I live just a few hours away from the southern terminus of one of the most beautiful long trails in the world: the Arizona National Scenic Trail.
Spanning 800 miles, the AZT starts in the Sonoran desert at the Mexican border, climbs and descends from one “sky island” mountain range to another, crosses the Gila River, winds through the Superstition Mountains and the Mazatzal Wilderness, ascends the Mogollon Rim and majestic San Francisco Peaks, traverses the Grand Canyon and the Kaibab Plateau, and ends at the Utah border on the edge of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
Although the Pacific Crest Trail is still my first love, I only finished 800 miles of it in 2021, and I originally thought that completing the AZT would help to prepare me for another thru-hike attempt of the PCT.
But I also quit the AZT after 100 miles and I now realize that I am not a thru-hiker!
It has been a wonderful experience learning to backpack and preparing for these long hikes, but I think my sweet spot is probably section-hiking and cherry-picking my favorite places on shorter trips. It took me seven years and two failed thru-hike attempts to finally realize that!
My Flora and Fauna Observations (feedback appreciated!)