Sunday, April 24, 2016

Arizona National Trail—Passage 16 Scouting Trip (April 23, 2016)

Gila River Canyons

This Passage actually begins at the Kelvin-Riverside Bridge which I covered in Passage 15.  It crosses the river and then heads west.


First trail marker I spotted close to the road.  Turning left on first road, and moving farther about 2 miles, I found the Florence-Kelvin Trailhead, a very nice big parking lot.  This section follows along a railroad a good deal of the way.

According to the book, pages 140-142: The first 16 miles follow the Gila River, offering views unlike anywhere else along the AZT.  The final 9 miles penetrate some of the most spectacular gorge scenery outside the Grand Canyon.


I wanted to visit the “spike” planted at the completion of the AZ Trail.  The book, page 143 says:  After gaining a few hundred feet in elevation, the trail arrives at a scenic viewpoint.  Nearby is the “golden spike” of the AZT, marking the historic location where the last mile of the trail was officially completed in 2012.  The initials DS are inscribed in the concrete to honor Dale Shewalter, the “father of the Arizona Trail.”  (we share the same birthday, May 16)  I wanted to go there, just didn’t have the steam to do it.

The road is closed, and trail follows along this old roadway.


What?  What is that???


A pick port-a-pot in the middle of no where???  Yes, yes it is.


And hikers have left trash in it.  At least they did not put it in the vault.


Rockie is saying we are too tired to hike this section after our long hike this morning on the Tortilla Mountain Passage with the big pack.  So we are passing on this passage.


The only other access point on this Passage was the Tonto National Forest – Ranch Gate, which is on FR 4, an extremely rocky road accessible only with high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle and a very confident driver (well, that’s not old SwankieWheels and I).

Last: Passage 14-15 – Black Hills, Tortilla Mountains

Next: Passage 17 - Alamo Canyon 

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.