username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
19 triplogs

Oct 14 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Temporal Gulch - AZT #4Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 14 2017
pjhikes
Hiking22.30 Miles 3,870 AEG
Hiking22.30 Miles
3,870 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This passage was the only one missing to complete the entire trail, so even though it was going to be pretty warm (for me anyway) we decided to just GET ER DONE on Saturday. So we stayed at the Stage Stop Inn on Friday night (thanks to Lynn and Gerry for finding a room for us even though the Patagonia Fall Festival had every room in town booked!), and started out at before sunrise to try to beat the heat. There was water at various places along the trail even though it has been a dry Fall (it did not necessarily look tasty, but if needed there is some water). Not much fall foliage yet, but very green hills. This passage surprised us with it's variety of terrain, and we decided it was an appropriate passage to end on since it was a little of everything the AZT had to offer, from grasslands, up to pines, down to desert, to canyons (I really liked Casa Blanca Canyon) - plus of course the rocks, cows, stickers, grasshoppers, heat (glad we had our umbrellas)... another fun day on the AZT! It's been a great adventure.

The entire trail took us about three years to complete (since we only went out once a month or so - and missed quite a few months due to either weather or work...) - and it was MOSTLY fun - but a lot of work too. This State is so lovely and varied in it's terrain, and there is so much open and wild space to enjoy. We need to preserve and protect it, and I thank the AZT and all the volunteers who work so hard to do so!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
_____________________
Sep 30 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Oracle Ridge - AZT #12Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 30 2017
pjhikes
Hiking15.50 Miles 3,020 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles
3,020 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked uphill from Oracle to Summerhaven and glad we did this passage as an uphill (saved our knees from some brutal downhills). It was still a little warm for me, but at least climbing uphill we stayed cooler. We did this one as a "key exchange" with my brother in law so it saved us the car shuttle! Great views in both directions, and some wildflowers and butterflies too. Only one more passage to go on the AZT!
_____________________
Jul 07 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Kaibab Plateau South - AZT #40Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 07 2017
pjhikes
Hiking20.77 Miles 2,268 AEG
Hiking20.77 Miles
2,268 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
A beautiful weekend to finish up the AZT up north. We planned these two passages as day hikes with lodging at Jacob Lake Inn. So we were able to walk leisurely and really enjoy these easy and absolutely lovely passages. Car shuttles were easy too. All in all a perfect weekend away from the heat (although it did get warm in the afternoons even up there, but we had great clouds and even a few rain drops). Some wildflowers along Passage 40 too. And the solitude was amazing - We saw no other hikers on the trail, but a few people at or near a couple trailheads. We finished the hike up with a return trip back to the North Rim to enjoy a glass of wine and the views.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
1 archive
Jun 09 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Kaibab Plateau North - AZT #42Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 09 2017
pjhikes
Backpack16.55 Miles 994 AEG
Backpack16.55 Miles
994 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Left a car at Stateline Campground and then did a water drop on Winter Road before heading down to Orderville TH to start our hike. Got a late start after lunch at the TH and made it to Navajo TJ to camp for the night. I really enjoyed the trail (nice soft pine covered trail, shade, the ravine...), and the night was clear and warm. Lots of wind, but that helped keep it cool during the hike.

Got up early the next day to try to beat the heat as we made our way down to the border. It did warm up quite a lot (was happy for the trekking umbrella) but we again had lots of wind to keep us from overheating too much (even if it did turn my umbrella into a satellite dish on more than one occasion). The views were wonderful as we made our way down those last few miles.

We met father and daughter thru hikers Don and Allison who were just finishing up the day we left our car at Stateline. They had started April 1st. And another thru hiker finished up the same day we were there. Must be the last of the thru hikers, but way to go class of 2017 :app:

This makes mile 734 for us - with a few more hikes set to connect the dots. Getting there...
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
lupines, Indian Paintbrush
_____________________
May 13 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Grand Canyon - Inner Gorge - AZT #38Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar May 13 2017
pjhikes
Backpack20.50 Miles 6,688 AEG
Backpack20.50 Miles
6,688 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After trying to get advance permits for the past year with no luck, we decided to go for a walk in permit to get this passage done. It worked out great, and we got in just two days after we started the process. We decided to take our time and just do 7 miles each day and lay low during the heat of the day. So we started down South Kaibab before 6am and made it down to Bright Angel Campground in time for lunch. Of course we had to stop along the way to take in the amazing views. It was very gusty on the way down, so we stayed away from the edges! :scared: It was maybe in the upper 40's at the top of the south rim, and in the low 90's down below. So to beat the heat we headed to the cantina to nurse a lemon-aide for a few hours and stay cool. Oh, and a word of warning about those squirrels in the campground - I had my pack sitting on the bench right next me while I took out my food bag, and a squirrel managed to get into my hip pouch and steal my snack (macadamia nuts and dried cranberries!) and my salt tabs (but they left those laying on the ground) in a matter of seconds. And I later found a hole in my camelback near the top (thankfully) and some bite marks on the compactor bag it was in. Lesson learned.

