FotoLog was born out of my frustrations trying to share trip activity with friends & family. If I'd known about apps like TravelMap or PolarSteps, then I probably would not have developed it. Since I did, I might as well use it.
With covid craziness in full swing, I figured it a perfect time to get out there away from the madness and to harness that sweet prana. I started southbound (SOBO) late August and made it the the southern terminus early October.
Thru-hiking a long trail is a crazy fun adventure. At just under 800 miles, the AZT is probably considered short to most thru-hikers since the more popular AT, PCT, and CDT are in the thousands of miles. However, the AZT packs a lot of punch & variety for its weight. If thru-hiking seems like too much, then I highly recommend 2-5 day section hikes:
I took my time driving to the Pacific Northwest in June. Yellowstone was closed due to damaging floods the day before I arrived. Glacier National Park was my favorite stop.
This place is special in that you can go from the sea, to rain forest, to glacier in such a short time. Being a desert rat, I particularly enjoyed the rain forests. I wanted to visit in 2022, but this place seemed to deserve its own trip. I was a bit early in that the snow kept the Sol Duc access points closed, but Hoh River was open. I didn't make it to the base of Mt. Olympus like I was hoping. I'll make it next year and maybe even summit. I explored clockwise, starting at Lake Quinault:
Born & raised in Arizona, it's a shame that it took me until my 40's to hike this natural wonder of the world. In general, I find it a prudent policy to avoid those in uniforms. However, when exploring unfamiliar territory, rangers are a valuable resource. Why mention that? I never seriously considered that hiking the canyon was a possibility due to the stories about how difficult it was to procure a permit. If your schedule is a bit flexible, then I recommend visiting the Backcountry Information Center (location, site) and chatting up the rangers.
I popped in around 3pm early June and was able to score a camping permit at Bright Angel Campground. I started down the South Kiabab trail around 5:30pm and made it to camp around 8:00pm. Not knowing how bad the traffic or heat would be, I started up the Bright Angel Trail around 5:30am and reached the rim around 10:00am.