The Arizona Trail Just Got Better

We are delighted to share the news that the Alder Ridge Project is now complete. Thanks to the hard work of conservation corps members from American Conservation Experience, machine operator extraordinaire Rob Bauer, and Arizona Trail Association (ATA) staff and volunteers, there is now 6.7 miles of new trail on the Tonto National Forest. Please join us in celebrating this grand accomplishment!

The Alder Ridge Project eliminates 8.2 miles of AZT that has been co-located along a powerline road east of Twin Buttes Trailhead along Passage 25, west of the Arizona Trail Gateway Community of Pine. This road walk has been among the least desirable segments of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, and is frequently used by OHVs. Now, it’s all singletrack from the Mazatzal Wilderness to the Pine Trailhead (and beyond).

Thanks to a grant from the Recreational Trails Program administered by Arizona State Parks & Trails; funding from REI Co-op; and support from ATA members and donors, we have worked hard to make this dream improvement a reality. The Alder Ridge Project is another major milestone in our ongoing commitment to removing the AZT from dirt roads – where interaction with motor vehicles detracts from the Arizona Trail experience. In addition to avoiding the chunky powerline road, this new piece of the AZT keeps more miles within designated wilderness, crosses beautiful Rock Creek (a seasonal water source), and maintains trail character more consistent with National Scenic Trail values.

Maps and online navigational resources will be updated soon. For now, freshly installed wooden signs mark the way. We welcome you to experience this brilliantly designed and expertly built piece of the AZT. Thanks to support from so many people, the Arizona Trail gets better all the time.