WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,173

    Default April AZT Section Recommendations

    My permit request for a Grand Canyon hike in April was rejected so I'm looking at the Arizona Trail instead, with a focus on easy access from Tucson or Phoenix. My initial research leads me to think that doing passages 8-17 southbound might be a decent option. This is about 187 miles and would start in Superior (which has Greyhound service from Phoenix) via a six mile connector trail to the AZT called the "Legends of Superior Trail", or LOST trail. From there, heading southbound would put the higher elevation areas of passages 9 and 12 toward the end of the hike (not sure if snow is an issue that time of year). I'd end at the Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead within close proximity to Vail and I-10 presumably with easy access to Tucson (I10 hitch or Uber). I suppose it would also be equally simple logistically to do this in reverse (northbound).

    In terms of resupply, I was thinking that (heading southbound), Kelvin, Oracle, and Summerhaven would be the easiest access possibilities, although I'm not sure if Kelvin has anything to offer or if a hitch to Kearny would be needed. Of course, water is another issue that I'm in the process of researching. My prior hiking experience includes the PCT throughout Southern California so I have a bit of desert hiking experience and have hauled a lot of water.

    Other sections I have considered include the Mexican border to near Tucson, or hiking north of Superior into the Superstition Wilderness, but I'm not sure about logistics for getting back to Phoenix. I'd consider any section with a mileage range between 120 to 200. I have up to 12 days I can spend on-trail on this trip but anywhere from 7-12 days would work out fine.

    I'm not going to be able to thru any medium or long distance trail for the foreseeable future so sectioning is, unfortunately, all I can hope for in 2019. In addition to this hike, I'm hoping to do a Pinhoti section this winter and my usual hike in the Sierra Nevada in late summer.

    Any tips or suggestions would be great. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,173

    Default

    It occurs to me that Superior to Pine might also be a very nice segment within the mileage range I am looking for, and several shuttle services appear to serve Payson and Pine from Phoenix.

    Anyway, I've got a bit of time to plan and will check back to see if there are any suggestions.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,102

    Default

    IMO, the LOST Tr is best for AZT MBers on MB's heading into or from Superior. I walked most of it going into Superior for resupply on a GET EABO Thru. I eventually went out to Hwy 60 sticking my thumb out and got a ride within 10 mins. Hwy 60 is a straight shot taking you right back to Gold Canyon and Apache Junction for GET and AZT trail hook ups in the Superstitions near Phoenix. I enjoy those areas in spring before it gets overly hot and water is easier to find although I don't perceive water hard to find on teh AZT or GET in early enough spring.

  4. #4
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,497
    Images
    2

    Default

    It's been ten years already since I hiked that area. The trail routing and resupply options have changed, especially in Kearney and Oracle. Oracle was my only resupply in that area.

    If you're going self-supported and don't cache your own water beforehand, you'll have some seriously long carries. Mine were 40 miles, and I dropped a cache at Freeman Rd. It may challenge your PCT experience, as it did mine. Some of the sources listed as low reliability did have water, but I remember being happy not to need it. Consider renting a car for a day and dropping water caches. And contact the ATA--a couple of caches may be maintained now, I hear.

    And there's a big difference between early April and late April, both with snowpack and temperature. You should be fine with snow, but hiking in 90+F temps later in the season can really change your water needs.

    Road traffic is pretty light at the Gabe Zimmerman TH. Just a few locals. I just bicycled past there. If you can arrange to get there on a weekend, you'll probably be able to easily yogi a ride from another trail user. Lots of bike traffic. And be sure to take the time to read about Gabe--it's a fitting memorial to a memorable young man, tragically lost.

    Consider hiking north to Pine. Hitching back to Phoenix via Payson may take a while, but should be possible. Hwy 87 near Mesa is high speed, four lane freeway, but hitching may be possible.

    Be very good at navigation, and/or have very reliable tools. Always keep in mind a bailout plan for water. In some areas you can see cattle tanks (private property) in the near distance. An area map like the DeLorme atlas is good to get a big picture.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,173

    Default

    I should have should have specified that I'll be hiking in early April, and possibly even the last few days of March. That's just where it would work out schedule wise but I also figure it'll cut down on the heat, although maybe at the consequence of snow depending on location. On balance I'd rather deal with a bit of snow in exchange for lower temps and potential for seasonal water sources to be running.

    Pine looks like a good place to enter or exit the trail. There's actually a shuttle recommended by the AZT association that goes from PHX to Payson and Pine for $70 - likely worthwhile to pay it.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,102

    Default

    I think it was two yrs ago there was a small water cache at Freeman Rd in late April first wk May.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-17-2005
    Location
    Ambler, PA
    Posts
    594
    Images
    5

    Default

    This early April. I started at Gabe Zimmerman nobo. It was too hot for me and the water caches were running low. I would look into going north from Phoenix.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,173

    Default

    Dogwood and others, what do you all think of the section from Pine to Flagstaff starting at the end of March/beginning of April? The trail description sounds great for this segment and the mileage is good, with easy resupply at Mormon lake and simple logistics for entry and exit. However, I wonder about how much snow the area might have in an average year? Obviously each year is different. I don't mind some occasional snow. The Arizona Trail Association lists passages 27-33 as mostly April-October or November.