After a warm night camped right along the creek, we packed up for an early hike on to Cottonwood Campgound. It was a lovely hike along the creek, and again we beat the heat and rested in the shade near the camp. I was amazed at how green it was along the way. Lots of deer too. Unfortunately the bridge to Ribbon Falls was out so we did not go that way, but did see it from the trail.

Day three we hiked up to the north rim. We got up there by 11:30 and decided to go up toward the entrance and hike back to the rim to get part of the next passage done. A nice couple from Canada that we had met along the way gave us a ride. We told them they are what is known as trail angels and they were so happy to learn that. Really sweet people. Anyway, we did come across some snow piles, but not much at all, and the trail was not too muddy either. BUT, there were lots of downed trees along the way, so we opted to walk the dirt road that went along side the trail for a little bit. It was getting very windy and cold by the time we got back to the rim, and the walk to the campground was cold. We had heard there may be some rooms open at the lodge since they had just opened (earlier than expected), so we walked over there with high hopes. They DID have rooms, but said they are not going to fill them because they were short staffed (I get that, but really? I was a paying customer and begged them not to send us out in what was now a blowing snow!). Long story short, we just camped out downstairs in the lounge, which they said was fine (even if not the best move from a customer service standpoint). We had the place to ourselves at least, but did not get much sleep. No worries, we just had to catch the trans-canyon shuttle back to the south rim the next day to get our cars and drive home.

All in all an epic journey through the canyon. Just an amazing place, and our favorite passage for sure.
_____________________
Apr 14 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Mazatzal Divide - AZT #23Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 14 2017
pjhikes
Backpack31.00 Miles 6,050 AEG
Backpack31.00 Miles3 Days         
6,050 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
The Mazatzal passages have been ones that I have been dreading since we started our section hiking over two years ago because I had heard that it is overgrown and hard to navigate - so first of all just let me say a big THANKS to all the volunteers that have obviously been working to clear the trails :app: It really is in great shape (except for all the ankle twisting rocks, but I have learned that is just what you have to expect on the AZT - not much to be done there).

That said, these three days were some of the hardest trail miles I have done to date. It may be because we did back to back long weekends (Four Peaks and Pine Mountain were last weekend) and my body hadn't recovered yet? Who knows, but when we finally got to LF Ranch and started the long hike out to a car we left at Doll Baby TH I just wanted to sit down and cry. And we still had to make the scary drive back up to Mount Peeley to get my car and then make it back off that road to drive back to Prescott. Got home and told my hubby that I was going to take a shower, then a bath, then a shot of whiskey, then I'd hug him and tell him all about the trip (in that order - and since I kind of smelled he was willing to wait).

But I digress - so day one was from Peeley to just past Barnhart Trail TJ where we found a lovely campsite. We did stop at Bear Spring to filter some water (plenty there, and the bees were kind enough to share). We had leapfrogged another section hiker (Terry) that morning, and ran into her again at Bear Spring. But then she left us in her dust and we never saw her again. One thru hiker came past as we were setting up our tents. He was trying to get to Pine in two days (wow). Saw no one else all day.

Day two was a struggle. It started with rolling an ankle and going down hard on my knees and hands. Fortunately it was not on the otherwise narrow trail that hugs the side of the mountain with a drop off on one side :scared: It's always on the flatter, "easier" trail sections where I feel confident about actually lifting my head for a moment to look around - but the trail has to teach me a lesson and throws a rock right under the side of my foot causing the ankle to roll and make me collapse. Sigh. So, with a sore ankle and roughed up knees, I carefully picked my way as we made our way into passage 24 (after a lunch stop at The Park). Our initial plan was to get to Brush Springs, but it was such slow going that we only made it about a mile into the passage where we camped in the pines near some pools and seeps (where we again filtered water). There was water in many of the creeks and pools along the trail, so I did not check out the other water sources this time. We heard what we think was a fox screeching after it got dark. But then it got very quiet, and colder than I thought it would be since the day was quite warm.

Day three was another slow day with lots of rocks and ups and downs - with that last downhill to LF Ranch and the long hike out to the TH. But again, the trail in Passage 24 was also in great shape - thanks to all who made it so much better than I had planned for.

