How to Train for the Arizona Trail

Mesquite Trees Below Rocky Hill

Rule #1: Do not start the trail without any training. The Arizona Trail thru-hike will test you in ways you never anticipated, so your physical condition should be the least of your worries. Without proper training, you will succumb to injuries, as well as the possibility of not reaching water sources or food quickly enough. It’s important to get that …

Day 52: Jacob Lake to Stateline Campground

Stars over Northern Kaibab Plateau

The plan (which as we’ve learned means nothing) was to head out from Jacob Lake, then find a scenic spot to camp several miles before the Stateline Campground to get some final views before completing the Arizona Trail. I woke up and was excited to see sunlight coming in through the window. All the weather looked like it had at …

Day 51: North of the Grand Canyon to Jacob Lake (again)

Spruce Trees over Arizona Trail

I thought I was ready for today, but the weather once again threw me a major curveball that would require some pretty amazing trail magic to overcome. I knew today would be rough. The forecast had called for a lot of rain pretty much all day, so when I woke up to snow showers, I wasn’t terribly surprised. I assumed …

Day 50: Jacob Lake to North of Grand Canyon National Park

Rainbow over East Rim Viewpoint

The plan was to hitchhike back to where I left the trail and pick up where I left off. This wound up being much more difficult than I expected it to be, or even than it needed to be. I was up early and well rested and so I said farewell to Josh before heading out on the closed highway …

Day 45: Coconino Rim to Tusayan

Grand Canyon from Coconino Rim

My feet were beginning to complain again, particularly the left, which has had trouble adjusting to life on the trail. It’s about a half size smaller than my right foot, the latter of which is doing quite well. Lefty however, has been getting too cooped up lately in two socks, which worked great to distribute the comfort more evenly, but …

Day 44: Babbitt Ranch to Coconino Rim

Arizona Trail Passing Rocky Ledge

The Coconino Rim was just over 20 miles away. I had visions of this area being ripe with campsites all along the rim overlooking the eastern edge of the Kaibab Plateau below, as well as the Grand Canyon carving its way toward the area. Surely there had to be one good campsite like that within the first few miles of …