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  1. #21
    Registered User nobadays's Avatar
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    My wife and I live in north central AZ and are avid AZT section hikers, 284 miles to date - shooting to complete it in the next year or two. We have hiked most of the trail from the LF Ranch outside of Payson to the Utah border - just missing the passages between the South Rim and Kelly Tank (just north of the San Juan Mts.)

    All of this just to add... A GPS is extremely helpful in places, as someone pointed out, cows+water somewhere near by but they also are pretty good "trail builders!" We have seen places where trails are heading off in all directions - which one to take? The AZT "stakes" and tree markers really help as do cairns. But having the track downloaded into a gps has put us back on the trail numerous times. Our last hike (from the North Rim to Utah) we had the new Guthook AZT app - Highly recommend it!

    Water... always an issue on the AZT. Last summer a "seasoned hiker" was airlifted out of the Mazatzals after becoming severly dehydrated, and as it turns out he apparently passed up a water tank because he didn't like the look of the water. Unless you are certain you have enough water to reach the next KNOWN TO BE RELIABLE water source, passing a tank because the water doesn't look good is a no no. A friend related a story of coming on a tank in the southern sections with a dead coyote in it... he filtered and used Aqua Mira tabs but said it still tasted like what he figured dead coyote would taste like...but it was water and got him to the next water hole.

    You mentioned renting a car and going out to cache water. That may be great in some places but unfortunately it may take a 4x4 or at least a high clearance vehicle (and good driving skills) to get to some places you might want to cache. We have done some caching - others may have more ideas on how/where.

    We love hiking this trail! You see few people so it is fun to run into folks esp if they are coming from where you are headed, they can be a wealth of info as to what is up ahead. Have fun, be safe!

    Nobadays and "Just Susan"

  2. #22
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    I've had some questionable water but never dead coyote water! I've ordered the guidebook and I'm sure I'll,have more questions after I read it

  3. #23
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    Just FYI for anyone thinking about ordering the guidebook ... I just received mine today and it looks very nice! It reminds me of the Colorado Trail guidebook in terms of size and weight. Not something I'd consider carrying on trail but wonderful for planning. I'm going to plan out a AZT hike, I know I will hike it someday whether this upcoming spring or a future year!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Not something I'd consider carrying on trail but wonderful for planning.
    why not? the ct guidebook was invaluable on trail during my ct hike.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikeandbike5 View Post
    why not? the ct guidebook was invaluable on trail during my ct hike.
    Too heavy.

  6. #26

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    One big difference between the CT and AZT is the availability of water. You can do 90% of the CT carrying only one liter of water. On much of the AZT you need to carry at least 4 - 5 liters. That increases pack weight by 8 pounds or so and is good motivation for cutting as much weight wherever possible. Items such as the Guidebook are heavy and IMO, not necessary on either trail.

    We used the guidebook for planning, but began our hike with only Guthooks and printed maps from the AZT web site. We quit carrying the maps after the first 100 miles as we were not referring to them much. We also printed and carried the water report data from the Hike Arizona website which we used frequently.

    Although we used inflatable Thermarests on the CDT and CT, we used foam pads on the AZT. There are thorns everywhere, and I don't think an inflatable would have survived it.

  7. #27
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    Good insight on the foam pads vs inflatables...thanks. Not sure I can sleep on a foam pad anymore however... I might consider using my Prolite rather than neo air as it is seemingly more durable. That's what I used on the CT. My Neoair survived the southern ca section of the pct just fine but there are many established sites that are cleared which I suspect is not always the case on the art.

  8. #28

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    On much of the AZT you need to carry at least 4 - 5 liters. That increases pack weight by 8 pounds or so and is good motivation for cutting as much weight wherever possible.

    It's 8.83 lbs to more than 11 lbs. Your advice holds true perhaps even is more worthy in that light.

    Water wt needed to be carried on the AZT fluctuates though seasonally, according to water finding skills, hiking logistics, hiking philosophy, deep apprisement of known waters sources, etc

  9. #29
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    ...A 40 mile carry would be new for me but I think I could handle it if needed, depending on the amount of food carry that coincided with that kind of extended dry stretch. I'd probably go stoveless on this trip.
    After hiking the Hat Creek Rim (on the PCT, 35 miles between water sources) in warm weather with only four liters, I felt ready for 40+ miles on the AZT in similar temps. On my 47-mile record stretch, I carried seven liters (three 2+ Platys--don't keep all your eggs in one basket!) in warmer temps (low 90s). Be sure to have enough salt in your diet--I was craving it more than water on day 2 of that carry, as in licking the cracker bag. (In So AZ, at a desert state park outside of Tucson on a 100F day, a picnicker I lunched with in a ramada offered a hard boiled egg that had been boiled in brine. Ambrosia--I yogied another.)

    Good instincts on stoveless hiking. Desert hiking and dry camping is where stoveless really comes into its own, I feel.

