AZ or NM winter hikes...no snow
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Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
AZ or NM winter hikes...no snow on 12/01/2013 08:19:37 MST Print View

Alright you southwestern desert peeps:

Any good suggestions for 30-40 mile treks in these states, preferably with little to no snow (I want to meet a friend for this trip...and she's a total cold-weather wimp)?

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: AZ or NM winter hikes...no snow on 12/01/2013 08:57:34 MST Print View

Generally the Sonoran desert areas are a little warmer than the Chihuahuan desert region. You could check the forecast for the lower elevations of the Gila between cold fronts (I know from experience the Middle Fork can go to zero with a strong enough front) or the Superstitions east of Phoenix mostly staying low (the camp for below Reavis Falls was warner than the Reavis Ranch point).

Here's my pic show flowing water but it was cold enough to form ice around the falls.

Icy Reavis falls

Above the falls (the former site of the ranch) was colder ..

The lower elevation of the Mazatzal is very desert like northeast of Phoenix/Scottsdale// south of Payson and has access to the Verde River (treat it). Still trying to find good vehicle access from the west but might need to go in from the northeast

In the desert, elevation is key. The higher elevations will start accumulating snow. Also a front will bring cold winds and temps even on the desert floor.

I'm looking at the mountains of Tucson really soon but there could be a little snow at about freezing at the highest elevations.

I prefer sticking to USFS or NPS lands

There's also BLM land in the New Mexico desert but you need to park on federal land, … not the patchwork of private or state (some ranchers will call "the authorities" on a car parked wrong, so position with a GPS and a BLM map from Las Cruces if you are looking at doing this).

Edited by hknewman on 12/01/2013 09:01:48 MST.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: AZ or NM winter hikes...no snow on 12/12/2013 21:47:45 MST Print View

The Highline Trail near Payson may be snow free. It follows the bottom of the Mogollon Rim so stays below 6K for a lot, with a ton of SW exposure to stay warm. Other than that you could make some loops and connections through the Supes (great this time of year actually and surprisingly rugged).

It's shorter but I love Aravaipa. 22miles out and back but with plenty of side canyons to explore.

For a pretty comprehensive list, check out the following link. Just be warned that the author is a very strong hiker and his "times" should be taken with a grain of salt.

http://www.toddshikingguide.com/Hikes/Hikes.htm

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
GC on 12/12/2013 21:50:25 MST Print View

Oh yeah, the Grand Canyon is also great this time of year. Sure there'll be snow on the rim most likely, but once you descend a bit the weather should be actually really nice, if not warm.