiful "Red Rocks" are roughly 5 miles from the Marshall Lake Trail-head.

Since the kids wanted to see the 4th of July fireworks that evening in Flagstaff....Canyon Vista Campground was our "bug out alternative" and we took it as the going was too slow earlier back at Marshall Lake with the mud bogging in the first few miles (our other choice was to hike out Fisher Point but we would have had to hike by night to make it back to the car shuttle at the 303). It is always good to have a back up plan and we enjoyed the hike up Sandy's Canyon access and finished the day with roughly 8 miles logged. We were proud of our kiddos for their endurance and had a great time telling stories and singing songs along the way. Also a big shout out of thanks to a friendly camper staying at Canyon Vista, who helped shuttle me back to our car at Marshall Lake TH.

The next few days we were able to enjoy exploring around the 303 and hiking out to beautiful Fisher Point and the following week we made the trek from Fisher Point into Flagstaff along the AZT section #33. Completing what we would have originally planned for.

Hope you all enjoy the photos.


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Monday July 15, 2019:

282 / 800 Miles Complete!

Fenix and Riley enjoyed a couple miles with us yesterday between beautiful Fisher Point and the Hassel Trailhead located of Coconino Forest Road 301 overlooking Walnut Canyon National Monument some 500 feet down below!

Although a very short hike, this walk in the woods of just two miles completed help to make the next segment an easy five miles. This couple miles is super scenic with overlooks down into Walnut Canyon, where many Agave Cactus were in bloom. My heart skipped a beat when Fenix snuck right up to the edge of a cliff for her own scenic view below!

Forest Road 301 connects the Trailheads and is rather bumpy and slow going with minimal clearance issues if driven in dry weather.

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Tuesday July 16, 2019:

285 / 800 Miles Complete!

The Housholder Family Saunterers with Fenix and Riley added another three miles hiking around Walnut Canyon National Monument on the Flagstaff Equestrian Bypass Route. We hiked from the Old Walnut Canyon Road Trailhead over to the Monument Road junction. The trail was super easy going through mixed Ponderosa Pine Forest with a cool steady breeze behind our backs! The dogs loved their walk and so did we!

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Wednesday July 17, 2019:

290 / 800 Miles Complete!

This morning we had a fantastic saunter from the Hassel Trailhead off Forest Road 301 over to the Old Walnut Canyon Road Trailhead, Forest Road 303.

There were more scenic overlooks into Walnut Canyon and the AZT passed through a really cool side canyon, where there was a huge shaded alcove which could have been home to prehistoric Anasazi natives many hundreds of years ago, it made for the perfect lunch spot!

After switch backing out of the canyon we enjoyed a nice trail all the way back to the 303 Road. There was an AZT Wildlife Camera we happened upon. After adding in the short distance from the Hassel Trailhead the overall hike was around 5 easy and enjoyable miles!

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Thursday July 18, 2019:

292 / 300 Miles Complete!

Passage 31 - Walnut Canyon ☑️

It took our family six segments over a four year span to complete Arizona Trail Passage 31 - Walnut Canyon.

We first started at Marshall Lake when Bianka was six years old on our second AZT hike and after a down-pouring rain shower the night before we had up to one inch of mud on our shoes back then. It was slow going down into Walnut Canyon and it’s beautifully red cliffs were all around us as the trail dried out. Due to time constraints, we bailed on the Sandy Canyon Trail, connecting us to the Canyon Vista Campground so that we could get to Flagstaff in time for the Fourth of July Fireworks! A day later we hiked to Fisher Point, perhaps our favorite places on this passage followed by a run into Flagstaff via the Re-Supply Route Passage 33.

Fast forwarding to this week, we were able to finally finish Passage 31 by hiking from Fisher Point over to Hassell Trailhead and on to the Old Walnut Canyon Road Trailhead. We set it up to do easy morning miles over a week so that we could play the rest of the day at places like the Aquaplex in Flagstaff.

To complete this beautiful passage we needed to hike from the 303 Road further to the Walnut Canyon National Monument Road and finally, this morning we knocked out a quick two mile piece to the Cosnino Interstate 40 Tunnel Underpass which is the start of Mount Elden Passage 32.
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