AZT in a Day Party This Sunday

Last Saturday, October 12, hundreds of trail enthusiasts gathered throughout Arizona to attempt to cover all 800 miles of the Arizona Trail in a single day. Now it’s time to celebrate!
Please join us at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company in downtown Phoenix for a benefit concert, awards, food, beverage and a silent auction this Sunday, October 20 from 4-7 pm. This is one of the few times the Arizona Trail community has an opportunity to gather together to share their experiences across 800 miles. Come share your stories and raise a glass to the AZT.
A $25 ticket includes live electric folk music from
The Senators, a 21-oz beer from Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company’s award-winning taps, and a gourmet taco. Get your ticket here! All proceeds benefit the Arizona Trail Association. We hope to see you on Sunday, October 20.

How Fast Can Helen Run 800 Miles?

On Thursday, October 17, Flagstaff resident Helen Galerakis left the Utah border at sunrise and took her first steps toward her goal of setting a new Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Arizona National Scenic Trail. She covered 64 miles on her first day, and will need to average more than 51 miles per day without a day of rest to approach Jeff “Legend” Garmire’s self-supported FKT of 15 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes.
Helen will be receiving support (food, water, clean socks and words of encouragement) along the way, which makes her attempt a “supported” endeavor. The current FKT for a supported crossing is held by Michael Versteeg who completed the entire AZT in 15 days, 22 hours, 39 minutes.
If you’d like to follow Helen’s progress as she makes her way south, follow her on
Facebook or Instagram (@livehappyrunfree), and also on Strava. She is using her record-setting attempt as a fundraiser for the Arizona Trail Association. Thanks, Helen!
“I chose this particular trail not only for me, but also for my community,” Galerakis said. “To feel you are part of something is very powerful. Making connections and feeling like you belong is a reason to live. After allowing my career to dictate my life choices for so long, I wanted to embark on a journey of self-discovery to understand what I enjoyed, who I was, and what I wanted,” she said.
For many Arizona Trail enthusiasts, it’s not about how fast you travel along the trail. After all, the slower you go the more you see. But for runners like Helen, the 800-mile Arizona Trail presents a great big challenge across the state she has chosen to call home. We wish her many memorable moments between Utah and Mexico.

Happy Jack Completion Celebration

After two years of hard work constructing 18 miles of trail to replace dirt roads on the Happy Jack Passage, we’re down to the last ½-mile! Please join the Arizona Trail Association, the Coconino National Forest, REI Co-op and other partners as we celebrate the completion of the largest trail building project on the AZT since the trail’s completion in 2011!
A trail building effort and completion celebration is planned for October 26-27. It will be your last chance to build a piece of the Happy Jack Singletrack. Camping will be available Friday and Saturday nights with a potluck celebration on Saturday hosted by the ATA. Volunteers are welcome to participate in any portion of the event. Learn more and sign up on our
Volunteer Website.
On Saturday we will work on completing the new singletrack near Schuff's Tank. We will also set up shuttles on Sunday to help hikers who want to enjoy the freshly built trail on a point-to-point jaunt. Mountain bikers who want to ride the new singletrack are encouraged to partner up for shuttle rides as well, or ride out-and-back.
Complete details will be sent to those who register. Be a part of this great moment in Arizona Trail history! Sign up
online today.

