Passage 26 – Highline Trail

Colonel Devin Rehab Project-The Last Hurrah!

Several years ago Arizona Trail Association embarked on an ambitious project to realign the trail off a utility road to a scenic walk through the woods. A great deal of preparation and back office work came to fruition in 2017 with a nice grant through Arizona State Parks and enthusiastic support from volunteers. The project included new trail, opening old trail, two steel bridges, new trail signs and an interpretive kiosk. All but the kiosk were completed in 2017, leaving only installation of the kiosk and moving several trailhead signs at Washington Park TH.

Winter arrived late and delayed the final push until this week when volunteers finished it up. Roger, Joe and Shawn met at the Payson Ranger District yard to load the three-panel kiosk and haul it to the TH, with a stop at Home Depot for the concrete mix. At the TH everything was stacked at the site and the iconic steel AZT sign was dug out of the cement base for relocation at the new route.

Thursday morning John and Donovan joined the crew at the TH to get to it.

The three-panel kiosk proved more challenging than expected, but with patience, a little trial and error, and perseverance it’s in the ground, pretty much plumb and level. John earned his wages for the day when he picked the perfect spot where the trail leaves the parking lot for the AZT sign, now framed by the trees and a lichen-covered boulder against the fir-tree backdrop. The crew installed a trail sign at the junction east of the bridge so hikers can distinguish between the Highline Trail and the Colonel Devin trail. The message board was moved to a spot across the trail from the kiosk. A couple other superfluous signs were removed and returned to the Forest Service.

Artwork for the kiosk is in production and will be installed when complete. So the project is not quite complete, but it’s real close. Big thanks to REI Co-op for their support of this project. Stay tuned for information about a completion celebration later this year.



The blank slate.



Work gets underway.  John makes sure that clamshell post hole digger doesn’t fall over.



Making progress, is this how it goes?


New sign at the new Col. Devin/Highline
junction.  A good stout post will handle the Rim Country wind.




John earned his bonus today with the selection of this spot for the iconic AZT sign.



All done but for the artwork, which is in the works.


Still smiling after a 12+ hour day. Off to El Rancho for dinner. Thanks Guys!