Around Flagstaff

  • AZT 2020 Day 25, April 2, Thursday
  • Start mile 565 Flagstaff. Urban Trail junction (passage31mile6.3)
  • End mile 587.1, base of Little Eiden Mountain
  • Miles walked: 22.1

Two choices of trail are before me. The main route goes east of Flagstaff, crosses I40, and then heads northwest until it reaches north of Flagstaff, crossing the outskirts of the city. Total is roughly 30 miles. The urban route goes straight north into town, passes near the grocery store, and continues north to meet up with the first route, about 15 miles. I suspect my family wants me to maximize social distancing (strange term), so the longer route it is.

First I explore Walnut Canyon a little, but find it too brushy. Nice rocks though.

Climbing up one side of Walnut Canyon, now on the real route, one can admire the canyon below.

For the past couple of days water sources have become less frequent, aside from tanks and lakes. Few seasonal springs, creeks, or seeps from snow melt are found in this area. A rainfall collector for wildlife uses corrugated roofing and a concrete box in a simple elegant design, my main water source for the day.

From the top of Walnut Canyon, the route follows a crest that widens into a mesa, for a pleasant level hike. When people pass each other on the trail now, each goes far over on opposite sides of the trail, trying to maintain 6 foot distance. At a trailhead, the normal log book where hikers sign in to document their location is taped off, to prevent touching pens and paper that might spread a virus.

After crossing the interstate, our trail goes through Picture Canyon Open Space network of trails, with several more interconnected trails when back on Forest Service land. The peaks to the north of Flagstaff are altered when seen from the east approach.

Near sunset, I appreciate some final views.

My family picks me up tomorrow morning, and I take a break from the AZT until we our country can “flatten curve”, or at least until the Grande Canyon trails open up again. Sure hope it happens this year, before snow starts.

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at sagebrush.com, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.

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