The vision of a continuous border-to-border trail traversing Arizona's unique landscapes and historic areas has been on the minds of trail users through the years.One individual, however, took the dream one step further. Dale Shewalter, a hiking enthusiast and schoolteacher from Flagstaff, visualized a long-distance trail while hiking in the Santa Rita Mountains in the 1970's. During the summer of 1985, he completed a scouting of such a trail. While walking from Nogales to the Utah border, he visualized and tentatively mapped an interlocking route of trail systems traversing the state from south to north. Beginning at the Mexican border, he projected a 750-mile route through desert and mountain corridors all the way to the Utah state line. The concept of the Arizona Trail was born, offering opportunities for hikers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists (where appropriate), and cross-country skiers to experience the rich diversity Arizona has to offer.
The Arizona Trail goes through seven mountain ranges, four national forests and three national parks. Elevations range from a high point of 9100' to a low point of 1700'.
To learn more about the Arizona Trail, including how you can help to build the remaining 57 miles of trail, contact the Arizona Trail Association