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Monday, March 10, 2014

Epic, interactive ARIZONA TRAIL TREK kicks off this Friday

Love YOUR Arizona National Scenic Trail by supporting Arizona Trail Trek 2014

Sirena Dufault hikes the Arizona Trail. Photo courtesy Sirena Dufault

Ever dreamed about what it would be like to hike the entire 800-mile Arizona Trail from Mexico to Utah? Here's your chance to see how it's done and sample the thrills with an expert. From March 14 to May 31, 2014, Sirena Dufault will hike the whole route beginning at the Mexico/USA border. She's doing this to promote and raise funds to support the Arizona Trail Association---the nonprofit organization responsible for building, maintaining and protecting the trail. During the trek, there will be many opportunities for YOU to join Sirena for hikes, backpacking trips and party events in communities near the trail.  Events will feature food, entertainment and items for sale including logo merchandise and copies of the brand new book, Your Complete Guide to the Arizona National Scenic Trail. As a tasty extra incentive, Arizona Trail Ale, brewed by That Brewery in Pine, Arizona will be served at the gatherings. One event to try: Tucson area party, camping and day hike from Gabe Zimmerman trailhead to Colossal Cave Park on Saturday, March 29. You must register in advance at:

Sirena will be using social media to share on-trail experiences and post updates.  Follow her via an online satellite tracking system on the Arizona Trail Facebook page or Twitter @AZTRAIL#AZTtrek
So whether your Arizona Trail bucket list includes a thru-hike of your own or simply vicarious thrills, come on out, sample the trail and get to know and love our state's most epic trek.


Sunday, March 9, 2014



View from the Anaconda Trail

Blending old favorites with a couple of newly adopted trails, this circuit in the Cockscomb cluster of routes in Sedona is a low-traffic gem.  Located near several of Red Rock Country’s most popular hikes (Boynton Canyon, Bear Mountain, Fay Canyon) these trails offer refreshing serenity under fragrant cover of high desert scrub woodlands. The trek begins on the old Arizona Cypress trail with a traipse through thickets of sage-colored juniper, the eponymous shaggy-barked evergreens and elegant white-trunk sycamores along Dry Creek. A trailhead map shows numerous ways to create loop hikes in the area. I selected the new Snake and Anaconda trails using Girdner trail for the return leg. Anaconda, with its zigzagging mix of easy dips and climbs was an especially enjoyable route with many scenic views and a sprinkling of wildflowers to boot. Choose this trek if you’re looking peace and quiet.

Cockscomb rock formation

LENGTH: 4.2-mile loop
RATING: moderate
ELEVATION: 4400’ – 4678’

Trailhead map

From the AZ179/89A roundabout in Sedona, go 3.2 miles west on 89A to Dry Creek Road. Turn right (north) and continue 2.7 miles to an unmarked dirt road (FR9589) on the left.  This is roughly 0.1 mile before the Long Canyon Road junction.  Go 0.2 mile on this narrow but sedan-friendly road to a large parking circle. Trail access is just before the circle and at the “closed area” sign at the south end of the lot.
INFO: Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest, 928-203-2900
FEE: a Red Rock Pass is required. $5 daily fee.