The Arizona Trail

The vast unique landscape of Arizona is uncovered by anyone who visits this amazing state. Our dramatic scenery varies from the dusty dirt ground with saguaro cactuses emerging up to pine trees and snow in the North.

For this reason, Dale Shewalter, a Flagstaff school teacher had a dream to create a hiking trail that travels through the entire state.

Today, his vision is now laid out in a 800 mile long Arizona Trail designed for hikers, bikers and equestrian riders. Pretty much, if it isn’t motorized it’s welcomed onto the trail and to experience this ultimate Arizona journey.

The Arizona trail begins at the Arizona/Mexico border and tracts its way through the dry Sonoran Desert, towards Phoenix, in the Superstition Mountains. It continues moving north towards Flagstaff along the San Francisco Peaks, and then crosses, rim to rim of the Grand Canyon, to only continue along until reaching the Utah border.

The Arizona Trail crosses through the Grand Canyon

So start saving your PTO, because this 800 mile track is going to take you some time. Typically, it takes a hiker an average of 2 months or so to complete. And, yes, that’s including rest days as well.

The best time to hike it is in October to November and/or March to April.

Don’t stress if this sounds epic but you know your boss will never give you that much time off (like the majority of us). You still have the options of hiking this trail in pieces.

Some people may do this trail on the weekends or take a few days off and see how much they can get done. Granted though, this requires some very helpful friends who are willing to drop you off and pick you back up along the trail.

But, it is totally possible to do.

If you live near the Phoenix area, and do not have the time to hit up the entirety of this trail, you can hop on it and hike for a little bit.

A section of the Arizona trail is actually near Picket Post Trail. You will park in the same parking lot and you can hike on it for a little bit.

Arizona Trail, near Picketpost Mountain

I feel like the fact that we have an entire hiking trail going through our state just shows how important hiking is here in Arizona. This trail is on my list, but I can only image how you come off this trail with such a huge appreciation for the Arizona landscape.

Have you or anyone you know hiked the Arizona Trail? Have you been along portions of it? If so, what did you think?

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