Arizona Trail Conditions
UPDATED: March 9, 2014
Users of the Arizona Trail are advised of the following Arizona Trail
conditions. Please contact the Arizona Trail Associations
passage stewards listed on the ATA website
for the most current information.
If you are out on the trail and see a problem that you think we
should be aware of, please use our trail
conditions report form to let us know about it.
Passage #1 - Huachuca Mountains
Passage #2 - Canelo Hills East
Passage #3 - Canelo Hills West
The AZT along the AZ/Mexico border continues to be impacted by illegal
border crossers. Many new side trails are being created by the
border crossers. And AZT users should avoid mistakenly taking illegal trails
intersecting the Arizona Trail, as the illegal trails are often quite
distinct. Trail users may meet illegal border crossers and are advised
to not hike alone in these areas. Also, overnight users are advised to
camp away from the trail as far as possible.
In the Huachuca Mountains passage trail users should be alert at all trail
junctions as signs may be occasionally damaged by bears, wildfires, or winter
weather. South to north hikers must go left (not straight) at the Carr Peak
Trail junction to follow the AZT.
Passage #8 - Rincon Valley
The crossing at Marsh Station Road has not been completed yet. CAREFULLY
cross the highway, step over the guard rail, go under the high trestle and
pick up the trail on the other side of the fence. Mountain bikers and
equestrians should go around the end of the guard rail.
Passage #9 - Rincon Mountains
The Buckhorn Prescribed Burn will be taking place at the end of April/beginning
of May of this year. Sections of this passage will be closed for about 3-4 days at
that time. Please contact Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Ranger District,
at 520-749-7708 for more information.
Users are reminded that camping permits are required in Saguaro National Park.
It is approximately nine miles from the south Park boundary to Grass Shack
Campground, 13.8 miles to Manning Camp and 17.7 miles to the north Park
boundary, the next camping options northbound. Because of sensitive cultural
resources near Hope Camp, strict enforcement of NPS camping regulations is
expected. Outstanding camp locations exist along Rincon Creek south of the
park boundary. If camping off the AZT right-of-way a State Recreation permit
is required. For information on permits, go to the
state land website.
Passage #11 - Santa Catalina Mountains
The northern end of this passage is not recommended for equestrians. It is narrow,
steep and rocky in places.
Pusch Ridge Wilderness Bypass
There are some trees down north of San Pedro Vista. Equestrian travel may be
difficult on the first part of the Crystal Spring Trail.
Passage #12 - Oracle Ridge
The southern end of this passage (on the Mt Lemmon and Wilderness of Rocks
trails) is not recommended for equestrians. It is narrow, steep and rocky in places.
The northern end of the ridge has some steep rocky two track motorized traffic sections.
This was constructed as a fire break and trail by the Forest Service after the 2005
Passage #13 - Oracle
Oracle State Park is open on Saturdays Only for 3 months in the Spring
and 3 months in the Fall. However, the AZ TRAIL REMAINS OPEN THROUGHOUT THE
YEAR. The underpass culvert on AZ 77 (MP 105) has been cleaned out by ADOT
in May and October, 2012. For more information, see the
Passage #19 - Superstition Wilderness
North of Walnut Spring the trail descends and quickly ascends 1,000 feet over a horizontal
distance of 1.8 miles. Equestrians have had problems in this steep area. Near the north
end of this passage, the trail passes through rocky and narrow Cottonwood Canyon for 3
miles, and tends to suffer from the summer monsoon floods and encroaching brush. The tread
has been repaired numerous times, yet continues to change as it crosses from side to side
through the canyon. The trail here is passable by hikers using care; however, equestrians
should scout the passage before attempting it with stock. Additionally, equestrians caution
that the north end of the passage at the Roosevelt Bridge is not equipped for loading or
unloading stock. They suggest loading or unloading at one of the access points—Frasier
Trailhead located approximately 2 miles south of the Roosevelt Bridge on the west side of
Highway 188, the Cemetery parking lot just north of the residential area or the lower
parking lot outside the gate at the FS Visitor Center—and completing the ride to the
north end of the passage as an out-and-back.
Passage #20 - Four Peaks
Following years of overgrowth stemming from fires in the late 1990’s, the passage corridor
has been completely cleared and is quite passable for hikers along its entire length.
