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Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
1-month long trail in Southwestern US in June on 10/24/2009 13:51:05 MDT Print View

I am currently planning another very long round the world outdoor trip and look for some inspiration on the following problem:

If everything goes according to plan I will finish the Arizona Trail end of May 2010 at the Arizona/Utah border with 1 month left on my visa. I will fly onward to Australia from the West Coast early July and therefore don't want to go East for hiking.

I am looking for a trail that
- will keep me busy for about one month (I do not want to spend too much time or money on transportation between several trails),
- is located in the Southwestern US (Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, maybe even Idaho or Colorada),
- is doable in June
- does not require too much research or too many maps (ideally one guidebook or map series).

I have already hiked the PCT and CDT and do not want to do a section hike on these trails.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Christine

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
1-month long trail in Southwestern US in June on 10/24/2009 18:58:50 MDT Print View

Grand Enchantment Trail from Albuquerque.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: 1-month long trail in Southwestern US in June on 10/24/2009 20:07:22 MDT Print View

Australian Alpine Walking Track
More details available.

cheers

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Trail in Southwestern US on 10/25/2009 00:21:52 MDT Print View

@Joe: I even have the mapset for the Grand Enchantment Trail. But don't you think that June is too hot for that trail?

@Roger: The Australian Alpine Walking Track is not exactly in Southwestern US.... But I will hike that trail when I am in Australia during the next stage of my trip. It is one of the reason why I am flying to Australia again.

Christine

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
1-month long trail in Southwestern US in June on 10/25/2009 00:48:03 MDT Print View

It could be hot, but maybe not too bad. It wouldn't be hot after you got to the Gila mountains though.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: 1-month long trail in Southwestern US in June on 10/25/2009 00:57:16 MDT Print View

Theodore Solomons Trail? I think it's kind of "meh" though.

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Theodore Solomons Trail on 10/25/2009 01:31:01 MDT Print View

Jack, what does "meh" mean?????? Sorry, I am German...and have no clue.
I did some quick googling on the trail and find it very interesting, albeit a little bit short for my purpose. But the only guidebook is from 1987! Would that still be useful? Have you hiked that trail yourself and can give me some first-hand advice?
Christine

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Theodore Solomons Trail on 10/25/2009 10:13:37 MDT Print View

Hey, sorry about that. "Meh" is part of the evolving American English language, and an evolution of internet derived speech. Urban Dictionary defines it as indifference.

I'm indifferent about the TST for a few reasons. Mainly, it's a lower elevation west side sierra trail. That means that you'll be in the forest most of the time. Surely it's beautiful forest, but still, it's forest. I doubt that many (in any!) people have thruhiked the TST. As far as I know, the 1987 guide book is the only information on it. I have the book, it's good. And you'll need to buy the maps and see how it all fits together.

I suggest it mainly because I don't think that there are many other trails in the west that meet your criteria. Perhaps the only other ones would be the California Coastal Trail or the brand new Bigfoot Trail. I don't know the route of the Bigfoot Trail, on it's northern reach it might get too high and pass through excessive snow, but out of the three, it'd be the one I'd want to hike the most.

One thing to consider is that they say it's going to be an El Nino year. That means that there may be heavy snow sticking around late in the season.

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Bigfoot Trail on 10/25/2009 14:55:37 MDT Print View

Jack, thanks a lot for the recommendation. The Bigfoot Trail sounds really interesting, but unfortunately I could not find much about it online. As you said, it is pretty new. I had hoped for something easier in terms of preparation....but I will email Michael Kauffmann.

I had come across the California Coastal Trail as well but it seems to be a lot in urban areas. Another option is the Tahoe Rim Trail, but that is a little short for my purposes.

Isn't there any long trail in Utah?

Christine

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
1-month long trail in Southwestern US in June on 10/25/2009 15:37:29 MDT Print View

How about combining the 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail with the 180 mile Tahoe Yosemite Trail? Total 345 miles.

The TRT is a perfect loop so you could start and end at or near Meeks Bay, the north end of the TYT, and just go south to Toulumne Meadows in Yosemite. Easy to get to and from both trailheads.


http://outhiking.com/ty%20index.html

http://sherpaguides.com/california/mountains/long_trails/tahoe_yosemite_trail.html


Trail Journal:
http://www.longtrails.com/tyt

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Bigfoot Trail on 10/25/2009 17:54:10 MDT Print View

Absolutely there is a long "trail" in Utah. The main one is the Hayduke Trail, a difficult cross partly cross country traverse. I bet it's outstanding. But for June, I didn't recommend it because it might be excessively hot. If you're willing to gamble, it might be doable with only very hot weather to endure. This would be my top choice, but I'd be concerned about the June start. IMO, hiking the AZT stops right at the border of where it starts getting really good, namely utah canyon country. The Hayduke is generally done with a fair amount of preplanning, but has been done in lightly planned "thruhiker" style. It's too long for a month, so you'd have to chose a section.

Two great recent journals (out of the very few thruhikes of it) are:
http://hayduke2009.blogspot.com/
http://hayduketrail.blogspot.com/

Not a preplanned hike, but a few intrepid souls have found great success hiking north through utah as well. I haven't heard much at all about the Great Western Trail (http://www.gwt.org/), but you could look into it.

I think that any trail you use will require a fair amount of planning or winging it. I'd love to hear updates about what you choose. Do you have a blog or trailjournal?

Edited by Found on 10/25/2009 18:00:31 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Bigfoot Trail on 10/25/2009 17:57:52 MDT Print View

El Nino year. Might and should be allot of snow. Probaly will affect hiking for you in higher elevations of The Sierra's

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Hayduke Trail on 10/26/2009 02:54:07 MDT Print View

Jack, I have also come across the Hayduke Trail and a German friend of mine has already hiked it. Great trail, but too hot in June and not really a trail, more a route....with lots of climbing involved. Not really my cup of tea, especially since I am usually hiking on my own and I think that the combination of heat, navigation and climbing make this trail too dangerous for me.
For the rest I have sent you a PM.
Christine

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
GWT/GET on 10/26/2009 09:52:06 MDT Print View

If the Hayduke is too hot in June (which it is) the GET will surely be. You'd absolutely fry north of Oracle.

The Great Western Trail is an ATV/4x4 route for virtually all of it's length.

There's an obvious answer here: PCT/JMT. June is ideal, just bring a bug net.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: GWT/GET on 10/26/2009 10:16:57 MDT Print View

Except "I have already hiked the PCT and CDT and do not want to do a section hike on these trails. "

I don't think there is an obvious answer. In fact, I'm not sure that there is a good answer at all. It's difficult criteria. I'd go for the TST or BFT.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: Re: GWT/GET on 11/06/2009 17:12:04 MST Print View

In terms of section hiking, the GET should be doable westbound starting late May at ABQ, which is around the time eastbound thru-hikers finish up there. Heat and sun will be issues, certainly, but quite possibly manageable for a trail-hardened AZT thru-hiker. Ending at Glenwood NM, ie avoiding Arizona at that time of year, keeps you above 4800 feet throughout the hike, and often above 6000' (New Mexico is far and away the better of the two states to hike during June, at least given this route's layout.)

Water may become a concern depending on how this winter shapes up, as conditions are currently very dry.

Also, FYI, an updated mapset to the route will be available in time for spring hiking.

GET in the Blue Range (from photo album)

Grand Enchantment Trail in the Blue Range, AZ

Edited by blister-free on 11/07/2009 23:29:19 MST.