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  1. #1
    CF97 > Everything Else.
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    Default When is the the start/finish window for the AZT?

    When is the the start/finish window for the Arizona Trail?

    Trying to squeeze in a good hike before
    "... I know it is wrong, but I am for the spirit that makes young men do the things they do. I am for the glory that they know." --Sigurd Olson, Singing Wilderness.


    AT '12, LT '13, CT '14, PCT '15

  2. #2
    CF97 > Everything Else.
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    **D'oh posted too soon.... the end of the year.
    "... I know it is wrong, but I am for the spirit that makes young men do the things they do. I am for the glory that they know." --Sigurd Olson, Singing Wilderness.


    AT '12, LT '13, CT '14, PCT '15

  3. #3
    Garlic
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    You want to head southbound sometime in October and finish in November. It's best to be off the Mogollon Rim, the Mazatzal Divide, and the "sky islands" (peaks above 9,000') in the south before December. Leaving before October could put you into some difficult heat especially in the Grand Canyon and at the start in Utah.

    Most hikers do a northbound hike starting in April.
    "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

  4. #4
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    Right down the road, within easy walking distance of the AZT northern terminus at the UT/AZ line, and VERY WORTHY of experiencing is The Wave and Buckskin Gulch(longest non technical slot canyon in the world). If you can take those in too DO IT! Highly recommend it!

  5. #5
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    Garlic, doesn't the AZT also take in on an alternate route or come near Mt Humphreys? I would also take that in if possible. It's the highest pt in AZ with a possible 2-3 state view also taking in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.

  6. #6
    Garlic
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    Mt Humphreys is a spur off the AZT, about a 4000' climb. Even the TH at the Snow Bowl ski area, which the AZT used to visit, is about a 1,500' climb from the new AZT route. You're right about that view. The trail can be somewhat extreme in winter conditions.

    There's a new "bypass" trail around the base of the San Francisco Peaks Wilderness. The original AZT route climbed over the Kachina Trail in the Wilderness area, off-limits to bikes and tough in winter. The new route is bike-friendly and stays in lower country, and a lot of volunteer hours went in to building it (ahem), but I would still recommend hikers take the Kachina/Weatherford route, up into the aspen. That also allows a visit to the ski area which may be open, and if so is a valuable water source in the area--nothing for 30 miles north of there.

    Similarly, the equestrian route around Flagstaff, which hikers seldom see, has a side trip to Walnut Canyon Nat'l Monument, which is a real gem. I'll be up there next weekend working on a segment of trail.
    "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

  7. #7
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    Did Mt Humphreys up from the Snow Bowl TH and down through the Weartherford/Kachina Trail(s). Slept(in fitfull 30 min periods) atop Humphreys in late Oct and nearly froze in a new 15 * Marmot Helium wearing everything I had with me. Water bottle froze solid in an hr when I mistakenly forget it outside of my sleeping bag. View was top notch that night under no moon though. Could see all the way into Utah as well as the dim lights of Phoenix FAR away below the horizon. Sunset and sunrise were truly memorable. One of the BEST sunsets I've ever experienced. I took water from a outside spigot at the Snow Bowl but did have a a SMALL water source that crossed the trail on my way to the pass between Agasszi Peak(2nd highest peak in AZ) and Mt Humphreys. Despite it being AZ I agree, it probably shouldn't be taken lightly summitting Mt Humphreys in winter conditions.

    Walnut Canyon Nat'l Monument is on my hiking radar. Thx for the beta. I was going to enter the canyon from the Sedona area talking Walnut Canyon and some other Sedona hikes in during the trip. Any other recommendations in the area? I already did a few hikes in Sedona one short one which is a large natural stone bridge - Devil's something or another if I'm recalling correctly.

    Any other must see/experience side hikes or things I might be interested in near or on the AZT? THX.

  8. #8
    CF97 > Everything Else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    You want to head southbound sometime in October and finish in November. It's best to be off the Mogollon Rim, the Mazatzal Divide, and the "sky islands" (peaks above 9,000') in the south before December. Leaving before October could put you into some difficult heat especially in the Grand Canyon and at the start in Utah.

