Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Moving to arizona...any ideas? (pinetop and Sedona)


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Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Moving to arizona...any ideas? (pinetop and Sedona) on 03/23/2013 21:04:09 MDT Print View

Hey everyone!

Its been a while since I have been on the site, hope everyone is doing well!

Well, I am moving to North East Arizona (Pinetop) in a few weeks. So...if anyone has tips on places to backpack around there I am ALL EARS!

I am also going next week to look for a place to live, and am gonna be stoping in Sedona for a day or two. I am hoping to get a nice long day hike in while I am in Sedona. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good hike in the area? ANy tips would be greatly appreciated!

THANKS!!

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Moving to arizona...any ideas? (pinetop and Sedona) on 03/23/2013 21:49:52 MDT Print View

My best advice would be to look at Hike Arizona for trails: http://hikearizona.com/

If you click on the GPS route for a trail, it takes you to a screen with a map of the route. If you right-click on the map, you can then select "All Routes" or "Official Rts" and get many more trails in the same area plotted. Makes for easy trip planning and took me awhile to figure out, which is why I mention it.

Near Pinetop, I have done one trail in the White Mountains called the East Baldy Trail (http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=2308). It was a short but nice backpack despite almost getting struck by lightning.

Sedona is a nice area but some of the canyons can get pretty hot. I've hiked Parsons Trail (http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=86) and Taylor Cabin (http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=755) before and would recommend them both, although Taylor Cabin would be a tough day hike IMO - lots of rocky sections and several overgrown parts. The West Fork of Oak Creek trail (http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=147) is probably the most popular trail in Sedona and looks spectacular, but I haven't hiked it yet.

Hope that gives you a starting point.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Good start on 03/24/2013 12:04:34 MDT Print View

Thanks John! THats definitely a good start! Ill be sure to check out those trails around Sedona. I know it can get pretty hot out there, but Ive been checking the weather forecast for next week, and the temperatures seem pretty mild.

It looks like Pinetop is surrounded by lots of wilderness, so hopefully Ill be able to find some good spots out there!!

Chris Ramias
(Lizard)
pinetop trails on 03/25/2013 13:32:39 MDT Print View

Pinetop is in the White Mountains, there's lots of good trails close to the town though many of them are dayhike sort of trails. For more serious backpacking, there's the Mt. Baldy Wilderness, Bear Wallow Wilderness, Escudilla Wilderness, and Blue Range Primitive Area all within easy driving distance. The Blue Range Primitive Area (and the continguous Blue Range Wilderness, over the border in New Mexico) is probably the best bet for extended backpacking nearby, its close to 200K acres and wild enough that it is where the USFWS decided to release Mexican Gray Wolves in 1998 and subsequent years. There's a good trail network through the area which you can use for multiple long trips.

Unfortunately this part of Arizona has been ravaged by repeated large-scale wildfires in the last decade, and a lot of these areas have been severely affected. You'll need to do some research to find the places that are still intact (for instance the Mt. Baldy Wilderness trails were largely unaffected).

Edited by Lizard on 03/25/2013 13:35:20 MDT.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Good stuff! on 03/25/2013 21:11:56 MDT Print View

Thanks Christopher, that is some great advice! I think I am really just gonna have to stop in some ranger stations once I get there, and get a few maps and talk to rangers. I have grown up in California and backpacked all over the state, so I am really excited to get out there into some new terrain in a new state!

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Moving to arizona... on 03/26/2013 06:55:59 MDT Print View

A little further, there's the Mazatzal (I've hiked along the interior Verde River) and the Superstitions (going from desert to forest - Reavis Ranch is usually cooler than the lower elevations and the off-trail Reavis Falls is pretty neat). There are various public lands around Phoenix but many are dry and may need to be shared with mountain bikers.

Down in Tucson, there's the Catalina Mountains (with various streams) and the Rincons (joint between NPS - East Saguaro and USFS eastern Rincons, NPS - West Saguaro didn't allow backpacking last I checked). A little further is the Guilaros (very rocky - need good footwear), Aravaipa, and Safford-Morenci trail.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: more trails on 03/26/2013 08:38:07 MDT Print View

Christopher's post is right on - that's a good summary of Eastern AZ wilderness areas. The Mazatzals and Superstitions might be good options to hike in the winter, especially if you're looking for some where with less snow than Pinetop. I was actually just at Reavis Ranch last weekend - wild temperature variations of about 45 degrees.

