AZT 2018

After much hemming and hawing I made the decision to hike a long distance trail in the Fall of 2018. November seemed like the best time, and as a result, the southwest desert area seemed like the best option (that time of year is too cool for any portion of the PCT, so I’ll have to postpone any dreams of finishing that trail for another year).

So, where to hike? Enter – the Arizona Trail (AZT)! 800 miles long, from Utah to Mexico (or vice versa depending on your direction). Having hiked in the Tucson area and loved it, I thought… why not? It will go into and out of the Grand Canyon and traverse the varied Arizona mountains. There should be a reasonable number of other hikers out there southbounding this time of year, too. And with focus and determination – barring injury or mishap – it should be feasible for me to finish before Thanksgiving. Starting in late September, the hike will take 40-50 days.

I plan to solo sobo (yes, both by myself and southbound, not northbound ;). I fly from Seattle to Salt Lake City, Utah in late September. From there I take a half-day-long Greyhound bus from SLC to St George Utah. Then a shuttle an hour or two west from there to the trailhead.

Longer than usual food carries (up to 8 days) and long water carries – aka a heavy pack in the neighborhood of 45 lbs – will be the main challenge. Drinking from cow ponds. Hiking into the Grand Canyon. Sub freezing temperatures at night. Over 100 degree temperatures during the day. Cactus spines and javelinas to contend with. Who knows what will happen. Adventure is sure to ensue. Perhaps spiritual enlightenment? Or lonely mind-numbing boredom? Can I hack 40+ days solo on the trail? Only time will tell, so stay tuned…

I plan to post about my preparations and my hike, so be sure to follow along!

Also I have a new Patreon, so if you want to encourage me in my hiking and blogging endeavors, please consider supporting me on a recurring basis! Thanks! One-time donations can be made via SquareCash. Thanks in advance for any donations – I truly appreciate any kind of support.

AZT posts:

Summary posts of my AZT hike can be found HERE on my patreon page


Day -11: Preparing for the Arizona Trail
Day -9: Physical Preparation
Day -7: Mental Preparation
Day -6: Strategy
Day -4: Gear Prep
Day -2: Food Prep
Day -1: Double Orca All the Way!

On the trail:

Day 0: Creeps, Shuttles, and a Trailhead
Day 1: 30 Miles Into Jacob Lake!
Day 2: On the Kaibab Plateau
Day 3: Fire Closure and the North Rim Country Store
Day 4: Into The Grand Canyon
Day 5: Out of the Canyon and Into the Campground
Day 6: Tusayan
Day 7: A Zero for Rosa
Day 8: Thunderstorms and Canyon Views
Day 9: Footprints, Solitude and Vertigo
Day 10: Cows and Roads
Day 11: Trail Run, AZT-In-A-Day, Other Humans! and Rain
Day 12: Snow, Running Trail Angels, and Flagstaff
Day 13: Vertigo in Full Effect
Day 14: Back on the Trail in Flagstaff
Day 15: Between Flagstaff and Mormon Lake
Day 16: Elk, Deer, and Mormons! (Lake)
Day 17: The First of Several Zeros
Day 18: Another Zero. In Flagstaff
Day 19: Triple Zero. From Flag to Mormon Lake. Again
Day 20: Back on the Trail – With Mary and Dan
Day 21: Snow-pocalypse
Day 22: Cold Wet Feet
Day 23: Dropping off the Mogollon Rim
Day 24: Into Pine!
Day 25: Out of Pine! Into the Mazatzal Wilderness
Day 26: Second Day out of Pine. Fully in the Mazatzals
Day 27: Midway between Pine and Roosevelt
Day 28: 400 Miles, Granite & Thunderstorms
Day 29: Formidable Four Peaks Wilderness
Day 30: In and Out of Roosevelt Lake
Day 31: A Full Day Between Roosevelt and Superior
Day 32: A Hot Morning Into Superior
Day 33: Out of Superior Past Pickett Post
Day 34: Not Quite Pizza
Day 35: Passed by El Matador
Day 36: Happy Halloween & Trail Magic!!!
Day 37: Oracle Town Day, Jared, and Biosphere 2
Day 38: A Zero in Oro Valley With the Kofrons
Day 39: Second Zero, Family and Friends
Day 40: Oracle to Lemmon in Hiker Trash Style
Day 41: Through the Catalinas
Day 42: Catalinas to the Rincons
Day 43: Saguaro National Park
Day 44: Nearo at Colossal Cave
Day 45: Scorpions, Section Hikers, and Short Day
Day 46: Rattlesnake, Shooting Range, and Mountain Bikers
Day 47: Frosty Morning! Day Before Town
Day 48: 6 Miles into Patagonia and a Cozy Airbnb
Day 49: A Zero in Patagonia
Day 50: Fierce Hiking, a Dumb Hunter, and a UFO
Day 51: Gain=Pain, Easy Day, and Sunshine
Day 52: Mexico, The End, So Long Arizona Trail


Home After Hiking the AZT. And Donations
AZT Post-Hike Thoughts: General Impressions
The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music: AZT Brain Juke Box
AZT Post-Hike Thoughts: Climate and Weather
AZT Post-Hike Gear Review
AZT Post-Hike Thoughts: Terrain and Trail SOBO
AZT Post-Hike Thoughts: Food and Resupply
AZT Post-Hike Thoughts: Water
AZT Post-Hike Thoughts: Fitness

AZT Thru-Hiker Survey!:
Arizona Trail Thru-Hiker Survey 2018