Making hiking boots bloom in the desert

Jewish Insider (November 19, 2021) by Gabby Deutsch Growing up in an outdoorsy New England family, Noah Swartz didn’t have a choice when it came to hiking. The family business was Timberland, the footwear company known for its iconic brown boots, that his father sold for $2 billion a decade ago. But that didn’t mean the young Swartz was always […]

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Trail Work Starts on Highline Trail

Payson Roundup (Nov 16, 2021) by Payson Roundup Staff Work is underway to improve the Highline National Recreation Trail (Highline Trail) on the Tonto National Forest. In September 2021, Tonto officials announced plans to improve and re-route portions of the Highline National Recreation Trail (Highline Trail) along with portions of the Arizona National Scenic Trail and trails in the communities […]

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Despite the Abundance of Trail Apps, Guidebooks are Holding Their Own

Backpacking Routes (Nov 8, 2021) by Hugh Owen Smartphone trail apps have become ubiquitous on hiking trails, providing real-time information about water sources, fire closures, hostels and shuttles to them. Their explosive growth raises a question: Are printed guidebooks on the way out? Not so fast, says Matthew J. Nelson, executive director of the Arizona Trail Association. “We have found […]

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See late-season fall colors on this Tonto National Forest hike. Here’s how to tackle it

Arizona Republic (November 2, 2021) by Mare Czinar Sometimes, surprisingly fine escapes can be found just steps from busy byways in right-under-your-nose places. Bushnell Tanks Road, off the Beeline Highway (State Route 87) roughly halfway between Mesa and Payson is one such find. Much of the road parallels part of the course of the Pine Mountain Passage 21 of the Arizona […]

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AZT in a DAY a Huge Success

For the past four years, we’ve invited the Arizona Trail community to help us complete the entire length of the Arizona Trail in 24 hours through our ambitious AZT in a DAY initiative. This year, on October 9, at least 431 people participated. There were 357 hikers, 30 runners, 17 mountain bikers, and 27 equestrians. At least 91 family and friends […]

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How Two Indigenous Runners Made a Film Connecting Running and Environmental Activism

Runners World (October 25, 2021) by Taylor Dutch After dedicating years of intense study to earning a Ph.D. in environmental science, Lydia Jennings couldn’t wait to celebrate at her graduation in May 2020. But like most major events during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program’s ceremony at the University of Arizona was canceled. Instead of receiving her diploma […]

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Hiking the Arizona Trail in a Day

The Desert Leaf (October 2021) by Linda Brewer Some people hike the Arizona Trail (AZT) in sections, called “passages,” accumulating a couple of hundred miles each year. Some people–the valiant thru-hikers–do it all in one go, with or without a support crew. Since 2017 there has been another way to complete the trail, the many-feet-walking method known as Arizona Trail […]

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Member Survey Results

Earlier this year we asked active members of the Arizona Trail Association to participate in a survey to help inform our organization’s Strategic Plan for 2022-2026. A total of 763 ATA members took the survey (that’s more than 33%) and shared their thoughts and opinions about the greatest assets and challenges facing the trail and the ATA. Both quantitative and […]

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In Memoriam: Phil Garcia

Phil Garcia 02/01/1968 – 09/25/2021 Phoenix, Arizona An avid hiker and trail steward, Phil Garcia enjoyed spending time in the outdoors of Arizona. Phil is survived by his wife Vikki, and children Cori and Wes. Phil was an avid traveler with his family, and loved hiking/backpacking, photography, DIY projects, and playing sand volleyball. He volunteered his time as a Phoenix Park Steward, […]

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Video: Fastest For Now

Velo News (September 29, 2021) by Betsy Welch On Christmas Eve of 2018, ultra-endurance mountain biker Kait Boyle wasn’t sure if she would ever walk again. Two years later, she set a fastest known time record (FKT) on the 137-mile Kokopelli Trail, a remote and arduous route between Moab, Utah, and Loma, Colorado. The new film Fastest For Now chronicles […]

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About One Week to My AZT Blast Off

The Trek (September 28, 2021) by David Smith When you live in Phoenix, you escape what feels like endless summer by going to the mountains.  Generally that means going to AZT country, either the Mongollon Rim or Flagstaff.  A few days ago, we spent a few nights car camping near  Mormon Lake, and I had the opportunity to do some […]

