Multiple accesses to the Arizona Trail around Fisher Point make for easily tailored hikes
Canyon before heading back. One of these days, I’ll bring a tent with me and overnight at Marshall Lake, turn around and head home, making a weekend out of it. This section, which is best used between April and November when there’s not a lot of snow, was also popular with my friend and mentor, Randy Wilson, who would often cross-country ski on Forest Road 301 to Fisher Point after a good snowfall. Although I’m not a cross-country skier, I do like to snowshoe, and I have plans to make this section with snowshoes this winter. Arizona Trail The Arizona Trail’s southern trailhead starts at the Mexican border near the city of Sierra Vista and travels more than 800 miles through the state to end up at the Utah border in between Kanab and Page. The Arizona Trail has 43 passages in total, with some passages as short as 12 miles and some that are more than 20 miles. People who have made the long-distance hike have travelled through nearly every type of environment—more than 110,000 feet in cumulative elevation gain. I think many Arizona hikers have the Arizona Trail on their bucket list. I’m one of them. The trick, for a working guy like me, is
By Larry Hendricks
to plan to take sections at a time and eventually complete the trail over many seasons. It would be nice to try to bag the trail in one fell swoop, but life’s responsibilities prevent that for me. I’ve done many sections of the trail in the Coconino and Tonto national forests, but, to date, I’ve hiked less than 100 miles of it. The southern sections are best done in the late fall and winter when it’s not so hot. The higher parts, like the ones in the Tonto and Coconino national forests, are best done after the snows have melted. I hope I have the time to finish it. Until then, at least I have an Arizona Trail passage within walking distance of my house, and it’s a perfect fit for most of my objectives and moods.
If you go … What: The Arizona Natural Scenic Trail Where: Sections south of Flagstaff Difficulty: Easy to difficult Length: Varies Info: aztrail.org november18 namlm.com