Healing the Scars of the Woodbury Fire

Earlier this summer, the Woodbury Fire consumed 123,000 acres of National Forest land and 30 miles of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) in the Superstition Mountains. A crew of Arizona Trail Association staff and stewards recently completed a trail conditions assessment between Rogers Trough Trailhead and Roosevelt Lake. They found the trail to be passable but very hard to follow, numerous blowouts from erosion events, downed trees, and new growth in the middle of the trail tread.
The information they gathered helped inform the Tonto National Forest where to send conservation corps to stabilize the trail during the busy thru-hiking season. Last week,
Arizona Conservation Corps deployed a crew to begin improvements to the AZT to improve safety for trail users. Due to the remote nature of the Superstition Wilderness and the extent of the fire’s damage, it will be a long process. We are grateful for Justin Eddinger at the Tonto National Forest for securing Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) funds to support six conservation corps hitches and horses to haul in supplies to begin repairing the AZT.
While the Arizona Trail is officially open along
Passage 19extreme caution should be taken within the area. Unstable soils, falling trees, and lack of signs to assist with navigation are all considerations, however the greatest risk is flash flooding. Vegetation burned in the fire can’t slow water naturally, and high-intensity burns often cause hydrophobic soils that slough off when wet. Rainstorms are always a consideration when hiking in Arizona, but are especially dangerous within burned areas. 
Any trail users visiting the Superstition Wilderness should have two means of navigation, including digital resources (e.g. Guthook app, Garmin card, GPS tracks) as well as paper topo maps for backup. Currently, the trail is very hard to locate and not always intuitive. Finding your way is going to be a lot harder than you think.
If you’d like to get involved with helping to rehabilitate the Arizona Trail, we are hosting a volunteer trail work weekend on November 16-17 near Rogers Trough Trailhead. Register
here and help bring the AZT through the Superstition Mountains back to life. Volunteers will be needed to install wooden signs deep in the backcountry later this year, too. Become a fan of Passage 19 on the Volunteer Website to learn more about upcoming opportunities to rehab the AZT from the devastating effects of the Woodbury Fire.
Funds from the recent Keep it Super sticker fundraiser organized by
Keep Nature Wild will help support volunteer efforts in the Superstitions. If you can’t join us for strenuous labor across a scorched landscape, please consider donating to support our staff and volunteers in this effort.

Prescribed Burns and Detours

October is an ideal time for hiking, running, mountain biking and equine riding on the Arizona Trail. In fact, this is the only month of the year when every mile of trail is prime for exploration. However, it’s also a great time of year for prescribed burns to reduce hazardous fuels on the forest.
The ATA works closely with land managers to get up-to-date information about potential dates for prescribed burns, length of time the AZT will be impacted, and what safety measures are in place so no trail users accidentally wander into a burn zone. We also work creatively to establish scenic detours around the fires.
Before you head out on the Arizona Trail, please check the
ATA homepage as well as the individual Passages pages for the area(s) you intend to visit. Our Facebook page is another great way to learn about closures, detours, potential smoke impacts, and other details related to prescribed burns.
Many areas of the Coconino National Forest are scheduling prescribed burns along the
San Francisco Peaks, Happy Jack and Blue Ridge Passages over the next week. Since the first Leave No Trace ethic is “Plan Ahead and Prepare,” some last-minute research will help ensure you have a positive experience on the Arizona Trail.

Take the Trails Survey Today

Arizona State Parks & Trails recently launched the 2020 Trails Plan Public Survey and they need your help ensuring that all hikers, runners, mountain bikers, equestrians and others are represented.
Public participation by Arizona Trail users is vitally important. Arizona State Parks & Trails will integrate feedback from trail advocates, user groups, the public, and land managers to develop trail priorities for the state. These priorities will inform grant criteria that will guide the distribution of monies to motorized and non-motorized trail acquisition, development and maintenance projects for the next five years.
The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and is available in English and Spanish
here. The survey will be active until November 8.
If you’re a member of a club, group, agency or organization that uses trails, please share this link with your entire network. Working together, we can help guide the future of trails in Arizona.

Cirrus Visual is a proud Business Partner of the Arizona Trail Association. Cirrus Visual specializes in graphic design, innovative printing, web development and event marketing from a talented team of individuals to deliver the highest quality products and services. View their portfolio and learn more at

Cirrus Visual is a Juniper level Business Partner. They're also a main sponsor of the Colossal Vail 50/50 trail running event in November that benefits the ATA, and recently donated funds to pay for a steel rollover gate along Passage 7 of the Arizona Trail.

Please support the local businesses that support the ATA.

Copyright © 2019 Arizona Trail Association. All rights reserved.

Arizona Trail Association
534 N. Stone Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85705
(602) 252-4794

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