AZT Day -6: Strategy

In 6 days I start my 800-mile AZT thru-hike. So soon!

As far as my strategy goes, it’s mostly logistics like transportation and general plan, plus food strategy.

Transportation to the trail will be as follows: fly from Seattle to Salt Lake City. Take the Greyhound from SLC to St George Utah. I get into St George after midnight, so I plan to camp at a campground in town. In the morning I’ll hitch the 2+ hour trip from St George to Kenab where I’ll pick up some fuel, then get a ride to the northern terminus/state line/trailhead. I decided not to book a shuttle because it’s pretty pricey (I have yet to find any other hikers starting the same day and who could split the cost of a shuttle), but am hopeful that the hitching wont be too difficult.

Some details: Once I’m on the trail, I’ll be SOBO – hiking southbound from the Utah-Arizona border down to the Arizona-Mexico border. I start at the end of September and will finish in mid-November. My hiking strategy will be to find the balance between pushing too hard to the point of overuse injury and not pushing hard enough to meet the timeline and get into the right conditioning shape. It’s tough because with specific timeline goals, there’s only a small margin for error or wiggle room.

Food plans: I plan to stop in the following towns or places: Jacob Lake, Grand Canyon Village, Flagstaff, Mormon Lake, Pine, LF Ranch, Payson, Roosevelt Lake, Superior, Oracle, Summerhaven, Tucson, La Posta Quemada, and Patagonia. In many towns I’ll resupply via maildrop (sending a box of food to myself). In a few towns I’ll buy food at the grocery store (in the towns that seem to have reasonable resupply options). In several places I’ll just stop for a quick meal if there is one to be had, or I’ll stop for longer, without needing to resupply.

Some general mileage targets and resupply strategy:

(Note: the info below may contain errors and needs to be corrected! FIND A USEFUL SOBO RESUPPLY STRATEGY HERE)

Northern Terminus
Sobo mileage: 0 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 102.2 mi (5-7 days)

I will be carrying my food with me from home – enough food for 7 days.

Jacob Lake, AZ
Sobo mileage: 27.2 mi

I wont be resupplying food here. Apparently there isn’t an ideal spot to send a package, so I’ll be sure to have enough food from the start in order to get to the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Village, AZ
Sobo mileage: 102.2 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 123.5 mi (6-8 days)

My first package will be sent to the North Rim Country Store. Also the biggest and heaviest resupply of all the trail.

Address: {name}, Hold for AZT Hiker ETA {date}, North Rim country store, Highway 67, Mile Post 605, Fredonia, AZ 86022

Flagstaff, AZ
Sobo mileage: 225.7 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 26.7 mi (1-2 days)

Flagstaff is one of the biggest towns on the trail and will have plenty of grocery store resupply options. Instead of sending a box, I plan to buy food here.

Mormon Lake, AZ
Sobo mileage: 252.4 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 83.7 mi (4-6 days)

Here I will send a box to the post office: {name}, Hold for AZT Hiker ETA {date}, General Delivery, 1 Mormon Lake Road, Mormon Lake AZ 86038

Pine, AZ
Sobo mileage: 336.1 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 23.6 mi (1-1.5 days)

Pine is also supposed to have good grocery stores, so I will buy food and not send a box.

LF Ranch
Sobo mileage: 359.7 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 52.1 mi (2.5-3.5 days)

LF Ranch is a ranch on trail, not a town. Once I check in with the folks that run the place, I’ll send a box here. They also allegedly have good food and a comfy place to stay, so I might just do that…

Payson, AZ
Sobo mileage: 411. 8 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 41.5 mi (2-3 days)

Payson also has decent resupply options, so no box sent here, I’ll buy food instead.

Roosevelt Lake
Sobo mileage: 453.3 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 45.1 mi (2-3 days)

I’m sending a box here: {name}, Hold for AZT Hiker ETA {date}, c/o Roosevelt Lake Visitors Center, 28085 North AZ 188, Roosevelt AZ 85545

Superior, AZ
Sobo mileage: 498.4 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 100.8 mi (5-7 days)

Also sending a box here to the post office: {name}, Hold for AZT Hiker ETA {date}, General Delivery, 25 North High School Avenue, Superior AZ 85173

Oracle, AZ
Sobo mileage: 599.2 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 82 mi (4-6 days)

Buying food at grocery store here.

Summerhaven, AZ
Sobo mileage: 613.3 mi

Not planning to send a box or resupply at store, just a pitstop on my way through. Maybe a real meal?

Tucson, AZ
Sobo mileage: 635.5 mi

Also not planning to send a box or resupply at store here either. Jared’s family – the Kofrons – live here. Lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, and the like. I’d love to spend a few days here with folks on my way through. If I time it right, Jared will actually be in town so we’ll get to see each other for the first time in a month, too!

La Posta Quemada
Sobo mileage: 681.2 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 66 mi (3-4.5 days)

Sending a box to the Colossal Cave Visitors Center: {name}, Hold for AZT Hiker ETA {date}, Colossal Cave Mountain Park Visitors Center, 16721 E Old Spanish Trail, Vail AZ 85641

Patagonia, AZ
Sobo mileage: 747.2 mi
Miles to next resupply (apx days): 52.8 (2.5-3.5 days)

Buying food at the grocery store here.

Southern Terminus
Sobo mileage: 800 mi

And that about wraps up strategy. Questions? I’d be happy to answer any and all.

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