    If if there's too much snow and it's looking tedious I could always opt for another segment, of course, but looking to plan around a section that is more likely than not to work well.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,102

    Default

    I don't know Coffee. I haven't hiked all of that and not March or April. How about calling the BLM and Stewards for those sections listed on the AZT site?

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,173

    Default

    Yes I'm going to do more research but thought someone might have info here. From what I've read so far on trail journals and other sources, snow is possible for the section north of pine but I don't think a huge issue in April for me. Nice thing about this trail, from what I've read so far, is that there are many diverse options near PHX, like hiking a lower elevation section if snow is an issue which presents good backup plans.

  11. #11
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO
    Age
    64
    Posts
    5,497
    Images
    2

    Default

    I hiked that section in early April and was challenged by an early spring storm, just a few inches of snow, but high winds and low temps in the teens for a couple of days. Good three-season gear kept me going. You likely won't see old snow on the ground then.

    Ten years ago the resupply at Mormon Lake was very limited in April. I think their season hadn't started yet.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,173

    Default

    Thanks Garlic. That seems to confirm what I've been reading.

    Although a resupply at Mormon Lake would be nice, it's just two days to Flagstaff from there and I could go without a resupply if needed.

    I dont mind some snow and cold temps, just don't like trudging through a lot of it for many days.

    I think that I'll plan on this section and if conditions seem negative shortly before my hike, I'll switch to something closer to Phoenix at lower elevation.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,102

    Default

    I would concrete confirm Mormon Lake as a resupply by calling if that's to be 100% relied upon for a resupply location.

    Many if not most AZTers don't take the longer distance higher elev AZT route around Flagstaff. They go into Flag on a lower elev route.

  14. #14
    Registered User StubbleJumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2007
    Location
    Constant Amazement
    Posts
    512

    Default

    I concur. Phone Mormon Lake in advance to find out when they are open in April. I walked down the hill in April 2013 to discover that they were only open a few days per week, so I didn't get my burger, beer and resupply at the complex. However, a local drove past and spoke with my buddy and me, and after we noted that we had hoped for a burger and beer, he drove back home and brought us each a beer from his fridge. That really made our day. We didn't get what we had hoped for, but we got something that in some ways was better. A complete stranger made time in his day to do something very nice for us.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Thanks Garlic. That seems to confirm what I've been reading.

    Although a resupply at Mormon Lake would be nice, it's just two days to Flagstaff from there and I could go without a resupply if needed.

    I dont mind some snow and cold temps, just don't like trudging through a lot of it for many days.

    I think that I'll plan on this section and if conditions seem negative shortly before my hike, I'll switch to something closer to Phoenix at lower elevation.
    May be a good idea to get solid SnowBowl conditions beta close to this yrs hiking timeframe for yourself. I've been there at the top of AZ's High Pt(Mt Humphrey and Aggasiz) in April with no snow one yr and one yr it being a snow mountaineering affair.

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,173

    Default

    I'll definitely get some info on snow conditions starting in March to see how conditions are likely to be. Since there are a few alternate lower elevation possibilities, one way or another I think that I should be able to put together an interesting trip that's about 100-120 miles in length. Including travel time I have only eight days so realistically only about six full days on trail. Looking at a start right around the last weekend of March.

    Does anyone happen to know whether fuel canisters are available in Payson or Pine? I might just go directly to a Phoenix area REI prior to taking the Payson shuttle to the trail. This service quoted $85 from PHX to Pine which seems pretty reasonable for a ~100 mile trip. http://waazapp.com/paysonairportshuttle.html

    I will call Mormon Lake closer to my trip. It would be nice for either small resupply to get to Flagstaff or for a real meal/shower, but definitely not necessary.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-31-2007
    Location
    tempe, az
    Posts
    671
    Images
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    I'll definitely get some info on snow conditions starting in March to see how conditions are likely to be. Since there are a few alternate lower elevation possibilities, one way or another I think that I should be able to put together an interesting trip that's about 100-120 miles in length. Including travel time I have only eight days so realistically only about six full days on trail. Looking at a start right around the last weekend of March.

    Does anyone happen to know whether fuel canisters are available in Payson or Pine? I might just go directly to a Phoenix area REI prior to taking the Payson shuttle to the trail. This service quoted $85 from PHX to Pine which seems pretty reasonable for a ~100 mile trip. http://waazapp.com/paysonairportshuttle.html

    I will call Mormon Lake closer to my trip. It would be nice for either small resupply to get to Flagstaff or for a real meal/shower, but definitely not necessary.
    https://www.walmart.com/store/1369/payson-az/search

    https://www.yelp.com/biz/lake-mary-c...pd5N5yoyzSuhtA

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,173

    Default

    Thanks. Looks like the Big 5 in Payson is an option too.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    18,102

    Default

    Big 5 has let me down too many times that I no longer highly rely on them for iso canisters. When I do find cans there they have virtually always been the larger 8 oz size. Off topic, the wt of the iso packaging - the empty can - is about 40% of the wt which is usually around 13.5 oz not including the cap. UGGH.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-13-2019
    Location
    Apache Junction, AZ
    Age
    73
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Coffee,
    I live in Apache Junction....there are lot's of possibilities. PM me for more details, and I will be happy to help with shuttling.
    Sailor1

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •