Thursday 3 May 2012

Arizona Trail 2010 - Part 9, North Rim to Utah/Arizona Border

Looking back towards the Grand Canyon National park for the last time. The Grand Canyon was certainly the highlight of the AZT and I intend to return at a later date.

The final section to the Utah border starts with forests and then slowly returns to desert as you descend to  the border. Like so many of the Arizona forests visited this one near Telephone Hill has been completely distorted by fire. Fallen trees makes the trail hard to find and progress slow.

Fortunately some forests have survived and make for pleasant hiking.

The final nights camp on the AZT and now less than 15km from the border.

As desert slowly returns the forrest thins out.

Looking towards Utah and perhaps a new challenge... there is a trail that continues from almost where the AZT finishes called the Hayduke Trail. This looks spectacular and a step-up in toughness from what the  AZT offers. It's on my list...

More tree sculptures before the final hill down to the Utah border and the end of the AZT. Feeling sad that I'm leaving the trail and must return to normal life in a few days. This hike has been the highlight of my hiking career to date. The variety of landscapes and plants/animals has surprised me and is so different to what I'm used to in Scotland. And of course, it didn't rain 15 times each and everyday!

At the Utah border after 1300km and 6 weeks of hiking. Perhaps not the greatest end to a hike, by a post in the desert, but nevertheless it has been a real privilege to hike the trail and to meet some new people that will remain special friends forever.

To them and the AZT I thank you.