photo courtesy Sirena Dufault; Dufault at Picacho Peak

Arizona Trail – South

Written by Mare Czinar Category: Citizen Hiker (hiking blog) Issue: December 2017
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Share your Arizona trail adventures on our monthly hiking page

Share your Arizona trail adventures on our monthly hiking page

Tucson hiker Sirena Dufault is passionate about promoting the outdoors as a place for everyone and making it accessible to people of varied skill levels. As founder of Trails Inspire, a consulting business that fosters the connection between trails with communities, Dufault puts her knowledge and experience to work promoting trail use and tourism through her writing, photography and public speaking engagements.

Her deep connection with the Arizona outdoors includes two fundraising through-hikes of the 800-mile Arizona Trail (AZT) reaching vertically across the state from the Mexico to Utah borders, a stint as the AZT Gateway Communities liaison and volunteering as a raptor specialist with Wildlife Rehabilitation in northwest Tucson. A trained archaeologist, conservationist and communicator, Dufault is currently working on a community trails plan with the Town of Tusayan, south of the Grand Canyon.

When asked about where to hike in the Tucson area, Dufault is quick to recommend the Arizona Trail. “A piece that I really enjoy is a shuttle hike from Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead into Colossal Cave Mountain Park. The trail goes into Ciénega Creek, a riparian area lined with giant cottonwoods and a seasonal stream. You’ll pass giant stands of saguaros with fantastic views of the Rincon Mountains. The trail gains a saddle with a view of Colossal Cave Mountain Park before descending to La Posta Quemada Ranch.”

Tanner Trail at Grand Canyon National Park
Gabe Zimmerman trailhead

LENGTH: 4.7 miles one-way (as described here)
ELEVATION: 3,098-3,659 feet
GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, go south on I-10, take exit 281 in Tucson, go 3 miles southeast, then north on the frontage road (Marsh Station Road) to the Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead on the right.
INFO: Trails Inspire,; Arizona Trail Association,; Colossal Cave Mountain Park,

NEXT MONTH: A newcomer from Pennsylvania finds physical and mental strength on Arizona trails.



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