This brings our total miles done to 652. Getting there.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
Apr 07 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Four Peaks - AZT #20Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 07 2017
pjhikes
Backpack19.35 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack19.35 Miles
7,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Started from Mills Ridge TH where we ended a past day hike from the Lake, and made our way to Sunflower where we left a car. First day was the climb up with great views of the Lake behind us. Everything is so green right now, and lots of flowers! Past the flowing Buckhorn Creek we came across a tent city where the conservation corp crew had set up camp, and we came across the crew a few miles later and thanked them for all the work clearing the trail. Shortly after we passed them the trail did get a little overgrown and I managed to get some nice custom AZT pin-stripes on my legs since I was wearing shorts (lesson learned). The views of the north side of four peaks were awesome. Ended our day just before Shake Spring (also flowing very well) since it was one of the only places we found that worked for setting up two tents. We filtered some yummy clear water from the flowing spring.

The next day was mostly road walking once we reached Pigeon Spring TH. We did not see water at Pigeon Spring. We did do a water drop at El Oso Road, so we picked up our water for the remainder of the trip. We came across more water at Boulder Creek (several times), and soaked our feet for a while for a nice break. Started looking for camp spots after that and finally found a spot just past the gate at passage mile 13.2. The frogs in Boulder Creek serenaded us as the sun set.

Day three was the drop down to more desert like terrain on the way to Sunflower. Lots of water in Sycamore Creek. The wildflowers started to show themselves again. Another lovely weekend on the AZT.
Flora
Flora
Claret Cup Cactus
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Granite Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Shake Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Clear flowing water.
_____________________
Feb 25 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 25 2017
pjhikes
Hiking11.40 Miles
Hiking11.40 Miles
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Once again the hard part was staging the cars - but probably because we are cautious. We were planning to park a car on Twin Buttes road (where we had already done hardscrabble) and then drive to Doll Baby. But when we turned off Fossil Creek to get there, the creek was running very high over the road and we were afraid to go across (it looked deep in one part). We looked into options (going thru Pine on 428 all the way to Twin Buttes) but decided to just park before the washed out road and just hike that extra 5 miles at the end of the hike - sigh. Then off we went to Doll Baby - with at stop at THAT Brewery for lunch first :)

We had made plans to stay at LF Ranch that night and get an early start on the trail the next morning. We got to the ranch before sunset and Maryann gave us a tour and got us settled in the bunkhouse for the night. It was perfect - complete with hot running water and a real bathroom. The roosters gave us our wake up call, and we left the ranch the next morning as the peacocks were still sleeping up in the trees - guess that way the coyotes can't get them :scared:

The Verde River was running pretty strong and cold from all the snow melt and recent rains, so even crossing at the shallow part made for a scary and cold start to our trek up the hill.Then the rocks... oh the rocks... the ankle busting rocks. Made us glad that we got that head start the day before since we were going slower than normal. We followed the cairns through areas where the "trail" fades, and overall the trail is in good shape. Lots of water along the way for any upcoming thru hikers - including all the springs and even Red Saddle Tank.

We reached Twin Buttes and prepared for the long boring road walk to the car, but got really lucky when a truck came along heading that way and we got a ride :y: It was the only other vehicle out there that day, and the timing was perfect. So since we got done early we stopped again at THAT Brewery for an early dinner and then went and got the car from Doll Baby before heading back home. Another nice day on the AZT. Another 218 miles to go - we will finish this year for sure.
_____________________
Jan 14 2017
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Tortilla Mountains - AZT #15Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 14 2017
pjhikes
Backpack28.57 Miles 2,448 AEG
Backpack28.57 Miles2 Days         
2,448 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was a rainy weekend but we have had this planned for a while and decided to go for it.Started at Freeman Road early Saturday and it was pretty easy going on a well groomed trail. The rain started about 11 am and included lightening (which we could have done without), but that also brought about rainbows and other magical moments not always seen on the trail. We came prepared with rain gear (love my Packa!) and got to just past 17 miles or so before we decided to stop for the night. We had to wait out more rain with lightening before there was a brief pause enough to get our tents up and everything inside before it started up again.

Rained most of the night and kept us in our tents much later in the morning than we wanted, but we finally decided to just make a break for it since the storm was not going to let up. Sunday we hiked up "The Big Hill" in the fog and rain. I was sorry that we couldn't see the views that I'm sure were awesome, but we just pretended we were on the ocean coast (the wind made it sound like the ocean below us) despite the cactus everywhere. The fog and mist started to clear up just a little as we were coming down toward the river, but it continued to rain on us all day.

The rain made the return drive on the dirt roads VERY stressful. We almost decided to stay the night again at Freemean when we got back to my car that we left there on Saturday, but the forecast called for more rain so we just took the chance and headed back out the 19 miles on Freeman to get to 79, and with lots of slipping and sliding we made it back to pavement and made the drive back to Scottsdale for Jamie, and Prescott for me.