Equestrians are advised to scout narrow and exposed spots mid-passage before taking stock
over the passage. Note significant and quite impressive trail improvements by youth crews
and the Passage Steward between Mills Ridge and Lone Pine Saddle trailhead spring of 2013.
Water conditions vary throughout the year. Users are advised to have adequate navigation
aids and skills before hiking this Wilderness passage.
Current information can be found on the
passage 20 blog.
Passage #21 - Pine Mountain
After years of neglect passage 21 was cleared of brush last year including the really
dense brush in Boulder Canyon. After the winter and summer rains the cat's claw is growing
back in many spots along the trail but is not too bad. Boulder Canyon remains very passable.
Crews will be working this season to once again cut back the cat's claw.
When crossing Sycamore Creek from either side, look downstream ~50 yards for cairns
marking a boulder-hop crossing that is passable during normal flows.
Passage #22 - Saddle Mountain
Much of this passage north of the Cross F connector trail was burned by the 2012 Sunflower
Fire. The trail is open and passable but effects of the fire are severe in places. One is
reminded that the fire is only the beginning of a lengthy process - erosion, flooding, regrowth,
etc. continue long after the flames. Limited trail rehab work was completed in the
spring of 2013 between the Cross F connector trail and the Mormon Grove access trail; watch
for impressive switch back construction by American Conservation Experience youth crews.
For the latest information, contact the Tonto National Forest at 480-610-3300.
Passage #23 - Mazatzal Divide
The southern end of this passage was impacted by the Sunflower Fire. The
trail is open but many of the roads in the area are closed until further
notice. For the latest information, contact the Tonto National Forest at
This passage has suffered greatly for the past few years from downed
trees from the 2004 Willow Fire. Fortunately, with the undivided
attention of two volunteers, the trail has once again returned to a
good trail for hikers; however, equestrians will likely have a problem
at several locations due to severe water ‘blow out’ damage.
Passage #27 - Highline
The Highline Trail is prone to lighting storms every year and has suffered
from fires and consequential monsoon damage over the past 10 years. This
has caused severe drainage 'blow-outs' and a major slide west of Bray Creek.
Additionally, there is a considerable amount of deep tread erosion across
the passage. The dangerous East Bray Creek crossing has recently been
rerouted resulting in a major improvement, especially for equestrians.
Currently the ATA, VOAZ, and USFS are completing a total assessment for
the passage; most likely resulting in a significant amount of realignments
over the next few years.
As of February, 2014 there are four large trees across the trail in the
following locations: one at 0.4 miles from the Pine Trailhead, one at
2.6 miles, one at 5.9 miles, and one at 6.8 miles. Hikers and bikers should
be able to get around them, they might be an obstacle for equestrians.
Passage #30 - Mormon Lake
The forest service is conducting thinning operations near Mormon Lake Lodge and
a section of the AZT is temporarily closed to all trail users. To see a map
of the closure area and an alternative route around it, go
Passage #32 - Elden Mountain
The equestrian bypass around Flagstaff has been damaged by this past summers rains.
The following temporary re-route is suggested: from Highway 89 take the Sandy Seep
Trail to the Christmas Tree Trail, south on Christmas Tree until you meet Fatman’s
Loop, continue south on Fatman’s Loop to the Elden Lookout Trail, up (right) Elden
Lookout to the Pipeline Trail junction, south (left) on Pipeline and then follow
pipeline west around the southern base of Mount Elden to the Lower Oldham/AZ Trail.
Please see the Coconino National Forest
for the most current information on conditions in this area.
Passage #37 - Grand Canyon - South Rim
The Tusayan Bike trail (which the AZT follows) ends 0.3 miles north of Tusayan.
From that point the AZT is signed across the old Moqui Lodge area, about 0.5 miles
to a new gate in the GCNP boundary fence. From the gate the route is signed all the
way to the South Kaibab Trailhead.
Passage #38 - Grand Canyon - Inner Gorge
The North Kaibab Trail section of this passage was damaged by heavy rains and
will not be passable to equestrians until spring when the repairs are finished.
Washouts occurred between the Redwall Bridge and Supai Tunnel. During repairs, the trail
is expected to stay open to hikers, although it will be narrow and exposed in several spots.