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Fri, July 03

Hikers, runners and riders to attempt entire 800-mile Arizona Trail Oct. 12

Hikers set out on part of the Arizona Trail located near Oracle State Park. (Photo courtesy of Arizona State Parks)

Hikers set out on part of the Arizona Trail located near Oracle State Park. (Photo courtesy of Arizona State Parks)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Imagine hiking, biking or riding 800 miles in a single day. Sound impossible?

It’s not — if you volunteer to cover one of nearly 100 separate sections of the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT), along with others who each choose to travel different sections of the route, which extends from the Mexico border to the Utah border.

On Oct. 12, more than a thousand hikers, runners, mountain bikers and equestrians from around the world will be staged along the course to participate in AZT in a Day to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Arizona Trail Association.

“We want to get people out to experience the entire length of the trail and set the record for participation in a single day to celebrate our first 25 years of existence,” said Matthew Nelson, executive director of the Arizona Trail Association. “This will be the first time a National Scenic Trail will be completed in this way,” he added.

The 800-mile trail has been divided into sections ranging in length from 2.1 to 15.6 miles. Participants will have 24 hours to complete their portion of the trail. Registration is free and is open to anyone.

Participants can choose between desert, mountain, canyon, forest or urban segments of the path. The AZT passes through eight wilderness areas, four National Forests, two National Parks, one National Memorial, 1 State Park and passes near 33 gateway communities.

“We’re advising that all participants be well-prepared. Several access points require 4-wheel drive or high clearance vehicles,” said Karrie Kressler, community program coordinator.

A few sections of the trail are remote and require extra planning. For these sections, participants familiar with back packing will be required to camp in particular areas at least a day before the actual event to be ready to complete their portion on Oct. 12, according to Kressler.

“So far, we have hikers, bikers and equestrians booked for more than half of the sections, but there are still many sections that need to be covered,” Nelson said.

More information or to sign up, get a trail map visit, email or call (520) 261-8460.

Information provided by the Arizona Trail Association

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