Friday, May 1, 2015

Preparing to Thru-Hike the Arizona Trail - 11 Months To Go....

First, let me start off by introducing you to the Arizona Trail, especially if you have never heard of it. The Arizona Trail is an 800+ mile trail that runs from Mexico to Utah. It passes through deserts and mountains and canyons and lots of wilderness areas. Some outstanding features include the Grand Canyon, Colossal Cave, White Canyon, the Superstition Mountains, Four Peaks, and the Mazatzal Wilderness.
There are several gateway communities that the trail runs through as well: Patagonia, Vail, Summerhaven, Oracle,  Kelvin, Superior, Roosevelt, Pine, Mormon Lake Village, Flagstaff, Tusayan, Grand Canyon South Rim, Grand Canyon North Rim, and Jacob Lake.

Map showing current Arizona Trail

I am planning this adventure for Spring 2015 (probably mid-March to mid-April) so that means I have about 11 months to plan. Seems like a lot of time, right? Well, not for someone with very little experience. I decided to do this about a month ago. So, I suppose, I will be planning for 1 year. I hope that is enough time!

As you know, I am thru-hiking this SOLO.
That's right. All alone.
It sounds scary and that's because it is. A female hiking alone on a wilderness trail, definitely a frightening thing to think about. I mean, there are people and animals...big animals.

But I think the most frightening thing for me is being lonely.
And that's why I'm doing this. It's something I have to overcome.
So, let's get on to planning.

11 months.....
What to do with 11 months of ahead of me? 
Here's a list of what I have been thinking about:

  • How to get to Utah (my starting point) 
  • Mexican Border Pick-up
  • Length of trip
  • Amount of food needed and how to mail food ahead
  • Gear (I have most of it but need to upgrade a few things)
  • Permits (especially for the Grand Canyon and the Rincon Mountains)
  • Water sources and filtering systems!
  • Dealing with wild animals on the trail
  • Dealing with other people (unfriendly) on the trail
  • Maps and GPS equipment
  • Solar Chargers and my electronics (cellphone, camera, etc.)
  • Resupply Points and Post Offices (for receiving food through the mail)
  • Support from others on the trail (other thru-hikers, kind people along the way)
  • "Journaling" my adventure
  • Preparing physically (other small trips beforehand to try out gear, food, etc.)
  • Preparing mentally (small trips on my own)
So, as you can see, I'm not getting into detail just yet. My trip is a long ways off. 
This list is a great start! 
I have been researching like crazy though. Reading AZT blogs has taken up a good part of my nights. I love reading about others experiences. One guy wrote about his experience with so much detail, it took me about 2 weeks to finish it!

\I am so excited! It is so hard to think about anything else while I am preparing for this. I wish I was going sooner actually. If it would work, I'd like to go this fall, but I have decided to sign up for Fire Academy instead. :)

~Keep Adventuring!~


  1. Good luck! I am so envious!! I will be following your adventure. excited to hear about it.

    1. Hey Erika! I can't wait to tell you all about it. Spring 2016 can't come fast enough.