Location : Baby Doll TH – Outside Payson AZ (NOBO Mile Marker 438.3 )
Weather: Clear skies, starting temperature 60 degrees, cool throughout the day.
Total Mileage Completed : 18.2 miles on AT – 7.1 miles approach trail
This hikes was truly the hardest hike in our AZT “Out and Back” series. Prepare yourself for this one. It’s long and an uphill battle pretty much throughout the day. The two largest issues in doing the AZT in day hikes are… #1 big hikes are tough. Without daily monster mile hiking, your legs, even at your best, are just not conditioned enough for a 26 plus mile, 6200 feet elevation gain hike. Now Tom and I had been hiking a lot when we took on this monster. We had completed all the other Matazal wilderness hikes plus the Rincons but man this one was tough…. Oh and #2, day-hiking big hikes, there is always the pressure of time and speed. Like we have keep going to get back to the car and home.
This hike starts out at the Baby Doll trail head, an easy drive from Highway 87 and Payson’s Main Street. We had done this approach trail before way back on Hike #32 (10-24-2017) and I can recall saying… god help us when we have to come back and go southbound. so…… two year later……It did not disappoint and not to bore you with the details, I had to push myself past my physical limitations. Nice views though and easy clear trail to follow. 🙂