    Most hikers do a northbound hike starting in April.
    Thanks garlic08!
    "... I know it is wrong, but I am for the spirit that makes young men do the things they do. I am for the glory that they know." --Sigurd Olson, Singing Wilderness.


    AT '12, LT '13, CT '14, PCT '15

  9. #9
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Right down the road, within easy walking distance of the AZT northern terminus at the UT/AZ line, and VERY WORTHY of experiencing is The Wave and Buckskin Gulch(longest non technical slot canyon in the world). If you can take those in too DO IT! Highly recommend it!
    It's easy to tack Buckskin Gulch onto an AZT hike by parking about five miles north of the State Line TH where Buckskin Gulch crosses the road. I sort of had to do that when my ride couldn't make it all the way in and when faced with a road walk or Buckskin Gulch, it was a no-brainer. That tacks about seven waterless miles onto the 30 waterless miles from Stateline to Jacob Lake Lodge, but it's doable if you're a desert hiker.
    "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. #10
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    ...Any other must see/experience side hikes or things I might be interested in near or on the AZT? THX.
    Heck, it's 800 miles and I've just scratched the surface.

    The new Black Hills reroute is a fine trail and if you look closely you'll see signs of the ancients.

    Likewise the new Gila Canyons segment is a great trail, though it's tough to miss the old route through Walnut Canyon with its artesian well, and White Canyon. If you can get in there, do it. In that area, Picketpost Mt is a must-climb side trip.

    In the western Superstitions, way off-route, the Crest route from Peralta TH to Lost Dutchman is a world-class traverse.
    "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

  11. #11
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    There is a wildlife tank about 4.5 miles south of the Utah border. It has usually had some water, often times somewhat greenish from algae.

  12. #12
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    Forgot to mention that the wildlife tank is hard to see when going north, but very obvious going south.

  13. #13
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred G View Post
    Forgot to mention that the wildlife tank is hard to see when going north, but very obvious going south.
    Thanks Fred, that's a good bit of information. Pickle and I completely missed it NOBO, though we weren't looking that hard since we had a fresh load from Jacob Lake.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Thanks Fred, that's a good bit of information. Pickle and I completely missed it NOBO, though we weren't looking that hard since we had a fresh load from Jacob Lake.
    Same here. We didn't need it and were only looking to get an idea of how many miles we had left, but never saw it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred G View Post
    There is a wildlife tank about 4.5 miles south of the Utah border. It has usually had some water, often times somewhat greenish from algae.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred G View Post
    Forgot to mention that the wildlife tank is hard to see when going north, but very obvious going south.
    That's a concrete covered one. I slept on top of it. That part of the AZT is the Hayduke Trail. Bit south of that is a large "Wildlife Guzzler" water holding tank with a steel roof which usually holds water taken from a tapped large cistern. I don't have it with me right now but I have some links to various state wildlife and wildlife related sites that have "Guzzlers" on maps. They can be life savers in the arid desert environments.

    THX G for all the beta. I took notes.

  16. #16

    Default Don't camp too close to water in the desert

    Just a friendly reminder that animals rely on those few water sources in the desert country.

    Arizona Revised Statutes 17-308:

    17-308. Unlawful camping
    It is unlawful for a person to camp within one-fourth mile of a natural water hole containing water or a man-made watering facility containing water in such a place that wildlife or domestic stock will be denied access to the only reasonably available water.

    It's a good law. Waiting another day in the desert to get a drink of water would be no fun, even for an animal. Most animals won't dare drink if a person is camping too close.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Any other must see/experience side hikes or things I might be interested in near or on the AZT? THX.
    When you are near the southern end, Kentucky Camp is near the trail. It is an old mining camp that is preserved as a historic site. It is worth a quick stop. The trail runs right by Mt. Wrightson. The view from the summit is spectacular. You can see a long way into Mexico to the South and all of Tucson to the north. It is usually snow free until the end of October.
    Shutterbug

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