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Beware of Smoke Near Mormon Lake

On July 11, a lightning strike caused the Newman Fire to start on the Coconino National Forest between Flagstaff and Mormon Lake. As of July 17 it has grown to 888 acres and is being managed by four professional crews. In the interest of public safety, a portion of the forest is closed west of Pine Grove Campground. The Arizona Trail between Lake Mary Road (Forest Highway 3) and Mayflower Spring, north of Mormon Lake, is within the fire planning boundary but the fire is not expected to spread south toward the trail. The trail remains open at this time, however Arizona Trail users should beware of smoke on the Anderson Mesa Passage between AZT mile 540.9 and 547.5. Check the Arizona Trail Association website for updates, closures, detours, and other information.

Stay informed about the Newman Fire through Inciweb.

AZT Cycling Jerseys and Tech Shirts

We are excited to announce the development of unique Arizona Trail cycling jerseys and long sleeve tech shirts. Men’s and women’s styles are available in a variety of sizes, and pre-orders are being taken online now through August 1. Order yours today through the Arizona Trail Store! ATA members login to get a discount.

We searched far and wide to find the best fitting, most comfortable, and technically advanced tech wear from Headsweats. Built to keep pace with a high level of energy on the trail, sleeves stay in place and the jersey’s anti-slip technology will keep it from riding up. During low light conditions, the garment’s reflective piping will keep you visible. Original design includes topo map contour lines, AZT logos, Arizona sunset colors, and a mountain biker silhouette with a scene from the Gila River Canyons Passage.

All proceeds from the sale of AZT cycling jerseys and long sleeve tech shirts (popular among mountain bikers who appreciate the sun and thorny plant protection) will directly benefit mountain bike projects on the AZT, including rollover gates, singletrack construction to replace roads, and youth mountain biking programs.

Pre-order your jersey or long sleeve tech shirt today, and you’ll receive it by September 15.

Schultz Creek is Open!

One of the most popular segments of the Arizona Trail near Flagstaff is open again, after a long closure order due to forest thinning and helicopter logging operations in support of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. The Schultz Creek Trail from Shultz Tank to Elden Lookout Road is open and ready to be explored. This is part of the AZT’s Flagstaff Urban Route Passage #33, near its intersection with Passage #34 (San Francisco Peaks).

For anyone who has hiked or ridden this piece of trail over the years, the recent forest thinning offers a glimpse into the careful selection and removal of trees to help protect the forest, trails, and Flagstaff’s watershed. Shultz Pass Road (FR420) remains closed to motorized use, but can still be hiked, run or ridden.

A classic loop not too far from Flagstaff is to head up FR 420 to Sunset Trailhead. Descend Schultz Creek Trail back to the Y at Elden Lookout Road and FR420. There are currently two downed trees on the trail, but ATA volunteers hope to remove those within the next few days.

AZT Closed Due to Woodbury Fire

The Tonto National Forest recently released a final fire map from the devastating Woodbury Fire that has been burning in the Superstition Wilderness since June 8. The fire consumed over 123,000 acres of National Forest land and 30 miles of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. The AZT remains closed between Forest Road 650 (Passage 18, AZT mile 316.6) and Roosevelt Lake (Passage 19, AZT mile 347.7). There is currently no detour around the fire closure.

Aerial photographs have revealed moderate to high intensity burns throughout the fire area, and the ATA is awaiting approval from the Tonto National Forest’s Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team to assess trail and soil stability conditions.

Volunteers will be needed to help restore the Arizona Trail as soon as the area is safe to enter. If you would like to help, please visit our Volunteer Website and sign up to "Become a Fan" of Passages 18 and 19. That way, when we are able to organize volunteer efforts in that area, you will be automatically notified of the opportunity.

More details on the Woodbury Fire can be found at Inciweb. You can also view the aerial photographs from this Interactive Map online.

A Cartoon Journey From Mexico to Utah

A springtime thru-hiker named Poindexter Endurance brilliantly captured the essence of his 31-day adventure on the Arizona Trail by drawing one picture per day. The black pen on yellow pad artwork is entertaining and insightful, and will make you laugh out loud – especially if you recognize some of the locations within this animated classic.

Enjoy Poindexter’s Arizona Trail art online. After you finish the 31-frame AZT adventure, consider checking out his illustrations for the Pacific Crest, Appalachian and Loowit Trails, in addition to the Camino de Santiago and Camino Portugues. You can also follow him on Instagram @poindexterendurance

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