- Jul 10, 2019 at 3:20 pm #3601418
Business is taking me to Arizona next month (August) and so I am going to do me some backpacking – Woo Hoo!
I have only taken two trips in AZ in the past, one was the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim and the other was a trip to the Superstitions that I had to bail early on due to extreme heat (107 degrees).
Being that it will be hot as hell out there, I was trying to find something that would be on the cooler side, whether that means at elevation, around lots of water or somewhere with non-technical slots that I could rely on for shade the better part of the day.
I am considering heading up to Sedona, but that definitely seems to be more a day-hike destination than something for us backpackers – though August might be a good time to beat the crowds. Secret Canyon and the West Fork trail are the best options I have found so far.
Ideally I am looking for something in the 20-40 mile range, but I am flexible. I am also flying solo so I would either need to do an out and back, loop or go somewhere where shuttles are readily available.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!Jul 10, 2019 at 4:16 pm #3601422JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
A few ideas around the state, the first two of which I’ve done several times:
Mount Baldy Loop – beautiful area, good campsites with water near the creeks, trailhead is easy to reach by rental car. Be careful of afternoon thunderstorms – lots of lightning. Temps are some of the coolest in AZ: https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=531
Wilderness of Rocks on Mt Lemmon – part of the Arizona Trail, water in the creek in select locations, good campsites, can make semi-loops with surrounding trails. A little warmer and can have intense thunderstorms. Drive up Mt Lemmon is great and easy for any car: https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=244
Cabin Loop – fairly popular, but I don’t think it’s as scenic as the other two. Also not in a Wilderness area: https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=797Jul 11, 2019 at 8:28 pm #3601556
Awesome, thanks John!
Mt Baldy looks like it might be a winner.Jul 11, 2019 at 10:05 pm #3601567matthew kModerator
Just my $.02 but I think you have a high likelihood of experience intense thunderstorms around Baldy in mid-August. They can be fun and beautiful but extremely intense. Think carefully about your choice of shelters. I like a hammock in those conditions because I’m above the wet ground and you get an excellent lounging spot to view the storm while sipping tea.
Here is the morning after one such storm, just a few miles from Baldy on the West Fork Black River.
The Cabin Loop is my favorite trail in AZ. It doesn’t have long scenic views but it provides a nonstop collection of pleasant vignettes. The diversity of plants and geology on this loop always impresses me.Jul 12, 2019 at 9:58 pm #3601666Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
North Kiabab Plateau, which is the high country north of GCNP. AZT runs through it. Elevation is 9,000′ plus for most of the way. Long drive though. Take highway 89 north from Flag and cross the Colorado river at Marble Canyon. Get a good map of the area. REI carries them. I like the North Kiabab better than the Mogollon Rim myself, but a lot of people avoid it because of the drive. Incredible in Summer.Jul 12, 2019 at 10:30 pm #3601670JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Great picture, Matthew. I think I might recognize that meadow.
This is my favorite picture from the Baldy area, the morning after a stormy day/night:Jul 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm #3602022
Alas, the North Kiabab Plateau is probably further than I want to drive (on this particular trip anyways).
A Hammock seems like a great idea with the high probability of thunderstorms. I actually haven’t busted my Hammock out in a few years as most of my recent trips have been desert or alpine terrain. I do love a good hang.
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