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Tonto National Forest, Arizona – Volunteer Vacations 2022

October 9 - October 15

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Come help us build new trail to improve some of the most memorable hikes in Arizona! The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a continuous, 800+ mile diverse and scenic trail across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. Along the way it takes hikers, bikers and equestrians through a diverse landscape of deserts, mountains canyons and communities and showcases the best of what the Grand Canyon State has to offer. The 17 miles that the AZT shares with the Highline National Recreation Trail is one of the most historic trail corridors in the Southwest. Here, the pines reach to the sky and the vistas stretch out forever as the trail follows the base of the Mogollon Rim and climbs to the Colorado Plateau. For those who are familiar with this territory, it can be as challenging as it is beautiful. Much of the trail is on old roads or historic ranch routes that were not designed with sustainability in mind. As a result, much of the tread is badly eroded, steep and choked with loose rock and debris. Creating a more sustainable alignment and user-friendly corridor is an ongoing battle for trail crews on planners alike.

The Tonto National Forest has launched a concerted effort to replace some of these badly eroded sections of the Highline with new, sustainable tread – including approximately 1.2 miles on the AZT near Washington Park. Volunteers will be involved in all stages of construction, to include brushing, building tread, small stone work projects and moving debris. The hike to and from the worksite will be between 1 and 3 miles each day. The Arizona Trail Association’s program prides itself on providing superior hospitality to its volunteers, including excellent meals, detailed training and beautiful camping locations.

AHS acknowledges with gratitude that this project takes place on the traditional lands of the Pueblos, Ndee/Nnēē: (Western Apache), Hopitutskwa, and Hohokam peoples past and present. We honor the land itself, the Indigenous communities who have stewarded this land for generations, and those who continue to steward these lands today. AHS invites all volunteers to join us in our commitment to support and amplify the work of Indigenous communities as they work to dismantle the systems of oppression that these communities continue to face today.

Host

Arizona Trail Association

Accommodations

Car Camping Tent Sites

Hiking/Access

Day hiking up to 3 miles each work day.

Project Rating

Difficult

Minimum Volunteer Age

18

Maximum Group Size

12

Area and Attractions

The Highline Trail follows a dramatic sandstone escarpment called the Mogollon Rim that marks the southern boundary of the Colorado Plateau. The Plateau itself is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the Southwest including the San Francisco Peaks and the Grand Canyon - just 4 hours drive north of our project area. The Rim itself is a wonderland for land-based adventure, with hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, perennial streams, unique mineral deposits and vistas that go on forever. Nearby towns of Pine/Strawberry and Payson are meccas for outdoor recreationists in Arizona, with fun shops, breweries and amazing Mexican food. The drive from our camp to the nearest commercial center is approximately 45-55 minutes.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will camp in an area that is accessible by passenger car. There will be potable water on site, but facilities will be primitive (vault toilets or portables). There will be access to showers at the end of the week and potentially mid-week as desired by participants. The Arizona Trail Association's program prides itself on providing superior hospitality to its volunteers. Just because the conditions are primitive does not mean the camp should be! Volunteers are asked to assist with camp chores, but the food and facilities are well thought out and carefully managed. Volunteers need to supply their own tent and personal camping gear including sleeping bag, towels, and personal cup/bowl/mug/eating utensils. Please contact volunteer@americanhiking.org for assistance with gear needs.

Travel

Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, AZ is the closest airport. Airport pick up and drop off is available for volunteers and will be arranged upon confirmation of the trip.

Location

AZT Pine Trailhead
Highline Trail, Pine, AZ 85544 United States + Google Map
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