I would say the Catalinas, Rincons, and Galiuros might be a little far from Pinetop, but each person's willingness to drive is different. The Catalinas are great and I've hiked almost every trail in the range. That said, you tend to run out of trail or out of water pretty quickly there. Wilderness of Rocks is a good and popular trail in the Catalinas that you can link up with others; Lemmon Pools is nice to visit too if you can find them.

The Galiuros are a very remote sky island range. I spent 4 days there in February this year and saw a total of 4 people on my first day and no one after that; I spent another 4 days there in March last year and saw 0 people the whole time. If you go there, I would recommend the Powers Garden trail for your first visit: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=17478

Powers Spring is probably the only reliable source of water in the Galiuros, although seasonal springs and water sources do exist.

One long trail close to Pinetop is the Highline Trail near Payson: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=757

Another nice trail on the Mogollon Rim is the Cabin Loop trail: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=797

And I've always wanted to hike the Blue River trail and go to Hannah Hot Springs: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=678

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
All great ideas! on 03/26/2013 12:06:28 MDT Print View

You guys rock!! All these trip ideas are getting me excited to move out there and hit the trails!! The Reavis Falls and the Hannah hotsprings look awesome!

Like I said before Im used to hiking in California and the Sierra Nevada Mountains...are there any differences I should be aware of when hiking in AZ...it seems like there is less water. ANything else? ANy different gear that I should consider getting?

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Sedona on 03/26/2013 12:53:10 MDT Print View

Any other tips for a long-ish day hike in Sedona? Ive been looking on hikearizona.com, but there are so many trails I dont even know where to start. Looking for something 5-10 miles in length that gives me a good idea of what Sedona and the Red Rocks is all about, and hopefully not a popular trail with lots of people.

Thanks!

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Sedona on 03/26/2013 14:33:43 MDT Print View

Sedona is in general a pretty popular hiking place. Every one in Phoenix flocks there to beat the heat. Here are some ideas (I've only done the first):

Parsons trail: accessible by car, very pretty, few people

Secret Canyon trail: accessible by 4x4 only, seems to be what you want

Boynton Canyon trail: might also be a good hike, not sure about access

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Sedona on 03/26/2013 17:03:08 MDT Print View

Hey John
I saw Secret Canyon Trail, but we're renting a small car, not sure if it would make it to the trail head. Ill definitely look into Parsons trail and Boynton Canyon Trail.

Thanks for the advice!

Chris Ramias
(Lizard)
more AZ tips on 03/26/2013 17:58:40 MDT Print View

Wilson Mountain trail is a good dayhike, accessible by paved road and great panoramas of the Sedona area.

http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=151

If you've hiked in southern California deserts Arizona is not too different. Always know your water sources and carry redundant containers. Wear long pants and long sleeves if you can tolerate them - there's lots of scratchy stuff here and bushwhacking can be a pain.

Also, Arizona has a lot of fairly neglected trails and wilderness areas. There's actually a whole ton of protected wilderness areas in this State, but outside of the Canyon, Sedona, and the wildernesses near major towns (basically the Superstitions and the Catalinas), they're largely unknown and lightly visited. This is a wonderful thing if you like solitude, however if you've spent most of your time hiking in well-loved areas like the Sierra, it can take a bit of adjustment. Most trails in this state are in varying states of disrepair. You can't assume just because a trail is on the map that there'll be any sign of it at all on the ground. You'll need to spend more time navigating than you're used to - a GPS is a good idea. You'll need to learn to pick out almost-invisible trails based on vague signs, and separate cow paths from designated trails.

Edited by Lizard on 03/26/2013 18:23:02 MDT.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Gila? de Chelly? on 03/27/2013 19:46:46 MDT Print View

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Gila Wilderness, just over the border in New Mexico. Not immediately in the Pinetop vicinity, but only a few hours drive away, and many great trail heads available on the west side.

Something entirely different would be backpacking in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, but that requires elaborate preparations (and some $$).

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
Canyon de Chelly National Monument on 03/27/2013 21:43:49 MDT Print View

whats this Canyon de Chelly National Monument you speak of. I looked it up, and it looks just like another national park. Why does it require elaborate planning and money??

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Canyon de Chelly National Monument on 03/28/2013 04:24:11 MDT Print View

It is a different kind of National Park. The land is not federal land. It is owned by the local Native American tribe and administered by the NPS.

You cannot travel in most areas without a guide.

Beautiful place.