First ride of the season, exploring the Arizona Trail.

Just over a week ago Flagstaff had a record 36 inches of snow fall. Today the trails are nearly clear and mostly dry. With a few days of Spring-like weather forecasted I decided to check out one of my favorite sections of the Arizona Trail. Last year I bikepacked the Walnut canyon passage of the Arizona Trail and I wanted to check it out and see how it looks after a wet snowy winter.


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I took old Walnut Canyon road FS/303 as far as my 2wd would take me. The road is in rough shape from the locals mudding in their mall crawlers.
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Wasn’t sure if I was on the exact right road, but I found the trailhead at mile 574.4. Last year we thru hiked just over half of the Arizona Trail.  Visiting this trailhead brought back  memories of 6 weeks on the trail.
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Random Greyhound photo…the good thing about having a blog is you can post anthing you want. This is Comet our foster greyhound. He’s a very good boy and needs a permanent home. If you know anyone that would like to adopt a sweet greyhound, send them to the link to this blog post.
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Overall the trail was pretty snow free. This patch was about 6″ deep with a hard crust. I was able to hold the bike upright in the crusty snow to take a pic but it fell over before I could get set up. The trail for the most part was dry. There was some mud but I was able to avoid it or float over it with my fat tires.
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Last year I shot past this water tank without checking it out. On our thru hike I checked out nearly every water source and took pics. I stopped to have a look this time. Lots of animal tracks. I wonder if any bears or mountain lions had visited the tank that day.
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My goal for this ride was to reach the part of the trail that looks down into Walnut Canyon. I forgot there was some big rocky switchbacks that required a hike-a-bike. By the time I got to see the canyon it started to sleet and I realized I had no extra layers, so I decided to call it a day and turn back here. Next time I’ll go better prepared so I can get some good pics of the trail along Walnut Canyon.
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A shot of the Ponderosa forest on the way back to the car. I love riding through this terrain.
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Gotta get a better tire this season. These surly endomorphs are not the bees knees.
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Quick stop for a drink. Just enjoying the scenery.

Overall it was a fun trail ride and great to be back on the the bike after a long winter. I’m looking forward to lots of bikepacking and exploring this year. I’m in the process of planning and preparing for a 200 mile bikepack of the AZ trail from my house in Flagstaff to the Stateline trail head on the AZ / Utah Border.

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