There was public water in the caches on Freeman and Florence-Kelvin trail heads, and because of the rain there was water along the way as well, but we carried all we needed so did not really pay too much attention to other sources.
_____________________
May 27 2016
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Saddle Mountain - AZT #22Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 27 2016
pjhikes
Hiking16.40 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking16.40 Miles
4,400 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finished passage 22 as day hike from Cross F (where we ended a previous hike) to Mt.Peeley TH. The trail is in good shape (thanks to all who volunteer), and there was still a few lovely flowers along the way. It was warm and sunny and no shade, so between that and the climbing I was tired at the end. At the trailhead we met John, whose wife Carol is doing a thru ride on her horse Tiki. She was somewhere behind us on this passage. Go Carol!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
Mar 25 2016
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Gila River Canyons - AZT #16Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 25 2016
pjhikes
Backpack24.67 Miles 4,850 AEG
Backpack24.67 Miles
4,850 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Decided to go down to the start at the Kelvin Riverside Bridge after work on Thursday and see if we had time to hike in a little ways to get a head start on these two passages. So after dropping a car at Picketpost we (hiking partner Jamie and I) headed down to Kelvin for the car shuttle and the start of the hike. We made it down to the railroad bridge for camp the first night. Up early the next day (Friday) to try to get a start before it got too hot. We ran into thru-hiker (and triple crowner) "Steady" and the three of us hiked the rest of the way to Picketpost together.

We did make a few stops when we got close to the Gila to filter water and dunk our shirts in the water for a little evaporative cooling (even though it only stayed wet for 15 minutes - but it still felt good to cool off). I don't think it was much over 80 degrees, but with no shade that sun is intense.The climb up from the river in the "heat" zapped my energy. We made it just 14 miles or so and decided to call it a day and camped near "Dale's Butte" with views all around and an almost full moon. It forgot to get cold that night too.

Another early start on Saturday, and more climbing. Great views of the canyon and rock formations. We were concerned about water and not sure if there really was any water cached for public use at the end of passage 16, so we were being conservative just in case. Thankfully there was water when we reached the end of the passage (thank you so much to the volunteers that do that!). We took a little water to get us the rest of the way to Picketpost, and continued on the way. Made it 18.5 miles that day and got to Picketpost before sunset and with time to go get the car left in Kelvin. We dropped Steady off in Superior so she could check on the motel and get a few items since she would be stuck there until Monday for her re-supply at the post office. Then after getting Jamie's car we all met back at DeMarcos for some dinner. The motel in Superior was booked so Steady made plans to stay in Apache Junction until Monday, so after dinner I dropped her off at her motel.

It was a lovely couple passages in a very remote part of the state. I think I found my heat threshold though. The joy of section hiking is that we get to pick where we want to go based on the weather. My thoughts are with all the thru-hikers making there way out there now.

Wildflowers were not great (I think we were too late this year), but still a good show in places. This hike brings us to over 412 AZT miles complete - so half way there.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
Feb 26 2016
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Black Hills - AZT #14Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 26 2016
pjhikes
Backpack27.60 Miles 4,702 AEG
Backpack27.60 Miles2 Days         
4,702 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Dropped the first car off at the Freeman Road Trailhead Thursday night and headed to Oro Valley to stay with my sister (who was kind enough to meet me to do the car drop). Then my hiking partner (Jamie) and I got started at sunrise at the start of the passage. The trail was in good shape the entire way, and mostly very well marked (thank you to the stewards and volunteers!). I was not thrilled that we have been having this early heat wave, and the afternoons did get pretty warm under that intense sun (I am NOT a fan of hot weather hikes) - I think it was "only" in the low 80's, but that always zaps my energy by the end of the day.

We did get to Camp Grant wash later in the afternoon, and even though we probably had another hour we could have hiked, we decided that was a good spot for camping. There were some off road vehicles racing around down in the wash as we were coming down the hill into it, so we hung back a little until they left the area, and then continued down and found a somewhat secluded place to set up tents and have a leisurely dinner. It was warm enough to sleep with out the fly on the tent, and the stars were lovely to look at!

Next morning (at 5:25 am - still dark) the most beautiful sounding song bird woke us up. I never did see it, but it was such a sweet song. That's my kind of alarm clock :)

Day two was more of the same but with more roads at the end - it seemed weird that this remote passage had a fair amount of off road activity in that wash on a Friday, but we saw no one out on those roads on Saturday (glad for that). We did stop at Beehive well and there is water there (and there was water at the dirt pond about 7 miles from the beginning of the passage) - we did not go explore any other water sources since we had planned to carry enough. And for those that need to know, there IS public water still cached at both Tiger Mine road and Freeman Road trailheads. Hoping this helps the thru hikers coming soon. Wildflowers were not showing off much, but they are starting to come out in spots.

