Hayduke Trail – Day 18 / Arizona Trail – Day 1

Hayduke Trail – Day 18 / Arizona Trail – Day 1

This morning I started down Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in the states. Damm, I love slot canyons. The canyon at its widest was about 6ft, closing into space just enough to squeeze through at times.

Not only is it right, but the beautiful sandstone walls rise up to 30ft (10m) all around me.

I ran into my first Hayduke Hiker, Puppy. I’ve run into her a number of times on different trails around the US, and we had a long chat. She was going against the normal direction, and therefore she will be continuing into higher elevations as winter comes. She is ready for it, and it sure will be an adventure.

Eventually, I said goodbye and started walking down the dirt road.
After a few minutes, I arrived at the Utah / Arizona Boarder. Only one state and 800 miles to go to finish my year of hiking! Arizona Trail here I come!

After stumbling around the Stateline Campground, I finally found the start of the trail. Here I climbed for quite I while onto the Kaibab Plateau.

It is nice to be on single track for a change.

I continued along for 4 miles until I reached a wildlife water tank. It was a nice shade of green and tasted like algae, but 23 miles (37km) lay between me and the next water source, so I filled up.

As I walked, I slowly climbed higher onto the plateau. The desolate desert turned into low shrubs, that turned into small trees. When I finally went to bed I got to see my first forest for the hike.
I stopped at one point to sow my backpack up. All my gear is starting to show the results of a life on the trail. Everything is either not quite right or falling apart. Hopefully, it will all make it through this journey and I can take stock at the end and replenish the items that need replacing.

I’m excited to reach the top of the plateau and then crash down into the Grand Canyon! I will be taking the Hayduke Route through the canyon (permit permitting!) and then it will be a straight shot down to the Mexican border on the Arizona Trail. *The Hayduke Trail uses the Arizona Trail (AzT) from here to the Grand Canyon so I will be posting as the AzT.

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