Welcome back to Aspens Tracks, thruhiking the Arizona Trail from Utah to Mexico. Hopefully this wilderness account is helping you get through your coronavirus-related distancing and isolation, and giving you hope for what adventures may yet come in the post-COVID-19 future for you.
I get back to where I camped and pick up a few things I had left there while I was at Walnut Canyon National Monument. The trail crosses FR 303, Old Walnut Canyon Road, and heads west toward Flagstaff. Rolling in and out of drainages, It traces the rim of Walnut Canyon in places, and veers away into the woods in others. Heading west, the forest transitions back to the ponderosas, rolling up and down through drainages. The ponderosas are dense throughout, and their reddish bark glows in the light that filters through the green needles. The gambel oaks continue to impress along the route as well, adding splashes of yellow, red, and orange to the green ponderosa woodlands. I filled up on water at the visitor center for the National Monument, so I should have enough to get me back into Flagstaff. The trail crosses two spur trails leading to overlooks with more magnificent views of the canyon. Both well worth the minor extra mileage and time.
I’m Chris, or as I’m known on the trail, Aspen. My trail name comes from the aspen foliage that I hiked through in northern Arizona on my thruhike of the Arizona Trail. I have traveled, hiked, and cycled all over the US and many countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe as well. I have traveled to 44 US states and numerous countries across each of these areas.
I write about the hiking and cycling that I do across North America as well as my visits each of our 419 national parks; I aim to visit each one. My current total is over 170. I also work as a seasonal ranger, so feel free to ask me anything about a park and I’ll happily share any advice I may have on that park so you can have an enjoyable visit.
My most recent thruhike of the Arizona Trail started on September 21st at Lee’s Ferry and arrived at the northern trailhead on September 28th, and Mexico on January 9th.
In between, I hiked south through “the land of Arizona, through the desert heat and snow, [along] a trail for folks to follow, from Utah to Old Mexico.”
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