    About the sleeping pad, as noted above the Sonoran vegetation is way different than the Colorado or Chihuahuan deserts. Acacia abounds, and that stuff will go through your shoes. An inflatable could last with extreme care, and that means every time you set your pack down. A Platy bladder got punctured inside my pack once, when I carelessly set the pack down on a whitethorn acacia branch. With experience, you can make it work, but as always, experience comes at a price. What's the saying? "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  10. #30

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    And let me guess, you're 47 mile section was covered in about 1 1/2 days time(about 15-16 hrs hiking time)?

    Hat Creek Rim can be approached not as a 35 mile stretch between water sources nor a straight long blistering hot shadeless hike. PCT water report helped me a lot on that stretch which I've done twice in late June and mid July. Water at Subway Cave, eating there, water at Lost Creek Spring, involving a 10 min downhill off the PCT, DEFINITELY TREATING water from a cow slime pit just south of FR 22, and a typical decently sized cache at Rd 22 in the shade, and water at a creek and nearby bridge crossing of a small river, all break up that stretch. Nor did I do it mainly as a middle of the day hike. Night hiked, early morn, and later afternoon(after 6 p.m. is how I've approached it.

    Considerate distinctions made between different deserts in respect to flora.

    +1 "Good instincts on stoveless hiking. Desert hiking and dry camping is where stoveless really comes into its own, I feel."

  11. #31
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    And let me guess, you're 47 mile section was covered in about 1 1/2 days time(about 15-16 hrs hiking time)?
    That's about right. I don't remember any climbing, mainly good trail down grade from Jacob Lake north, so it went pretty fast, about 24 hours elapsed. We couldn't get a car into the Stateline TH due to poor road conditions. We had a little extra water, so we decided not to yogi a ride out and instead took a seven-mile bonus hike of the Buckskin Gulch slot canyons to cap off a very memorable AZT hike.

    When I hiked Hat Creek in '04, I don't remember anything about any water options. But my wife, GreasePot, was in charge of logistics that day, and when she says we hike 35 miles to the next water, that's what we do. Like I said, it was good training for the AZT!

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    ... We couldn't get a car into the Stateline TH due to poor road conditions. We had a little extra water, so we decided not to yogi a ride out and instead took a seven-mile bonus hike of the Buckskin Gulch slot canyons to cap off a very memorable AZT hike.

    When I hiked Hat Creek in '04, I don't remember anything about any water options. But my wife, GreasePot, was in charge of logistics that day, and when she says we hike 35 miles to the next water, that's what we do. Like I said, it was good training for the AZT!
    That's the way to cap a AZT thru! OR...The Wave...OR...There's a washout, an obvious sandy dip in House Rock Valley Rd between Stateline TH and HWY 89. This is Buckskin Gulch before it gets real narrow and deep. It often gets muddy and possibly impassable in wet or slushy road conditions especially with a 2WD. I've seen small flash floods in this wash. But you can hike that out to U.S. HWY 89 in Utah. THIS IS the Hayduke TR.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    That's the way to cap a AZT thru! OR...The Wave...OR...There's a washout, an obvious sandy dip in House Rock Valley Rd between Stateline TH and HWY 89. This is Buckskin Gulch before it gets real narrow and deep. It often gets muddy and possibly impassable in wet or slushy road conditions especially with a 2WD. I've seen small flash floods in this wash. But you can hike that out to U.S. HWY 89 in Utah. THIS IS the Hayduke TR.
    Is that highway hitch friendly? The logistics of getting to an airport seem daunting from the northern terminus without a prearranged shuttle. Vegas seems like the most logical airport to use. There is an airport Shuttle from St. George Utah so it would be a matter of getting to St George I think...

  14. #34

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    I've hitched into Kanab and Page on HWY 89 without much difficulty and back to my hikes.

  15. #35
    Digger takethisbread's Avatar
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    I would consider doing this trail this March in preparation (bored) for the PCT if it is at all possible in that month.


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  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Is that highway hitch friendly? The logistics of getting to an airport seem daunting from the northern terminus without a prearranged shuttle. Vegas seems like the most logical airport to use. There is an airport Shuttle from St. George Utah so it would be a matter of getting to St George I think...

    When we hiked last fall we parked a vehicle in Flagstaff and were shuttled to the northern terminus by Betty Price - End of the Trail Shuttles (928) 355-2252. There is a airport in Flagstaff.

  17. #37
    Registered User handlebar's Avatar
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    I stayed at Lulu's Sleep Ezze Motel in Page, AZ the night before starting my hike and managed to talk the owner to drive me to the UT border TH after the shuttle I had arranged fell through (for the same fee). I drove to Page and stored my car at the long term lot at the airport ($30/mo arranged wih city hall). I hiked sobo and rented a car near southern terminus one way for drive to Phoenix airport where there is a daily flight to Page.
    Last edited by handlebar; 12-28-2015 at 19:46.
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    GA-ME 06; PCT 08; CDT 10,11,12; ALT 11; MSPA 12; CT 13; Sheltowee 14; AZT 14, 15; LT 15;FT 16;NCT-NY&PA 16; GET 17-18

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