This was my first AZ Trail hike after being off trail for 4 months working the day job. Gained a little weight and boy was it hard to hike. Hiking partner Tom joined the fun and we were off down the trail. Officially you start this hike from the Blue Ridge Trailhead which is extremely easy to find and park. It’s virtually about .1 mile from Highway 65, about 45 minutes north of Payson / Pine / Strawberry. The trail itself is very easy to follow, smooth and flat. Much like most of the Rim Country you’ll find cattle and watering holes throughout the hike in addition to the 500 mile trail marker, NOBO I assume. We were on trail in later April and the weather was perfect. At the turn, we pulled out a couple Mountain House meals and fired up our GSI Soloist Camp stoves. Kind of dorky considering it was a day hike, but we wanted the outdoor feel. All in all this was a nice day hike and not difficult at all except for the 20 mile distance and lack of hiking condition we were in.
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