The Arizona Trail

My youngest daughter (Avery Lane) just completed the 800 mile Arizona Scenic Trail (AZT). I provided logistical support and accompanied her on a few of the segments. It took her (50) days to complete the (43) passages from the Mexican border, in the Huachuca Mountains, to the Utah border on the the Kaibab Plateau.

Start 3/25/2021
Finish 5/13/2021

The first couple of miles are a bit odd. You can park at Montezuma Pass in the Coronado National Monument but then must hike south for ~2 miles to the obelisk marker at the actual border. When Avery and I did this section, the trail to the border was still ‘technically’ closed due to border wall construction…..!

Coincidentally new wall construction ended exactly at the AZT Trailhead on 1/20/2021! To the left (east) is still the original wire fence.

As you turn back and head north you pass Coronado Peak. This is where Dale Shewalter, a Flagstaff public school teacher, envisioned the idea of linking trails on private and public land to span the entire State. The last passage of the AZT was completed in 2012. There is a Golden Spike on Passage 16 just north of the Gila river to commemorate this accomplishment.

The remainder of this post will attempt to show some of the amazing biogeography of our State. Hopefully it will encourage you to consider exploring some of the passages. Most people who enjoy the AZT are not ‘through-hikers’ but rather divide it up over time. Please feel free to contact me or Avery if you have any questions. Contact info below or through Pima County Chapter of the Arizona Master Naturalists.

Agave parryi var. huachucensis
Captured on a UofA Jaguar Monitoring Camera on Miller Peak

From mountain snow to desert heat.
Quemada Canyon near Colossal Cave, Vail Arizona
Water where you can get it in the desert. North of Oracle Az.
Gila River near Kearney
West of Superior Az.
Champion Juniper in Reavis Canyon
Mazatzal Peak in the Tonto National Forest just south
of Payson Az.
Snow again near Mormon Lake SE of Flagstaff. But coffee helps!
And just when you think you’re almost done; The Grand Canyon!

Franklin Lane

fdewittlane@gmail.com

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