Oct 24, 2009 at 12:51 pm #1240541
I am currently planning another very long round the world outdoor trip and look for some inspiration on the following problem:
If everything goes according to plan I will finish the Arizona Trail end of May 2010 at the Arizona/Utah border with 1 month left on my visa. I will fly onward to Australia from the West Coast early July and therefore don't want to go East for hiking.
I am looking for a trail that
– will keep me busy for about one month (I do not want to spend too much time or money on transportation between several trails),
– is located in the Southwestern US (Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, maybe even Idaho or Colorada),
– is doable in June
– does not require too much research or too many maps (ideally one guidebook or map series).
I have already hiked the PCT and CDT and do not want to do a section hike on these trails.
Any ideas or suggestions?
ChristineOct 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm #1539373
Joe ClementBPL Member
Grand Enchantment Trail from Albuquerque.Oct 24, 2009 at 7:07 pm #1539391
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Australian Alpine Walking Track
More details available.
cheersOct 24, 2009 at 11:21 pm #1539443
@joe: I even have the mapset for the Grand Enchantment Trail. But don't you think that June is too hot for that trail?
@roger: The Australian Alpine Walking Track is not exactly in Southwestern US…. But I will hike that trail when I am in Australia during the next stage of my trip. It is one of the reason why I am flying to Australia again.
ChristineOct 24, 2009 at 11:48 pm #1539446
Joe ClementBPL Member
It could be hot, but maybe not too bad. It wouldn't be hot after you got to the Gila mountains though.Oct 24, 2009 at 11:57 pm #1539448
Theodore Solomons Trail? I think it's kind of "meh" though.Oct 25, 2009 at 12:31 am #1539453
Jack, what does "meh" mean?????? Sorry, I am German…and have no clue.
I did some quick googling on the trail and find it very interesting, albeit a little bit short for my purpose. But the only guidebook is from 1987! Would that still be useful? Have you hiked that trail yourself and can give me some first-hand advice?
ChristineOct 25, 2009 at 9:13 am #1539489
Hey, sorry about that. "Meh" is part of the evolving American English language, and an evolution of internet derived speech. Urban Dictionary defines it as indifference.
I'm indifferent about the TST for a few reasons. Mainly, it's a lower elevation west side sierra trail. That means that you'll be in the forest most of the time. Surely it's beautiful forest, but still, it's forest. I doubt that many (in any!) people have thruhiked the TST. As far as I know, the 1987 guide book is the only information on it. I have the book, it's good. And you'll need to buy the maps and see how it all fits together.
I suggest it mainly because I don't think that there are many other trails in the west that meet your criteria. Perhaps the only other ones would be the California Coastal Trail or the brand new Bigfoot Trail. I don't know the route of the Bigfoot Trail, on it's northern reach it might get too high and pass through excessive snow, but out of the three, it'd be the one I'd want to hike the most.
One thing to consider is that they say it's going to be an El Nino year. That means that there may be heavy snow sticking around late in the season.Oct 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm #1539543
Jack, thanks a lot for the recommendation. The Bigfoot Trail sounds really interesting, but unfortunately I could not find much about it online. As you said, it is pretty new. I had hoped for something easier in terms of preparation….but I will email Michael Kauffmann.
I had come across the California Coastal Trail as well but it seems to be a lot in urban areas. Another option is the Tahoe Rim Trail, but that is a little short for my purposes.
Isn't there any long trail in Utah?
ChristineOct 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm #1539555
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
How about combining the 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail with the 180 mile Tahoe Yosemite Trail? Total 345 miles.
The TRT is a perfect loop so you could start and end at or near Meeks Bay, the north end of the TYT, and just go south to Toulumne Meadows in Yosemite. Easy to get to and from both trailheads.
http://www.longtrails.com/tytOct 25, 2009 at 4:54 pm #1539597
Absolutely there is a long "trail" in Utah. The main one is the Hayduke Trail, a difficult cross partly cross country traverse. I bet it's outstanding. But for June, I didn't recommend it because it might be excessively hot. If you're willing to gamble, it might be doable with only very hot weather to endure. This would be my top choice, but I'd be concerned about the June start. IMO, hiking the AZT stops right at the border of where it starts getting really good, namely utah canyon country. The Hayduke is generally done with a fair amount of preplanning, but has been done in lightly planned "thruhiker" style. It's too long for a month, so you'd have to chose a section.
Not a preplanned hike, but a few intrepid souls have found great success hiking north through utah as well. I haven't heard much at all about the Great Western Trail (http://www.gwt.org/), but you could look into it.
I think that any trail you use will require a fair amount of planning or winging it. I'd love to hear updates about what you choose. Do you have a blog or trailjournal?Oct 25, 2009 at 4:57 pm #1539601
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
El Nino year. Might and should be allot of snow. Probaly will affect hiking for you in higher elevations of The Sierra'sOct 26, 2009 at 1:54 am #1539728
Jack, I have also come across the Hayduke Trail and a German friend of mine has already hiked it. Great trail, but too hot in June and not really a trail, more a route….with lots of climbing involved. Not really my cup of tea, especially since I am usually hiking on my own and I think that the combination of heat, navigation and climbing make this trail too dangerous for me.
For the rest I have sent you a PM.
ChristineOct 26, 2009 at 8:52 am #1539792
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: The West Slope
If the Hayduke is too hot in June (which it is) the GET will surely be. You'd absolutely fry north of Oracle.
The Great Western Trail is an ATV/4×4 route for virtually all of it's length.
There's an obvious answer here: PCT/JMT. June is ideal, just bring a bug net.Oct 26, 2009 at 9:16 am #1539800
Except "I have already hiked the PCT and CDT and do not want to do a section hike on these trails. "
I don't think there is an obvious answer. In fact, I'm not sure that there is a good answer at all. It's difficult criteria. I'd go for the TST or BFT.Nov 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm #1543492
@blister-freeLocale: Puertecito ruins
In terms of section hiking, the GET should be doable westbound starting late May at ABQ, which is around the time eastbound thru-hikers finish up there. Heat and sun will be issues, certainly, but quite possibly manageable for a trail-hardened AZT thru-hiker. Ending at Glenwood NM, ie avoiding Arizona at that time of year, keeps you above 4800 feet throughout the hike, and often above 6000' (New Mexico is far and away the better of the two states to hike during June, at least given this route's layout.)
Water may become a concern depending on how this winter shapes up, as conditions are currently very dry.
Also, FYI, an updated mapset to the route will be available in time for spring hiking.
GET in the Blue Range (from photo album)
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