Finished up shortly after lunchtime and headed back to Oracle to get Jamie's car and grab a late lunch at the Oracle Patio Cafe (they were kind enough to get us lunch even though the kitchen was about to close for the day - so thank you to them - it is a cute place and lunch was very good).
Named place
Named place
Black Hills
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Globemallow, some poppies, lupine.
_____________________
Jan 22 2016
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Reavis Canyon - AZT #18Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 22 2016
pjhikes
Backpack 4,099 AEG
Backpack3 Days         
4,099 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Finished up passage 18 and 19 this past weekend - weather was perfect for this trip. My hiking partner and I had done the first 7.1 miles of Passage 18 as a day hike last year, so we parked a car on Forest Road 650 at the place where the AZT first crosses it (and before the road gets REALLY rough) to pick up where we last left off. I had parked my car off FR 83 near Roosevelt Lake since we had also done from there north to the bridge as a day hike last month. So we decided to connect those dots and finish these two passages. We had two other ladies join us on this trip too, so the four of us set off on Friday to climb Montana Mountain with the goal of getting past Rogers Trough for our camp. It was a long climb but the views were awesome! Once we got to the road going to Rogers Trough we hit snow and ice on the road along with the loose gravel - yikes. But a trail angel on a quad rewarded us at the trail head with four beers to enjoy with dinner that night. We only got a mile or so past the start of passage 19 when we started to lose light and found a perfect camp spot just off the trail and near running water. It was great to hear the creek all night long, and the nearly full moon was great too.

Day two was a slow day for us, but it actually worked out great in the end. It was perhaps my favorite part of the trail - I had NO idea that the east side of the Superstitions had pine forests, running creeks, and snow covered trail. I felt like I was hiking up on the rim. Water was flowing everywhere, and we had many creek crossings. In fact, we got so complacent about the water that we decided to wait and filter water at Walnut Spring and save carrying the weight on any climbs. Unfortunately the water was not nearly as plentiful at Walnut Springs as it had been elsewhere. But there was enough for all of us (the trail really does provide). But because it was slow going, and we took time to filter water, we decided we better stay there for the night since we knew we had a long climb through prickly pear cactus with no camp options close. But the hill above the springs provided the perfect campsite for the night. 360 degree views.

We left camp early the next morning (headlamps and a nearly full moon helped) to make sure we would get done with the hike and car shuttles before dark. So day three was the trek up through the cactus (my least favorite part) and over the hill to the Wilderness boundary before hitting the long rocky trek down FR 83 where we exited at the Cottonwood Trail where we had started our day hike last month (ending at the bridge). The last two miles to the car seemed to go forever (the last two miles are always the worst - so close and yet so far).

Just a note from the day hike from last month through Cottonwood Canyon - very cool area. I really enjoyed the canyon. But once again, the last two miles at the end of passage 19 seemed to go forever. We were so close to the bridge (and our car) only to be taken back into the hills for more ups and down with loose gravel. But the trail along passage 19 is well marked - thanks to all the volunteers. :app:
_____________________
Nov 07 2015
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Canelo Hills East - AZT #2Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2015
pjhikes
Hiking14.30 Miles 2,530 AEG
Hiking14.30 Miles   8 Hrs      1.79 mph
2,530 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Headed down to Parker Canyon Lake on Friday to camp out so we could hit the trail early. A cold night, but we were able to start hiking at dawn and the day warmed up to the perfect hiking temperature. I had heard that November is a great month to hike this passage, and I was not disappointed. The terrain was so varied (from grasslands, into canyons, up to ridges, through groves of trees. . .) so that was nice. There was water in a few places since we had rain a few days before our hike (since this was a day hike we carried plenty of water so we did not really look at the water sources).

My only complaint was that those tiny blades of dried "grass" kept poking through the mesh of my trail runners and poking my feet. Man those little skinny suckers feel like a thorn in the foot when they stab you. But there was no way to avoid it so I just kept imagining them as little acupuncture needles that would help heal what ails me ;) (and at least my dirty girl gaiters kept them off my socks). Maybe leather uppers would work better in the grasslands?

We saw no one else on the trail all day, so we had all that wilderness to ourselves. A nice way to spend a Saturday.
_____________________
Sep 25 2015
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 25 2015
pjhikes
Backpack20.60 Miles 5,090 AEG
Backpack20.60 Miles2 Days         
5,090 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Section hiking the AZT and finally got down to the border to do passage 1. After we were dropped off at Montezuma Pass (thanks to my sister for the ride) we ditched our packs behind some bushes and hiked to the border for the official start, and the obligatory photos at the monument. Then we picked up the packs on the way back up and began the climb into the Huachucas. The wind was gusting most of the day and some low clouds were hanging over the mountains when we started but cleared up as we climbed. Lots of wildflowers - we hiked through some awesome yellow flowering plants - looked like the brittlebush in Phoenix but it was not brittlebush - sorry I don't know what they were, but they were everywhere, and stunning.

