Wednesday, November 22, 2023

The Arizona Trail - Part Two

 Late September saw my return to the Arizona Trail to finish this 800-mile adventure that began in the spring in Mexico. This time I would start the adventure at the Utah border and head south, some 450 miles, back to Roosevelt Lake where I ended in mid-April after completing 350 miles. This type of trek is commonly referred to as a "flip-flop" thru-hike. 

I began in Utah and traversed some lovely country to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon that netted me my first and only snowfall of this section - just a dusting - and lovely aspens turning into their famous golden color for the arrival of autumn.

Next up was the rim-to-rim venture of the famous Grand Canyon. We had excellent weather for it and blessedly not too hot on the canyon floor as temps can soar into the 90s and above. The early summer and late fall are excellent times to do it. If staying in the canyon, backcountry permits are required.

Crossing the Colorado River was a joy. As was meeting all sorts of friendly folks on the Bright Angel Trail - our chosen route due to lack of water. 

Afterwards, I headed out for eight days to Flagstaff, with fairly tame trail. But I had run-ins with prescribed burning and other wildfires that made life interesting on the trail and made it a first for me, walking by active burns. 

Eventually, the trail took me off the Colorado Plateau that I'd been hiking on for miles and into the mountain ranges that offered challenges in climbing, negotiating rocky paths, but providing stunning views including my final destination to complete the trail at Roosevelt Lake.

The Four Peaks Wilderness provided some of my more challenging times, outside my snowy descent off Miller Peak back in March.

But the conclusion of a major trail in one year, and a National Scenic Trail at that, made it all worth it. 



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