The current official length of the Arizona Trail is 788 miles, not counting side trails and summit routes to off-trail scenic overlooks. The trail may be rerouted each year due to wildfires, blowdowns, flooding, or other natural obstacles. The trail is subdivided into 43 passages or sections.
The most popular route for the AZT is Northbound (known as NOBO), beginning at the U.S/Mexico border at a monument in In Coronado National Memorial near the Huachuca Mountains and ending at the Utah border on Buckskin Mountain. Hikers generally begin in late February or early March. Our team will hike Southbound (SOBO), beginning September 27th and ending in November 2020.
It generally takes a thru-hiker 6 to 8 weeks to complete the Arizona Trail. We are aiming for 45-50 days, weather and health permitting.
Roughly 100 people thru-hike the Arizona Trail each year. Many others complete various sections from the list of 43 passages; some piecing together the entire trail over many years of section-hiking.
We will each carry roughly 1 liter of water per 4 miles we plan to hike each day between water caches, streams, wildlife ponds, and cattle tanks strewn across Arizona. Although we always prefer fresh water supplied by our support team, there will be many times where it is necessary to filter water from wild sources. Our longest scheduled water carry is about 30 miles between water sources. We will have the capacity to carry up to 9 liters each. Each liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds! Our average water carry will be 3-5 liters each.
We will each carry our own tent and will sleep most nights under the stars along the trail. There are a few “gateway communities” and towns along the way where we may stay in hotels, hostiles, or with friends.
Animals are more afraid of humans than we are of them. In Arizona, we will encounter scorpions, rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, coyotes, and possibly black bear, bobcats, and mountain lions. Our guide is experienced dealing with wildlife and will help us navigate and even enjoy these encounters.
We are carrying cell phones, satellite GPS two-way communicators, and a personal locator beacon (PLB) in case of emergency. Although the trail is remote and non-motorized, we will usually be within about a few hours from an extraction point if needed.
We are carrying GPS apps and a map and compass. Our guide is highly experienced with wilderness navigation.
Arizona is our home. Of the 11 National Scenic Trails contained within the National Trails System, it makes the most sense for us to complete the AZT since our goal is to raise $1,000,000 to bring hope and healing to the people of Colorado City, AZ.