What we're about

The Arizona Backpacking Club is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer member co-op that provides backcountry adventures for those that enjoy backpacking and outdoor fun. Our experienced members organize and lead safe backpacking trips to scenic and fun destinations. We strive to enrich people's lives through educational and fun experiences at spectacular backcountry destinations and to contribute to the conservation of these special places.

Please take a moment to review our Member Guidelines (https://www.meetup.com/Arizona-Backpacking/pages/The_ABC_Member_guidelines/) and Club Charter (https://files.meetup.com/1181021/The%20Arizona%20Backpacking%20Club%20Charter%20-%20final.pdf) for more information on how we keep things fun, easy and as safe as possible!

Upcoming events (2)

Under-the-Rim / Bryce Canyon

Needs a location


End of the hot summer season and kicking off the shoulder season in style!

The Under-the-Rim Trail at Bryce Canyon is a strenuous, 23-mile one-way trip. Starting from either end (Bryce Point at the north end to Rainbow Point at the south end), the trail winds under the canyon rim and offers unsurpassed views of the inner park realms.

There are several comparable write-ups on this hike; here are two for further information:

We will leave Phoenix at 6:00 AM on Sunday, 10/2 for the 7-hour drive to Bryce. After securing the permits, and caching water if needed, we'll camp at the North Campground, then take off on Monday morning.

Final itinerary subject to change with ranger approval. Permits are available only in person up to 48 hours before the hike.

Proposed itinerary:
The first day will be about a 7-8 mile hike to Yellow Camp, where there is reliable water. The second day, the longest, is about 12 miles to Iron Spring. Water at Iron Spring is reported to be present but murky. That is the reason why we may need to cache water at about the 13-mile point, past Swamp Canyon. The trail is a short walk from the Rim Road, and final decision to cache will be made after input from the rangers. Wednesday morning will be the final leg (about 4 miles). After a quick but needed shower (at the campground), then we return to Phoenix by the end of the day.

Bear canisters: Required for this hike, but the backcountry office has canisters available for free use. No exceptions.
Water: Plan to carry at least 4 L on the second day (I will probably carry 5) in case the proposed itinerary results in a dry campsite for night 2.
Cost: $20 plus gas. We will need two cars in order to have a shuttle in the park after the hike (the park shuttle is not operating). There is also a $35 park entrance fee (per vehicle) if you do not have a National Parks or a geezer pass.

Five spots only for this hike. (Park limits backcountry campsite groups.)

Weather: Expect comfortable days (60s) and cooler nights (low/mid-30s). Precipitation in any form is a possibility.
Campsites: I am not persuaded that campsites will be hammock-friendly, though there may be enough trees to hang from. Information about this question is limited.
Pace: 95% of the reason for doing this hike at all is to enjoy the incredible sights of Bryce Canyon. If you want to set a fastest known time, this is not the hike for you. At the same time, you must be in good physical condition and have no medical issues.
This hike is best described as an adventurous but strenuous trek.

Leaving from: Happy Valley Park-n-Ride.

No dogs (or other animals) on this one.

Waitlist: Given the difficulty and range of this trek, I will personally vet each participant. If I haven't hiked with you before, please be prepared to have a standing hike leader vouch for your ability to complete the trip. If you sign up, you will be placed on the waitlist until I have to opportunity to review your participation. If you are in, I'll move you to "Going," and correspond with you about the payment options. If I don't think this trip is for you, I will move you to "Not Going" and email you why I believe that. This precondition is for your own safety and enjoyment as much as my own.

Disclaimers: A note about liability: We are meeting up as co-adventurers to enjoy and share common interests and activities. You should expect and plan for the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were alone. You are solely responsible for your own safety and well-being on this and any activity. By signing up for and/or attending this activity, you acknowledge, understand, accept, and agree that these activities can be dangerous, and could cause bodily injury or death. The organizer of this activity and current or former members are not responsible or liable in any way. All attendees participate at their own risk and are solely responsible for any damage or injury to their property, themselves, or their guests. By signing up for this activity, you acknowledge that you understand this disclaimer, and that you knowingly and voluntarily agree to not bring any type of claim against the organizers or any members of this Meetup group, past or present.