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Arizona Trail Association releases video essay calling on US Senators to “Protect Arizona” by fighting climate change

On September 20, the Arizona Trail Association released a three-minute video essay featuring a diverse collection of outdoor enthusiasts urging Arizona’s US Senators to protect the Arizona National Scenic Trail by fighting climate change. The video includes inspiring imagery from various passages along the Arizona National Scenic Trail as well as footage of wildfires and extreme weather events that threaten the […]

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Shady, swooping trail in Flagstaff is fun for hikers, mountain bikers. Here’s how to do it

Arizona Republic (September 16, 2021) by Mare Czinar Slung between the edge-hugging dirt track of Schultz Pass Road and the sheer foothills below Mount Elden, Schultz Creek Trail rolls out like an emerald half-pipe. Because of its fluid, north-south track, hairpin turns and mild jumps, the historic route in the Mount Elden-Dry Lakes Hills area just a few miles north […]

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A Smoky Trail Across The Country

National Parks Traveler (September 10, 2021) by Barbara “Bo” Jensen Here at the border of Wyoming and Montana, Bad Pass Trail is all but invisible to me. It winds across the upper reaches of the Pryor Mountains through Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Road signs note I’ve crossed the trail, but I cannot see it stretching 50 miles from the […]

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Ecosystem Interconnectedness with Flagstaff Junior Academy

August 26th marked the first Seeds of Stewardship outing of the 2021-2022 school year! In fact, it was the first outing we’ve gotten to do with a school group since the lockdown started in March 2020. It was wonderful to once again bring the classroom outdoors. SoS instructors met Flagstaff Junior Academy fifth graders in Mrs. Chapman’s classroom for an […]

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New Arizona Trail Tech Shirts & Cycling Jerseys

We are excited to announce the release of our Summer 2021 long sleeve tech shirts and cycling jerseys, featuring an original design from Shannon Villegas inspired by the San Francisco Peaks Passage of the AZT. All proceeds from the sale of this product will directly benefit mountain bike projects on the AZT, including rollover gates, singletrack construction to replace roads, […]

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Walking Toward Peace: Auburn Veteran Shares Story of Healing in New Book

Auburn Examiner (August 4, 2021) by Lindsay Hicks When soldiers return from deployment and hang up their combat fatigues, a different kind of baggage sometimes lingers within that they can’t easily pack away. For some, connecting with nature provides the best respite from the weight that baggage brings. Flashbacks, hypervigilance, avoidance, survivor’s guilt, irritability, lack of trust, severe anxiety—these are […]

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In Memoriam: Connor McKnight

Connor David McKnight Born in Spokane, WA and resided in Flagstaff, AZ 7/11/1996 – 6/28/2021 Trail Name: Ragebow Charismatic, creative, and funny, Connor drew smiles across anyone’s face that met him with his disheveled hair, his 6’4″ stature, and his contagious smile. An enigma personified.  Conversations with Connor were vast and intricate, much like the landscapes he traveled across. His preferred conversations […]

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Avoid Wet Trails

Now that monsoons have returned (with a vengeance), it’s important to avoid wet trails. As tempting as it may be to head for the hills after a storm, the hard work that our trail stewards and volunteers do to maintain the Arizona Trail can be destroyed when people hike and ride on muddy trails. The damage that feet, tires and […]

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Lean into the heat: Here are 4 of Arizona’s best places to visit during the summertime

Arizona Republic (July 16, 2021) by Roger Naylor Drought, heat waves, wildfires and forest closures. It’s not exactly the post-pandemic summer celebration many of us planned for. We had visions of camping in a cool pine forest atop the Mogollon Rim. Or fishing in a fast-flowing trout stream in the White Mountains. Or hiking above the timberline on Humphreys Peak, climbing past […]

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Arizona on Fire

Flagstaff Business News (July 5, 2021) by Bonnie Stevens Billy Cordasco and Ryan Butler sat on a hilltop behind Cedar Ranch and watched as the Slate Fire pushed its way east through juniper, pinyon and ponderosa pine forest from Highway 180 toward the historic ranch house, barn, wells and pipeline north of the San Francisco Peaks. Cordasco, president and general […]

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