12 Endangered Trails to Hike Before They’re Gone

Backpacker Magazine (January 14, 2022) by Kelly Bastone

From climate change to drilling and mining, various threats promise to wipe out what’s best about America’s 12 most endangered trails. Hike them now to admire ancient glacial ice, hear howling wolves, splash at pristine beaches, and admire ancient art galleries.

Arizona Trail, Tonto National Forest, Arizona

The views from 4,377-foot Picketpost Mountain couldn’t be more Arizona: red dirt
expanses and dusky hills pocked with 20-foot-tall saguaro cactuses, craggy desert
towers. Yet, there, amid arguably one of the prettiest stretches of the 800-mile Arizona
Trail, machines will begin digging the Resolution Copper Mine in as soon as three years.

The operation will affect popular rock climbing in the area and inch scary-close to Native American archaeological sites. Tackle the Superior section of the Arizona Trail now, before the planned reroute around the mine leads hikers away from Picketpost’s iconic vista. From the Picketpost trailhead, follow the Arizona Trail south for .3 mile, then take the 2-mile spur to Picketpost’s 360-degree summit view. Return to the Arizona Trail, and follow it 9 more miles past saguaros and eroded rock knobs to camp at Trough Springs (BYO water). Return the way you came.

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