Posts Tagged ‘arizona attractions’

The Arizona Trail

August 27th, 2014 by Del & Sheryl Terry

The Arizona Trail was the dream of Dale Shewalter

He envisioned a cross-state trail in the 1970s, and in 1985, while he was working as a Flagstaff schoolteacher, walked from Nogales to the Utah state line to explore the feasibility of a trail traversing Arizona.  Immediately thereafter, Dale began traveling around the state giving presentations on his vision of a trail connecting communities, mountains, canyons, deserts, forests, public lands, historic sites, various trail systems, wilderness areas, and other points of interest.  The idea was embraced by all types of trails users throughout Arizona, and by Arizona State Parks and the Kaibab, Coronado, Coconino, and Tonto National Forests, the Bureau of Land Management, and National Parks Service.Panoramic view of Arizona Trail across the state parks region

Inventory work was needed on determining the existing trails that could be interconnected to be designated as part of the Arizona Trail, and at the same time, where new trails would be needed to traverse Arizona’s diverse landscapes.   In the late 1980′s, Dale was hired by the Kaibab National Forest to be the first paid coordinator for the Arizona Trail, and all agencies began establishing segments of the Arizona Trail.Arizona Trail in the Kiabab National Forest

By 1990, two needs became apparent – a formal partnership among all governmental agencies was necessary to better coordinate efforts and communication, and a non-profit organization for the trail was needed.  Using monies from all four National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and funding of its own, Arizona State Parks assumed the lead role and employed paid coordinators for the Arizona Trail throughout the 1990s.Arizona Trail funded by four national parks

In 1994, the Arizona Trail Association became an organized voice for the trail, and brought together passionate day hikers, backpackers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, runners, trail builders, nature enthusiasts, cross-country skiers, and llama packers from throughout the state.  These committed individuals (then and even more so today) provided the necessary route identification to “close the gaps” of the trail, provided the necessary volunteers for building and maintaining the trail, created maps and provided GPS coordinates, identified water sources and resupply points, and raised money and awareness for the trail.Arizona Trail has an association that organizes and voices needs for the trail

Also in the 1990s and continuing today, various trail crews that spend extended periods of time working on the trail have contributed greatly.  These include various youth corps crews, Sierra Club service trips, American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacations, scouting and college groups, Volunteers for Outdoor Arizona, REI service trips, Backcountry Horsemen of America, International Mountain Bicycling Association – Subaru Trail Care Crews, and many more.  These trail crews can spend extended periods of time in the backcountry, where logistics can be challenging for the typical weekend volunteer work project.Arizona Trail cleaned and maintained by corporate sponsers

Since 2000, some very significant milestones have been reached that originally seemed very difficult to achieve.  These include:   working to reestablish the trail in areas severely affected by major wildfires; traversing the challenging topography north of the Gila River; working through landowner opposition west of the San Francisco Peaks; developing outstanding maps and GPS information to better assist trail users through the remote areas along the trail. It is the above milestones that brought the Arizona Trail to its current completed state.

The Arizona Trail has become one of the premier long distance trails in the country.  The diversity of people that have made this happen are as diverse as the trail itself. The Arizona Trail demonstrates what trail users and land managers can accomplish when they share a common vision.

Interactive Arizona Trail Map

For an Interactive map click here

Hike to the Top of Humphreys Peak

July 25th, 2014 by Del & Sheryl Terry

                                                   Humphreys Peak outside Williams Arizona near the Grand Canyon Bed and Breakfast

East of the  town of Williams is the highest point in Arizona.

Humphreys Peak is the tallest peak in the San Francisco Peaks (upper left), but is often hidden from view on I-17 behind the second tallest mountain in the State, Agassiz Peak (12,360 ft).  From the top, you can see all the way to Grand Canyon (a little more than 70 mile

The nine-mile-round-trip hike officially begins around 9,500 feet in elevation at Arizona Snowbowl.  The main trailhead is located on a parking lot to the left of Snowbowl Road as it passes into the developed ski area.  However, hikers can save about a mile of walking by driving up to the upper lodge of Snowbowl for the second of two trailheads.  A spur trail from this lodge connects with the Humphreys Trail, though some locals consider this the unofficial route of ascent.

From there, the trail winds thru a dense alpine forest and steadily ascends to a ridgeline.  From here, the trail heads to a saddle located between Humphreys and Agassiz Peaks.  Due to threat of a rare plant species, ascending to the top of Agassiz is not permitted.

The Humphreys Trail continues as a cinder path, a little more than a mile from the saddle to the peak. Expect high winds and sprawling and spectacular views in all directions.Humphreys trail at Humphreys Peak in Williams Arizona close to Grand Canyon Bed and Breakfast.

The San Francisco Peaks are the remains of an eroded stratovolcano which erupted around 200,000 years ago (before eruption, 16,000 ft).

A stratovolcano is a tall, conical volcano composed of one layer of hardened lava, tephra, and volcanic ash.  Plan on spending the day between nights at Grand Canyon Bed and Breakfast and spend a day on Humphreys Peak.

Back to top ↑ | Log in
Website Designed and Developed by InsideOut Solutions