register help
show related photosets
Walnut Canyon - AZT #31
39 Photosets

1,  2  
mini location map2018-05-06
30 by photographer avatartibber
photographer avatar
page 1   2
Walnut Canyon - AZT #31Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar May 06 2018
Hiking8.23 Miles 614 AEG
Hiking8.23 Miles   3 Hrs   45 Mns   2.53 mph
614 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
Partners partners
Marshall Lake to Sandy's Canyon Junction of the AZT and then to Canyon Vista Campground TH. Day Two of our weekend to finish off this Segment and link up with the previous segments (most of 28, 29-34 about 100 miles). After another morning of pancakes and bacon breakfast it was a 70 mile drive to Marshall Lake TH. We got going fairly early for what we thot was going to be about a 6 1/2 mile day... oops!

You start hiking on the flat for awhile before you take these elongated switchbacks down and into the forest for the rest of the hike. At about the 1.40 mile mark is where the first deviation of the route started and would continue deviating for the next 2 1/2 miles. I didn't realize how much off-route we did as HAZel Pin to Start didn't have a verbal alert going. We came upon Marshall Mesa Tank which had some water in it. And you know us desert rats and water, it was photo op time.

We crossed FR 9481Q and instead of going straight up the hill the trail switchbacked. As we proceeded you could see various areas where the trail had been blocked off with debris in a few areas for what I thot were pretty long stretches. I guess they are serious about keeping ATVers off those trails/roads. I put up a picture of the official track vs our track and it's pretty different especially after 2 1/2 miles. As Tracy said, you can see where the new track seems to follow the contour lines now.

We came across one very large tree that had fallen; it had a tap root that was as big as a small tree. Earlier we had seen where another tree had split and crashed all over the trail. Also in a few sections there were colorful stripe circles on a few trees. Seems to be some aggressive work going on in that regard. Not sure of its purpose however. In one area a tree had a blue/white stripe tape around it, another had turquoise spray paint and then there was the standard orange markings.

I kept waiting for us to get closer to the climbing area as I recall that being a cool part of the trail but that doesn't appear to be the case anymore. That's when I realized we were just not doing much of what Wendy and I had done in June 2011. So we continued to add miles to what was once a 2 1/2 mile section through the forest on nice trail to almost 4 miles now. Good thing we set up the previous day's shuttle or we would have wondered why it was taking so long to finish.

And then we came upon a newly ripped section of trail that hadn't been fixed up yet. We actually ended following it to where it ended as it had not been blocked off. So we back-tracked and then threw some tree debris so that others wouldn't make the same mistake. It would be nice and faster if they bring up the excavator to finish off that new section of trail. I'm not sure how far the new section is extending or its final objective but it will be interesting to see in a couple years. This is not Arizona Trail work but forest service.

Finally we got back to the section I was familiar with again which is the old road that is rockier than all get out. We did encounter two biker backpackers; they hadn't come to the newly ripped trail yet. I don't think they will like that at all altho I was impressed with what they had already come up. From this road you get a nice glimpse to the San Francisco Peaks. The sky was overcast now and had been for awhile. You hike between the burn area. You do seem to drop to the canyon floor fairly quickly. I saw two trails that headed south but I don't know where they would eventually end up but we had to stay on the AZT anyway.

We came to the section with the cross hatched colorful canyon walls. They were as spectacular as I remember. After a gazillion pics on my part we took a break at the cave before our Victory Dance at the Junction with Sandy's Canyon Trail. And of course, once at the junction we celebrated with a selfie before finishing off our day via Sandy's Canyon Trail to Canyon Vista Campground TH.

We loaded up into Shawn's truck, stopped at Lake Mary store for some refreshments and then up to Marshall Lake TH to pick up Tonto Jr. It was a quick shuttle but a good thing since Ambika and me would be heading back to Phoenix. We had lunch at the Long Valley Cafe per another HAZer's report that it was pretty good. My lunch was fine but they only have one vegetarian choice.

Part 1 [ youtube video ]
Part 2 [ youtube video ]

We have now done more AZT miles this year than we have the last individual three years and we're looking to do some AZT once a month for the rest of the year.

Named place
Named place
Marshall Mesa Tank

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Marshall Mesa Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full
based on the stake in the tank, more toward the 25%
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
3 archives
HAZ Member
836 Photosets

1 ... 8,  9,  10,  11,  12,  13,  14 ... 42  
help comment issue

end of page marker