Got to bathtub springs and it was full and overflowing. We filled up on our water here and kept going to find a place to camp. We passed a few good places but it was too early to stop so we kept going up. Finally as we were getting toward sunset we found a very small site for our tents just off the trail (the next day we found several better places closer to the turnoff to Sunnyside Canyon Trail - but we would never had made it before dark). I was so ready to stop for the day - that climb had my legs just screaming. The wind continued to gust all night, but temps were warmer than I expected.

The next morning we hit the trail early and continued to climb for a while before starting the descent into Sunnyside Canyon. We got our first glance at Parker Canyon Lake - seemed so far away still. Found more water all along the canyon and we did filter a little more along here for the hike to Parker Canyon Lake since it was getting warm and we were hiking more in the sun now :sweat: The flowers from the day before were now gone and the grasses and washes were the main theme. The trail was a little overgrown in places - most likely from the summer rains and not as much use. We saw no one else on the trail for two days (except one trail runner going up to Miller Peak on day one). We were very hot by the time we reached the end of the passage. My sister wasn't there yet to get us, so we walked to the lake and splashed in the water and got ice cream from the marina while we waited for our ride. All in all a nice two days on the trail.
Named place
Named place
Bathtub (Tub) Spring
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
_____________________
Aug 28 2015
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Happy Jack - AZT #28Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 28 2015
pjhikes
Backpack30.60 Miles 2,600 AEG
Backpack30.60 Miles2 Days         
2,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finished Passage 29 this weekend. Dropped a car at Gooseberry Trailhead at 6am Friday and then took the second car to the south end of the passage off 87 after doing a water drop near FR294 where the trail crosses (just to make sure we would have more water if needed on day two). So we got hiking about 8:00 and the weather was still cool (maybe in the upper 60's to low 70's).

The trail starts off nice - in the pines on a single track. Then the temps got warmer and we hit the lava rocks on the forest roads - not the most fun part of the trail. I was glad to have my trekking umbrella along the open areas of the trail since the sun was hot and not much of a breeze. Somewhere near Gonzales Tank we started to see bear tracks that looked fairly fresh, but never did see a bear. I had said at the start of our hike that I thought it would cool to see a bear (as long as it was moving away from us!) - but when I saw the sharp claw marks in the track I decided that I didn't want to see the bear after all, so we made lots of noise as we hiked. :scared: We camped (after a few more miles) in the pines across from a lovely meadow and watched as the full moon came up.

Right after sunset the elk rutting began. They must have been rubbing their antlers against trees or each others antlers, and then a few bugles began. . . I know that sound carries but it sure sounded like they were just across the meadow from us. The noise went on for maybe an hour and then things got real quiet except for an occasional owl hooting. Not a breeze all night long - it was so quiet and still.

Up at sunrise and a quick breakfast before starting the steady mild climb up. More of the same from the day before but cooler temps in the morning made it nice. We passed more tanks (most of the tanks had water by the way), picked up our water we had dropped, and headed out passed the power lines - glad that I had just read the guidebook to follow the faint trail just passed the first tower, since it was a very faint trail) and again climbed up to more forest roads.

Just as we sat down for an early lunch the clouds rolled in and we heard the thunder, so we ate fast and got our packs back on just as the rain came. So much for a long rest at lunch. The rain and clouds were a welcome relief from the sun and heat, but I could have done without the lightening and thunder (which thankfully never got real close to us). We turned back onto the single track for the last five miles or so and walked in the rain - and muddy trail - the rest of the way to Gooseberry Springs TH. Finished up about 2:00 and decided to head to THAT Brewery in Pine for a real lunch break after getting the second car.

All in all a very nice backpack weekend.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
May 22 2015
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Santa Catalina Mountains - AZT #11Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 22 2015
pjhikes
Hiking11.55 Miles 2,825 AEG
Hiking11.55 Miles
2,825 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
We started at Molino Basin because that is where we ended on a previous day hike from Redington Road on passage 10. I'll add that link for the mileage once I finish the first part of that passage, but it added 2.5 miles to this trip. My hiking partner (Jamie) and I drove down from Phoenix the night before so we could get an early start on Friday since we thought it might be hot in the lower elevations of this passage. Thankfully the weather cooperated by being one of the cooler Memorial Day weekends - and of course the breeze helped too. I remember passage 10 being really windy when we did that one, and this time the wind started off as a gentle breeze but soon got gusty especially near Sycamore Canyon. Jamie was hiking ahead of me and I stopped to take my trekking umbrella down after a gust of wind inverted it (and distracted me on an area of the trail where it drops off on the right side! No bueno - so I stopped to put it away!) Anyway, I was hiking along after that and started heading east for what I thought was too long for a typical switchback, and could not see that the trail went down to where I needed to go. I could not see Jamie anywhere and thought maybe I missed a turn somewhere, so I backtracked a little but didn't see any other trail that would take me where I needed to go. :? Damn! Stay calm. . . look at your map - OH! It was just a really long switchback above Palisade TJ where I couldn't see the trail below. I felt stupid when I finally caught up to Jamie at the junction and had to explain why it took me so long to get there!

