Arizona Trail Conditions
UPDATED: May 13, 2013
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 where
the Arizona Trail meets the Oversite Canyon Trail junction and where it
meets the Carr Peak Trail junction. Signs may be confusing or down.
So until signs are replaced, pay close attention to the correct route.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 #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. The access roads to Mormon Grove and Mt Peeley
trailheads are closed until April 30, 2013. Trail rehab work is underway spring 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.
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 - Mt Elden
The equestrian bypass around Flagstaff (AZT-32b) has been re-opened between
Highway 89 and Schultz Pass. This segment passes through the Schultz Fire burn
area. Please see the Coconino National Forest
for the most current information on conditions in the burn area.
Passage #37 - Grand Canyon - South Rim
Because of the Grand fire, officials advise the
public to avoid the fire area around Grandview Lookout Tower. Hazards include
burned trees that may fall across forest roads and smoke on local roadways,
As a safety precaution, Arizona Trail users need to be prepared to detour off
the trail between Forest Road 303 at Watson Tank and the junction of Forest
Roads 301 and 310 near Lockett Lake.
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 #39 - Grand Canyon - North Rim
Passage #40 - Kaibab Plateau South
Passage #41 - Kaibab Plateau Central
The Arizona Department of Transportation reports they will plow Highway 67 beginning at the end of March.
Parts of the road have melted but the drifts over the road at the meadows were very large — possibly
15 or more feet high according to the North Rim Ranger. Only Jacob Lake is open as of mid-March.
The other commercial operations on the North Rim expect to open May 15.