The Arizona Trail is an 800-ish mile national scenic trail that runs from the Arizona-Mexico border to the Arizona-Utah border. It traverses deserts, mountains, forests, canyons (including the Grand Canyon), rivers and a few towns. It is one of 11 national scenic trails in the US. and passes through no less than 11 “biotic communities” or ecosystems. The low point of the trail is the Gila River at 1700 feet, and the high point is near the end on the Kaibab Plateau which is 9100 feet above sea level. In addition to the Grand Canyon, expected highlights include “sky islands” on the southern passages (Sky islands are isolated mountains surrounded by radically different lowland / desert terrain), Saguaro National Park, climbing over the Mogollon Rim, hiking through the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine forest, traversing the Superstition Wilderness and the Mazatzal Mountains, along with Santa Catalinas, Rincon Mountain Range, the Coconino Rim, and a good chunk of the Sonoran Desert.
I plan to start 28 Feb and cover roughly one of the trail’s 43 passage per day (fully realizing that no plan survives first contact with the enemy!). My husband Parker will join me for days 1-3 and again 9-16. He will then be my personal “Trail Angel” providing re-supply and water every week, as I continue solo. I will carry a GPS tracker to enable him to track my progress since much of the trail lacks cell-phone coverage (that’s kind of the point!). I’m also lucky enough to have a couple of my trail-running friends planning to join me for portions of the second half of the trail, and I’m hoping we can make the logistics work for Parker to join me for the Rim-to-Rim crossing of the Grand Canyon.
All in all, it’s shaping up to be a fabulous adventure and I’m ready to get started!
I’ll post my gear list separately, and report back as to how it worked out for me & why I did or did not love it.