Arizona Trail Conditions

UPDATED:  April 15, 2014

Users of the Arizona Trail are advised of the following Arizona Trail conditions. Please contact the Arizona Trail Association’s 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 trail in the Huachuca Mountains passage is currently closed due to the Brown fire. The closure begins about 2 miles west of Miller Peak to about a mile past the wilderness boundary in Sunnyside Canyon. There is no viable detour in this area. It is recommended that trail users contact the Sierra Vista Ranger District to check on current wildfire conditions before planning a hike along the trail in the Huachuca Mountains.

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 Oracle Fires.

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 park's website.

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 928-610-3300.
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 here.

Passage #31 - Walnut Canyon
The trail is closed from Marshall Lake to Fisher Point due to the Fisher Fire. USFS personnel are working to extinguish the fire completely and then begin removing hazardous trees adjacent to the trail that were damaged by the fire. It is anticipated that the trail will be closed for a short duration. Please contact the Flagstaff Ranger District for further information (928-526-0866).

For details on how to detour around this area click here.

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 website 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.