AZT Passage 37: Grand Canyon – South Rim

At this rate, I’m about 2 weeks behind in creating my hiking videos. So I FINALLY got the Passage 37 done and posted.

Like I’ve mentioned in the video description, while the passage is called “Grand Canyon: South Rim”, you don’t actually see the Grand Canyon or the South Rim until the very end at the northern terminus of the passage (South Kaibab Trailhead.)

This passage was about 24 miles and was an easy walk through the woods. No shuttle or taxi companies will know what you’re talking about it you use them to get you out to the trailhead. You want to goto the “Grandview Lookout Tower” not the “Grandview Point”. The lookout tower is about 2 miles past the Grandview Point down on the right on Coconino Rim Road. It’s a forest service road and is passable in a 2WD sedan. It didn’t seem like high clearance was necessary. The shuttle from Mather Campground to this point was about $25.

There’s plenty of campsites near the Grandview Lookout Tower and also vault toilets (gross).

Overall this passage was pretty easy. I was able to do the entire thing in about 9 hours and that was with plenty of stops to take photos/videos and about an hour in Tusayan for lunch. If you’re looking for maps, don’t bother with the National Geographic store in Tusayan. The store is mostly an tourist stuff.

Not much elevation gain or loss on this trail. My biggest complaint is that after a couple miles past Tusayan when you go under the highway you’re entire walk back is on asphalt paved “trail.” You make great time, but I’d rather be on a dirt path.

While there aren’t really any stunning landscapes or scenic vistas, it’s a nice walk in the woods and ends with the amazing views of the Grand Canyon.

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AZT Passage 24: Red Hills

I wanted to do this loop 2 weeks ago, but rain was predicted and I was afraid my car may not make it to the trailhead. Luckily I waited, the dry washes would’ve been a mess.

I got a late start and didn’t get up to Payson until late afternoon on Sunday. The road in was rough and at times a little unnerving in my Hyundai Sonata (my poor car has been put through some rough terrain.)

I finally got to the City Creek Trailhead and set out on the 20+ mile loop:
Mazatzal Divide Trail / Red Hills / East Verde River / Doll Baby / back to City Creek Trailhead

The entire morning was all uphill and was a decent workout. Amazingly I ran into several older people doing the same loop. One of the guys was 81 years old! They started about 3 hours before me from the same stating point, and it took them that long to get about half way up the trail. Damn, I hope I can do the same in 40ish years!

I met a few AZT thru hikers and ended up setting up camp in the same area as a few hikers.

The next morning I was treated to some AMAZING views of the mountains and valleys. I made it to the Verde River for lunch and back to my car by mid/late afternoon. It was a great hike!

Check out the video below:

A Stroll Home

After thinking about it (and talking about it) for a week or two, I walked home from work last night. It really wasn’t too bad. It was 19.67 miles, mostly very flat terrain urban walking. The only part that was a pain was the waiting for lights, but even that was too bad. I started at 5pm and I got home almost exactly at 11:15. My feet were a little sore, but overall not bad at all. I may make this a yearly thing.

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So why did I do it?

I know. Just because I wanted to see if I could do it. P:-)