Initially we planned to stop for the night at Hutch's Pool, but since we got an early start we got to Hutch's way too soon to camp. But we did take a much needed long break there to cool off in the water and filter some of that lovely water to take with us. It would have been a great place to camp for the night - another time maybe.

And then the climbing began. . . and the light was starting to fade, so we camped just a couple miles away somewhere along the west fork of the canyon. The temps that night were great for camping, and it was so quiet. A great nights sleep and up early to climb some more, and into passage 12.

I was worried about Romero Pass (especially carrying a backpack), and it was a long climb, but not as bad as I had imagined, and the views. . . the views were so worth it! I loved looking out at the wilderness side (as opposed to looking out toward Tucson) and seeing nothing but wild as far as you can see. It was hazy (maybe from a wildfire north of Sonoita?) but still some great views up there! We took another nice long lunch break in the pines at the top before heading into the Wilderness of the Rocks area. It just kept getting better. I loved all the strange and wonderful rock formations. And now that we were at a higher elevation the temperature was more comfortable than the previous day down in the canyon.

Our next stop was Lemmon Creek. We had originally planned to camp there the second night - but since we got farther the first day, and didn't take as long to hike up Romero Pass. . . we got there too early to stop for the day, but again took a leisurely break to soak our feet in the creek and have a snack. This was one of our favorite places so far on this already spectacular passage. It was so lush and cooling. The ferns, some yellow columbines, the clear creek, a frog, soft pine needles to rest on - what's not to like. By the way, there was plenty of good water all along this section - and we had filtered more water before we got here, but this would have been a really good source. We also started seeing more people as we got up to this area (it was a Saturday on a holiday weekend - so we expected to see more people out, but still there was plenty of solitude the whole trip).

We ended up camping tucked next to some giant rock formation before the Marshall Gulch trail junction, and it was the perfect spot. It was still very windy, and much colder up there, so the rocks made for a nice wind break (but it was a cold nights sleep). That left a very short but sweet hike the next day through the pines and along Marshall Gulch. Really pretty area!

We had left a car at the Oracle Ridge Trailhead - and I guess if I had really done my homework I would have left it at the Marshall Gulch Trailhead instead. I could have done without the road walk up through Summerhaven. But we finished early in the morning and retrieved the other car on the way down the mountain and made our way back to Phoenix. No celebratory beer this time since it was only 9:30am (but I guess it was 5:00 somewhere?!) Still, a great way to spend a few days on the trail. Loved all the variety of terrain in this area.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Apr 15 2015
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Whiterock Mesa - AZT #25Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2015
pjhikes
Hiking40.00 Miles 1,284 AEG
Hiking40.00 Miles
1,284 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
With thanks to my neighbor for allowing me to use his trailer in Pine as a base camp, I was able to do passages 26, 27 and 28 as day hikes, with car shuttles. My hiking partner Jamie and I meet up at the Geronimo trailhead to park a car on Wednesday after the drive up from Phoenix, and then drove my car back to the Pine trailhead for a short hike the first day on passage 27. Some nice views to the south, a well marked trail, and cool weather made it a nice start for the week. Saw the biggest horned lizard I have ever seen, and a snake (not rattler) that was moving slowly across the trail. Loved Weber Creek at the end of this passage - with it's lovely purple flowers along the way, and beautiful water flowing (some great looking campsites to explore next time I am up that way too). Then took Jamie's car back to get my car at the Pine trailhead to get to our overnight at the trailer near Pine.

Next day we took a car to Washington Park and then went back to Geronimo to start day two on passage 27. This was my favorite hike of the whole trip. Lots of water flowing in all of the creeks, and a nice variety of scenery. We would be hiking over rocks close to the rim, and then in pines along creeks. . . I was smiling almost the whole time I hiked this section - my kind of trail. Made good time and then headed back to Pine for a beer and dinner at THAT Brewery. A great day! :)

Day three took us out to Hardscrabble passage (#26) - with cars at each end. I wasn't looking forward to this passage (except for Oak Spring), fearing the ankle twisting rocks and road walking, but it surprised me by being a nice hike after all - not my favorite, but fairly easy and some nice views of the rim and to the south along the way. Early into this passage a couple of thru hikers (Hiker Box and Heart Breaker) caught up to us and we all hikes together the rest of the way. It was great to talk to them about their trip so far, and they helped us to pick up our pace that day too. We shared some food and water with them since they had just come through the Mazatzal wilderness and had the scratches to show for it. They were hiking hungry into Pine. Another thru hiker caught up to us at the end (Bird Food), so we gave all three a ride into town to get supply boxes and find a place to stay before heading back to get the car left at the start of our hike. Then another dinner at THAT Brewery.

