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2021-05-30  
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Azt #35 #36 & #37, AZ
mini location map2021-05-30
15 by photographer avatarjohnlp
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Azt #35 #36 & #37, AZ 
Azt #35 #36 & #37, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 30 2021
johnlp
Backpack68.80 Miles 4,323 AEG
Backpack68.80 Miles4 Days         
4,323 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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trekkin_gecko
I have been looking at doing these three AZT segments since I finished the San Francisco Peaks segment last October. Finally got a volunteer to shuttle us from the Canyon to Cedar Ranch trailhead, at the beginning of the Babbit Ranch AZT segment.

We left Phoenix at 0400 Sunday morning with the goal of caching water at two locations and hiking up Red Butte as well. Mission accomplished. Joe K, from work, picked us up at the Canyon and shuttled us back to the beginning of our journey AZT #35. Thanks Joe!

The first day, beginning at 1400, we hiked 4 miles to Tub Ranch and water. From there we decided to push on to get ahead of schedule. We hiked uphill another 4 miles or so and set up camp for the night. The clouds put on an amazing show for us. This part of the AZT is a little bleak but definitely has it's own beauty.

Got up early and hit the trail the second day before 0630. Wide open spaces, clean air, no people, and no noise. Good stuff. As we made our way north some clouds moved in providing much appreciated shade. We hiked 4 miles past the end of segment #35 at Moqui Stage Station to our first water cache. We rested, cooked dinner, then decided to keep hiking to stay ahead of schedule avoiding a killer last day. Soon we started seeing enormous piles of horse poop in the trail. Then as we reached Russel Tank we saw 30+ wild horses and the poop made sense- more than one horse made the piles. It was getting late so we made haste to get past the tank and all the horse activity to find a camp site. About this time Kelly announced she had a large blister on the ball of her foot. We found a pretty nice camp site for the night.

Day three we were up early again hoping Kelly could continue hiking with a nasty blister. Our options were not good if she couldn't. The tread was pretty forgiving which helped a lot. Beautiful hiking through ponderosa forest all the way to Grandview Tower and the end of the second segment (#36). We climbed the tower and checked out the excellent views. Our second water cache was a little past the tower and we made our way there arriving before noon. Discussing out options, we decided to load up on water and push on as we far as we could so we would have a manageable last day. Hiking the whole last segment (23.5 miles) and driving home didn't strike us as very appealing. We hiked on in the afternoon warmth taking several breaks and a mile wrong turn. We walked right by a carsonite sign off a forest road. Oops. Eventually we found a great camp site less than five miles from Tusayan. Another 20+ mile day in the books.

Final day our plan was to leave camp at 0615 and pick up enough water in Tusayan at 0800 when the general store opens to complete our trek. Only 13 miles to go! Shortly after leaving Tusayan the trail becomes a paved pathway then you enter the national park. Before too long we were at the edge of the canyon and our finishing point at the South Kaibab trail head. Kelly got a couple of tourists to take our picture signifying the end of a most excellent adventure.

We completed our journey in less than three full days and did not see another hiker the whole way, not counting tourists the last quarter mile. Kelly really toughed it out hiking over thirty miles with a huge blister on her foot. First multi-day backpack in forever. Good times. Thanks Kelly! :)
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