ARIZONA TRAIL: This epic trail, from Mexico to Utah, is right in your backyard

Vail Style Magazine (February 2021) by Kevin Boerup

As darkness fell on the high, lonely desert at Cienega Creek one summer night in 1887, a Southern Pacific passenger train suddenly slammed on its brakes. Gunfire pierced the night and the Doc Smart Gang stepped out of the darkness. After robbing the train, a sheriff’s posse was soon formed, and the gang’s trail led to a cave in the foothills in the Rincon Mountains that they had been using as a hideout. The gang escaped to El Paso while the search for them continued. Today, the cave system where the gang had taken refuge is known as Colossal Cave, and the Arizona Trail passes right by it.

It may not have been called the Arizona Trail back in the late 1880s, but that is only because the idea of a scenic, sustainable, non-motorized recreation trail from Mexico to Utah had not been dreamed of yet.

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