Arizona Trail debate: Which segment yields the best experience?

Arizona Daily Sun (November 13, 2019) by Sam McManis

Want to start an argument among local trail runners and hikers, get their heart rates zooming as if they’ve just sprinted up Humphreys Peak? Ask them which section of the Arizona Trail, the segments wending their way through Flagstaff and environs, is the best.

By best, we mean the most enjoyable experience for trail users. Challenging, yet reasonably navigable. Vertical, yet not hands-on-knees steep. Verdant and tree-lined, yet diverse enough in foliage and geologic makeup to keep one engaged.

Let us, then, offer up an opinion.

Our choice is a 6.2-mile stretch of the Arizona Trail that starts at Aspen Corner on the way up to the Snowbowl and ends at the intersection of Forest Road 418. We chose this part — officially called Segment 34c — because it may be the most accessible segment of the AZT around Flagstaff without being, well, boring.

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