In Flagstaff I met up with Rob Hausam who would be hiking this section with me. I first met Rob on the 2007 TGO Challenge and had the pleasure of finishing that hike with him. Rob had been very helpful on the AZT by boxing up food packages and posting them ahead for me. Thanks Rob!
Once out of Flagstaff you head for the San Francisco Peaks. Humphreys Peak (3850 m) is visible in the background.
Edging around the west side of Humphreys Peak we found John taking a quick break.
The San Francisco Peaks still had a good covering of snow in sheltered areas. I had intended climbing Humphreys Peak as it is the highest mountain in Arizona, but like Chris Townsend on his earlier hike, I found there to be too much snow for a safe ascent without crampons and ice axe.
Between the San Francisco Peaks and Kaibab National Forest is a flat section over grazing land. Passage through here is on hot dusty tracks.
Looking back towards the San Francisco Peaks and Humphreys Peak for the last time.
The Kaibab National Forest is entered which takes you all the way to the Grand Canyon. More flat easy hiking in an open and airy Ponderosa Pine forest. Saw a lot of Elk on this section.
The Grandview Lookout Tower certainly lives up to its name. Built as a fire lookout you are allowed to climb it. I recommend you do and enjoy the views!
First view of the Grand Canyon from Grandview Lookout Tower. Certainly worth climbing up hundreds of steps for a glimpse of what you have coming up on the AZT.
My feet were always dirty hiking anywhere in Arizona. 2 years later I'm still finding Arizona sand in kit I took on that hike!
From the Grandview Lookout Tower its back into the forrest for the last stretch to Grand Canyon Village.
Grand Canyon Village is very busy with tourists. Some come by train, others by car. Not so many hike or cycle their way here. This is the train station.
Here I was to meet up with GT and Kimberlie and we would hike through the Grand Canyon together. GT had already secured us all permits to camp in the canyon. We all stayed with Li Brannfors who I had briefly met earlier in the hike. Li was a great host and cooked what was the hottest but most tasty Chile Verde I have ever had.
Continue to part 8