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AZT Passages 17& 16 - North to South

  • Jan 19, 2013 · 6:00 PM

As promised in my newsletter, and as anticipated by the masses! Here is our first club "hike" on our little passage of the AZT. The best way to see it, in my humble opinion, is to experience passages 16 and 17 together - getting some of the very best Sonoran Desert scenery anywhere all at once!

Distance: 37mi
Hiking Time: 3 days
Other important details:
1 dry camp possible (see below for more info)

Remote area

Day 0: We will leave shuttle vehicle(s) at the bridge over the Gila River on the Florence-Kelvin Highway Friday night, then head up to the Picketpost Trailhead where we will camp near our cars.

Day 1: The two segments together are almost 37 miles, which we will cover in 3 days of hiking. Doing this over the short winter days means beautiful hiking weather but short daylight hours, so we'll be moving right along. Saturday we will hike Passage 17 past the base of Picketpost Mountain for about 7 miles before reaching the northern edge of our own segment of the trail at Forest Road 4. There will be water here - either cached or available in Trough Spring, so we'll be able to stock up for the dry camp ahead. We should easily reach the end of our segment and the top of Passage 16. The day is full of smaller ups and downs, with about 1200' of elevation to gain over the whole 11+ miles. We'll plan to camp near the beginning of Passage 16.

Day 2: The beautiful Gila Canyons Passage begins with some of the best trail construction you'll see anywhere. It's like gliding along on a highway! Good thing, too, because we have some tracks to make. Our goal is the Gila River, which will likely be bone dry when we arrive (the water will have been turned off at San Carlos dam). However, we'll have water cached for us near here so we won't need to technically 'dry camp', although we won't be bathing, either (likely too cold for that). This should be around 12-13 miles, mostly downhill.

Day 3: Hike along the Gila River, in and out of side canyons and over bluffs. This is a beautiful area, full of riparian vegetation and historical remnants, including a very cool old trestle bridge. Another 12-13 mile day will bring us back to our cars at the Kelvin Bridge. After a wonderful day of hiking we'll head back to our cars and some good food in Superior before we bid adieu and head for home.

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  • Doug

    It was a good opportunity to hike with most of you again, and to make some new friends. Great group and awesome hike. Thanks Wendy for putting this together.

    January 24, 2013

  • Wendy

    It was amazing to hike with such an experienced group! Thanks everyone for all of your effort and good cheer!

    1 · January 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      You are an amazingly competent and wonderful person. You have a great singing voice and thanks for singing to us as we were hiking!

      January 23, 2013

    • Angela

      So sorry I missed it! Glad you got to go Cindy!

      January 24, 2013

  • Peter

    I truly enjoyed this group of people. Thank you Wendy for this event.

    1 · January 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ivanka, you were a delight to hike with and I look forward to doing it again!

    1 · January 23, 2013

  • Mick

    Great hike-great group. Thanks Wendy for setting up and gettings us thru!

    1 · January 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    it was a great hike with some of the nicest people I've ever hiked with!

    January 22, 2013

  • Corwin (Kung Fu P.

    Sorry we didn't get to finish the trip but I'll catch it sometime this year anyway. Carrie gets the tough chick award for hiking out 12 miles while feeling horrible.

    January 22, 2013

  • Ivanka

    Great trip and great people! Wendy awesome job on taking us all save to civilization ;o(
    Was great hiking with all of you! See you on a trail !

    January 21, 2013

  • Anne

    I decided I might not be strong enough to do this. I hope you set this up again in the future, or future AZT trips!!! Have fun ya'all!

    December 24, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      sorry you aren't going :(

      January 18, 2013

  • Carrie

    Is there still room for 2????

    January 16, 2013

  • Sandy

    I saw the email today that there are spots available, but can't sign up. I would really like to do this one! How can I be added?

    January 15, 2013

  • Corwin (Kung Fu P.

    To be clear, are we meeting at the bridge then running a caravan over to Picketpost?

    January 15, 2013

  • Corwin (Kung Fu P.

    So are we meeting at the bridge or is there a pickup spot for carpooling? I'm driving either way.

    January 5, 2013

    • Corwin (Kung Fu P.

      I just got back from doing passages 2&3 of the azt so I couldn't reply. Yes, that's all fine.

      January 13, 2013

  • Ron R.

    I'm sick as a dog. It appears I'm one of the flu "epidemic" victims. I have to cancel. Real pity, I was so looking forward to this trip. Sorry folks - Ron

    January 13, 2013

  • Ivanka

    Greeting Angie, Yes our vehicles are in repair, I am grateful we are NOT and going!

    January 12, 2013

  • Mick

    Hi Kathy-Day 3 is relatively flat. The trail follows the Gila River for many miles 15- sometimes rising several hundred feet above and sometimes near river level which is about 1800ft.

    January 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Wendy, do you have an idea of the elevation changes on day three?

    January 3, 2013

  • Mick

    Can't get away on Friday- will meet all at Picket Post TH on Saturday morning.

    January 3, 2013

  • Rob B.

    I want to go, just can't swing the Monday part. Next time.

    December 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be out of town otherwise is go. Hope to join in the future.

    December 10, 2012

  • Anne

    Wendy, I am going to say yes, but I might have to change my mind. I have to wear the boot for 3 more weeks, and then I will know more after Jan. 2nd. But I have been wanting to do these sections for a long time and want to go! Thanks!

    December 10, 2012

10 went

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