🦃 Thanksgiving in "The Blue" (Intermediate but difficult) 5 day/4night

Needs a location


I never thought that I'd be posting trips with ABC but sometimes strange things happen and I'm sure this will be the first trip of many. No better way to start then with a multi-night trip!

Step back in time to the Pioneer days and get a feel for what frontier living was all about. No better ambiance to feel like a pilgrim then deep in Arizona's Blue Range. This IS my favorite backpack trip in ALL of Arizona and I never tire of going. Not many people know about this area so I'm only going to give a vague description of its location, join us to find out where 😝 The handful of people that I've encountered here on past trips were real Cowboys and Cowgirls, this is rough and wild country and very little has changed since the Spanish first arrived in this country nearly 500 years ago.

This trip has it all, a river, a rustic cabin, pine trees, cactus, rock formations, big animals that might eat you and even a hot spring in the vicinity. It'll be chilly at night and it snowed ❄️ on us for several hours two Thanksgivings ago. The snow didn't stick around for long but we did. I'll bet many years from now, you wouldn't have forgotten this place. Everyone that I have taken here has enjoyed it. This trip will take up the entire Thanksgiving weekend so if you've got nowhere to go or just want to get away, join us as we step back in time.

This is a pretty easy place to access and the TH can be reached by passenger car 🏎 The Blue River is in eastern AZ near the NM border and runs through the middle of the Blue Range Primitive area. "The Blue" actually cuts through the Mogollon Rim here! Access is off of US 191 a.k.a. US 666 😈😟 which is between Alpine and Morenci. This is a long drive and we will need to leave on Wednesday afternoon/night and car camp along the way north of Morenci, possibly in the Granville Campground but hopefully at the TH.

In the morning, we'll need to start hiking ASAP since we'll have 9 miles to cover. With short day light, there'll be no time to dally around and warm up, we'll need to move. There's 4000' of accumulated elevation gain (AEG) on this trip but its broken up into manageable sections. The biggest chunk is a 1500' climb and that's in the final 6 miles on the way out with 900' of that in the last 2 miles. The other big uphill climbs are 750', 500' and 300', these numbers aren't exact but close. The 750' is NOT on the hike out day. Since we'll be starting in the pines (7000' "ish") and dropping into the small Blue River Valley (4700' "ish), it'll be mostly downhill on day one. However there'll be about 400' of AEG as we climb in and out of several creeks.

Altogether its 12 miles to the river, we'll only hike 9 miles on day 1 to our 1st and 3rd nights camp location. To me this campsite is always the high lite of this trip. For our 2nd night, we'll camp at the river so we'll need to pack up and complete the final 3 miles to the Blue River. From here, it would be a wet and cold push to the hot spring. However, I believe I think I located the long abandoned shortcut trail that leads to the hot spring area on a previous trip. Its not for the faint of heart.

I won't get into detail about our 1st and 3rd nights camp, I don't want to spoil it. The middle nights camp will be at an abandoned river ranch which has the main house intact. There's a wood burning stove along with some cots that are just bed springs in one part of the small ranch house. The other part has a Chupacabra 👹 living in it. If your worried, you can always sleep outside. I'm planning to hike around the area for part of both days down on the river. I have a feeling that there may still be some surprises to be found.

Having a pot luck Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday or Friday would be fun with Happy Hours 🍷🍺🥃 since one hour is never enough! On Saturday, we'll hike the 3 miles back to our first nights camp. I recommend bringing river shoes and water socks. I like Seal Skinz for water socks but they are $$, they're made in the UK. I'm going to bring a pair of dry boots for hiking and wearing at night.

I'm by no means a professional guide but have 100's of nights of experience out backpacking. I like to lead trips not for financial gain but to meet other backpackers and to reconnect with ones that I haven't seen in sometime. Most of the places that I venture to are remote with help being many hours and sometimes days away. When you attend my trips you must accept that you are ultimately responsible for yourself and bad things can happen. I intend on using good judgement when leading but will not be with you at all times. In case something bad does happen to you or someone else, I will get help and/or help get the injured person out as soon as its safely possible. I expect the same in return, I watch your back and you watch mine.

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