Passage 18 – Reavis Canyon

November 7, 2017

One of the Arizona Trail Association’s standing goals is to remove the trail from two-track roads where possible. HAZ maps (well, really any version of the topo maps, but I get mine on HAZ) revealed a low-hanging-fruit option — the old Reavis Trail south from Rogers Trough TH. This half-mile route appears on older topo maps and in Stuart and Carlson’s hiking books, and it replaces a mile of grainy, steep, slippery, ATV-busy road walk with a very pleasant jaunt through the Wilderness.

A quick scouting trip confirmed that most of the route only needed to be brushed, and a few locations would benefit from some moderate tread work. The Forest Service was pretty positive about our proposal and started the clearance work. Seems this route was left off when the official trail list was created. Last summer, with temps well over 100 degrees, we met the archeologist and walked the route. No deal-killers, although surprisingly a few isolated finds. ATA planned to schedule a week-long volunteer event to do the work, but this fall was maxed out with other events. Then the FS called with an offer that could not be refused — a free youth crew.

We met the youth crew supervisor and the FS representative on site and final-flagged the route. Another warm day. The crew finished the work in mid-September. All that remained was to install Wilderness signs on either end of the new route — a commitment ATA made in the original proposal. FR650 is the Wilderness boundary; the new old route cuts across the Wilderness.

Today volunteers ground their way up FR 172 yet again, cut two juniper posts, mounted the signs (produced locally by Heather and Fred Studios in Tempe) and set the posts. It feels great to check one off!

Thanks Richard, Duane, Roger, John, Pablo and Gordon!

Shawn Redfield