Day four was a long car shuttle day since we had already hike the first 7 miles (or so) of passage 28 in a previous trip. So we parked a car at the end of passage #28 and drove to FR 123A north of FR 300 (rim road) to start our hike that day. Such a lovely passage thru the pines, down into the pretty dry clear creek and then up and along the Blue Ridge. Cool weather, clouds, and a breeze (that helped keep the gnats away) made it a lovely day. We headed back to the car on the rim and moved it to General Springs and left it overnight and went back to the trailer in Pine. The next day we headed to Washington Park for the last two miles of passage 27, up the rim, to get to the car we left up there. I was kind of dreading the climb up the rim, but it wasn't bad at all (I guess the only thing we have to fear is fear itself). The last half mile up was steep with some loose rocks, but very doable after all. I am glad we were slack packing it, and that we went uphill instead of down (I hate going down on loose rocks!). Then we had the long car shuttle back to Washington Park to get the other car before heading back to Phoenix.

Great hikes, great weather, but I am now spoiled with the trailer (showers at the end of each day, hot food, and a warm bed). But at the same time I kind of missed the backpacking part and camping (but it was cold at night, so I was very happy to have the trailer). The long distance hikers I talked to all rated the AZT among the best - so I feel privileged to have it in our back yard and glad to be able to section hike my way across the state. I have almost 170 miles of it done now, and looking forward to some great summer trips in the higher passages. When I have more time I will add some photos.
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
Mar 06 2015
pjhikes
avatar

 Photos 171
 Triplogs 19

64 female
 Joined Jan 12 2015
 Prescott Valley,
Santa Rita Mountains - AZT #5Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 06 2015
pjhikes
Backpack13.85 Miles 1,942 AEG
Backpack13.85 Miles2 Days   4 Hrs      
1,942 ft AEG29 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
My first triplog - I hope I get it right ;) And I'll try to add photos later. . .

I am section hiking the AZT (along with a friend, Jamie) and we did passages 5 and 6 this past weekend. We dropped my car at the north end of passage 6 and because my brother-in-law agreed to shuttle us to the start of passage 5 we dropped Jamie's car with extra water on FR 231 where the trail crosses.

The hike into Kentucky Camp from the start of passage 5 was nice, and Steve (the caretaker at the camp) offered us hot coffee and a tour of the facility. We decided to take an early lunch break here too. Ran into four thru hikers ('tis the season) and wished them well. It was a very windy (gusty) day (at least it kept us cool).

After Kentucky Camp, there was a lot of road walks with some ATV riders coming and going, and lots of ups and downs. We did 12 miles and started looking for a place to camp. Lots of rocks, and not much in the way of flat areas, but we did find a space to pitch the tents and have dinner and watch the FULL MOON come up! Very bright night - and cold. The coyotes were having a party all night.

After wiping the frost off everything in the morning (burr) we packed up and headed out to get to Jamie's car (a few miles into passage 6) for lunch and to refill water. Fairly easy hike to there and we took our time at the comfort of the car to get re-organized, eat lunch and freshen up. Then on to more climbs and descents all day. It was hot, and the sun was starting to get to us, but then we got some overcast skies and a breeze :app: We didn't see any other hikers out there at all (strange for a Saturday I would think), but there were a few mountain bikers, and of course we heard gun shots near the roads where the there was target shooting areas (I always get a little freaked out by the gunshots - hoping that a stray bullet doesn't find it's way to me - that would suck!)

Once again we were getting to the end of the day and looking for camp spots and finding few options. There were places in a couple of the canyons but it was too early so we kept going. We ended up camping just off the trail near a spring because it was the only flat spot (maybe just past mulberry canyon?). Not as cold the second night, and very quiet. No coyote parties that night.

The last day was a much easier hiking day as the terrain flattened out, but it was my least favorite part of the trail (lots of open space, cactus. . .). Was glad to get back to the car early and head into Tucson for lunch before driving back to Phoenix for the work week. Glad to have these two passages behind us, but still a fun weekend on the trail!

We didn't check any of the water sources since we had plenty and were able to cache water, but for thru hikers there is of course water at Kentucky Camp, and we did notice some water along the way that could be filtered - and of course lots of options to cache water along some of the roads if you want.

Hope to see you on the trail!
Flora
Flora
Desert Anemone
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
some white daisy like flowers, fairy duster, and a few other flowers just starting to show.
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.79 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker