"The Arizona Trail is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people. It serves dayhikers, backpackers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, trail runners, nature enthusiasts, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and mule and llama packers." (From www.aztrail.org) The AZT is designated as a National Scenic Trail. Currently, just about 35 of the trail's 800+ miles remain to be linked, as indicated on this map.
An email from the anonymous previous self-supported FKT holder gives a run-down of some previous FKTs on the AZT:
"In 2007 I bested Li Banfors time of 35 days and some change. I am not sure Li was going for a record, but when I set out in 2007 that was the time I was hoping to best. April 8th 2007 - May 7th 2007 with a time of 30 days 7hrs 30 minutes. This was record was broken spring of 2009 by Matt Signore aka Worldwide with a time of 28 days 22hrs. I chatted with Matt after the trip to verify and I felt comfortable with the fact that he had indeed walked an unsupported speed record of the AZT." (A link to the hiker's AZT trail journal was given, but the journal has been removed.)
The anonymous hiker went back to the AZT in the spring of 2011 and demolished Signore's time, completing the trail in 21d14h16m. His trip was mostly classic thru-hiker style, but he literally ran for the first 4 days with ultralight gear before switching to backpacking. He also walked to all resupply points. (A link to a complete TR on the hiker's blog had been given, but has been removed.)
All previous FKTs on the AZT were smashed by Michael Versteeg, who ran the route in fully supported style in 15d22h39m, Oct. 3-19, 2016. This trip was reported on Versteeg's Twitter feed, and tracked on trackleaders.com.
Interestingly, Heather Anderson was on the AZT at the same time as Versteeg, going in her typical thru-hiker (self-supported) style. She completed the route with a new FKT for that style, and new women's overall FKT of 19d17h9m (SoBo), from 4:17pm on Oct. 7 to 9:26am on Oct. 27, 2016. Her lengthy, detailed report is here.
On December 20, 2015, Kathy & Ras Vaughan completed the first known out & back (yo-yo) of the AZT in a total time of 93d6h22m and using classic thru-hiker style (self-supported, no rides). The couple started at the Mexico border on September 18 and reached the Utah border on November 4. More details are given below by Ras Vaughan.
With great respect for the current record holder Heather Anderson and all who came before, I would like to announce my intention on attempting to break the current self supported fastest known time (fkt) of 19d :17h : 9min on the 800 mile long Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) on foot. I will start at the monument at Stateline Campground and will be going southbound to the Mexican border.
I will not have anyone following, or otherwise meeting me in prearranged manner to give me support. I plan to do this carrying all of my food, equipment, and water between resupply towns, which I will walk into and out to pick up mailed food boxes or purchasing food. I will not be getting in a vehicle for any reason during this attempt, if I do it means the attempt is off. I will be following the official AZT route. I will carry a Spot tracker for verification as document the attempt by video and photo and will occasionally post on my Instagram (depending on service/battery life) @matthiaskodym.
My main goal is to experience the AZT in exposing myself to the trail as much as I can, If I notice I can not hold the pace my main goal is to finish the journey from Utah to Mexico on the AZT.
That's great Matthias. When are you starting? And, please provide the link for your spot either here publicly or by contacting us via the Contact link under "More" above. Good luck!
Thanks Peter, I will post a link when I have figured everything out about it. Planing on starting either Sept. 30 or Oct. 1
Derrick Lytle is en route on the Arizona trail SOBO, having started at the Arizona/Utah State Line TH Monument at 11:10am on September 30th.
He is self-supported and intent on breaking the current FKT held by Heather Anderson.
Both Derrick & Matthias stopped after about 5 days.
Derrick Lytle: "This is not where I wanted to be today. Off pace, cold from days of rain, sleep deprived from that same rain storm, and overall frustrated knowing that my AZT goal of a solo self supported FKT is no longer feasible. I had a window of time with work that allowed me to start and finish but Mother Nature has different plans for me. After some time contemplating I pulled the plug at mile 143.5."
Matthias Kodym: "I quit after day five because of an overuse injury likely caused from walking fast on flat terrain which I am not used to. The margin in such undertakings is very small I guess and it did not work out for me this time. Humbled by Anish‘s effort. Thanks for following and your words of encouragement."
I'm announcing my intention to set a new self-supported FKT of the 800-mile Arizona Trail. I'll be traveling southbound, and I plan to start my attempt early on 10/18. I've communicated with Heather Anderson, the current record holder, and I'll be posting a public link to my SPOT Tracker page, so that people can follow me. I'll have the tracking function set to transmit every hour, and I'll also use the 'ok' function sporadically. I'll also be using Strava Beacon as well. I will try to post to my social media (IG - @elmatador.witt) when I can. I'm grateful to Anish and all of the others that have come before. I'm expecting this to be a pretty cold run, but I'm excited to see one of my favorite trails in the Fall!
I'm currently in Kanab, UT and very excited and nervous to begin my attempt tomorrow morning (10/18). I will be getting dropped off at the Stateline Campground tonight, and I plan to begin early in the morning. You can follow my progress through my public SPOT Tracker page here.
I can't wait to get on the trail! Thanks for all of the support!
On February 28, 2019, I will begin a self-supported attempt to yoyo the Arizona Trail. I will try to hike from the Southern Terminus to the Northern Terminus and back again, fully self-supported and walking the entire time, thru-hiker style. I have been in communication with Team Ultrapedestrian, who were the first to yoyo the trail in 2015, and their time of 93 days stands as the current FKT for such a hike. I know this page is for a one-way FKT of the Arizona Trail, but I could not find anywhere better to publicly announce my intentions. However, I have made my intentions clear on my instagram, @youth.retired, where I will post as frequently as I can throughout my attempt to keep anyone with interest updated on my progress. People can also track me via my SPOT device at the following link:
Many thanks to Team Ultrapedestrian, who have been encouraging to me in regards to my attempt. Also I'd like to acknowledge Karts, who yoyo'd the trail last year, becoming only the third person to do so, and the oldest to do so.
As I write this tonight, many parts of the trail including the very first passage are getting significant snowfall. I anticipate this to make my goal of hiking it in 50 days very difficult. But I am eager to test myself and see if I can do this or not, and hopefully at least get a new thru hike under my belt.
I, Candice Burt, am going for the overall FKT (15day/22hr/39min) on the Arizona Trail in April. Planning to start April 15 running supported style from North terminus to South terminus. I'll have a SPOT tracking link, document via photographer/video and crew. Will post the tracking link in April.
UPDATE: Candice officially called off the attempt: https://www.candiceburt.com/2019/04/injury-is-part-of-journey.html
I Art Brody (happy-go-lucky) plan is to yoyo the AZT self supported I started at the southern terminus on 3/16/19 at 8:43am. on the sobo leg I plan on going for the self supported FKT. I hesitate to post this because my ankle is not a 100% I hurt it training about a month ago but its getting better and hasn't stopped me. so I am posting it just incase. I will keep all you posted. here is my spot device link if you want to track me. http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=079Y8B2qQbu0VNmvoyC6CmPWsRrqqkHKv
I made it to the south rim Grand Canyon. I should be at the northern terminus thur the 18th my ankle feels good so I will start sobo for the self supported FKT on Sat 4/20.
My short lived FKT attempt is over. I made it from Mexico to Utah on trail threw 4-6 feet of snow past North Rim to Jacob Lake. On the way back I post holed and messed up my ankle to the point it would be impossible for me to do big miles. With any luck I will attempt it again in the future. Thanks
I will begin a self supported attempt starting early on Friday, April 5th. Here is a link to the tracking that should go live once I start:
Should be fun either way!
Pushing the start back a day (to 4/6), spot should still show everything and activate when I hit it the first time.
I will be attempting a self-supported FKT starting in 2 days on the 18th of April from the southern terminus. I am setting up my Garmin tracker today and will have my link posted sometime today as well.
Excited and nervous but here goes nothing!
Bryce “Z” Griffiths
And no promises on how much I will post but on Instagram I am @catchZifyoucan
Big props to Michael Versteeg...I can't believe with all of the folks gobbling up FKTs that his record on the Arizona Trail still stands!
Best of luck "Z" and Godspeed!
I’ll be attempting a northbound FKT of the AZT in the self-supported style. Beginning 04/25/19. I will be staying to the official trail only and adhering to the self-supported guidelines. No riding in a vehicle for any reason.
For those interested in following along I will do some posting on Instagram @dan_munsell as I go. I will have a link posted to my spot tracking device there, as well as below:
I began from the Mexican border April 25 at 12:47pm. Completing my end to end, self-supported, AZT thru at the Utah border on May 12 at 5:12am. Having pushed the last 66.5 miles continusly through the night. This gave me a time of 16d16h25m. A time I am personally proud of but alas, no FKT this time.
In the south the weather was very hot. This haggered progress. I was simply unable to regain a significant chunk of time I lost going thru the Superstition Mountains where the terrain is steep and rocky. My feet were most damaged in this area and moral was at its lowest here. After Pine the weather cooled significantly and my pace improved. I also had nearly a week of periodic snow/rain in the high country which at times made the trail muddy and difficult. However my daily averages remained high though the end.
Kudos to Jeff Garmire for his absolute smash of the record prior to my start. A very difficult feat. I just couldn’t quite crack it this time around. Although I had fun trying. All this said I had an awesome, if not somewhat brutal, hike of this route. Having accomplished my enitial goals of the trip, I am content. Now for rest and food!
[Admin note: More from Daniel's attempt here.]
Start date: 5/20 or 21st in the evening.
I will be going self-support for self-support and supported. I will be doing caches.
Left Achilles feels about 75%. Have Alaska and Nepal lined up, so bailing before injury is high possibility if anything starts feeling off.
Tracking can be found on my website and facebook.
After being with Spot for 5 years, 2 devices broke. Broke on the AT speed record 17' and walking thru the bush of Alaska 18'.
Inreach Mini has been working like a charm. Plan on throwing some live videos up every day on facebook or instagram, battery and service dependent...
Caught a bug this last week. I'll be starting bright and early at the top of the hour or half hour tomorrow morning (may ²²). Left Achilles still feels around 75%.
Weak attempt at 3 days 144 miles. Felt good, easily on pace for what I set out for 51-52. Felt something in my left Achilles, stopped looked for stickers. Super tender where I tore it last year. Had great up and go for another mileish. Nothing changed and couldn't risk my walk thru Alaska and Nepal. Invested time has made it a difficult choice not to even finish doing 40s. Risking even that get too high with how tender it was. 52 per day can easily be done, 60 for the supported with pacers. May possibly try again in a year or 2.
Hi everyone, I will be attempting to set the overall FKT on the AZT starting October 17th at 4am going North to South. I will be supported.
If you are interested, you can track me live here once I start:
I'll also be posting updates on my Facebook Group
and my Instagram:
Looks like there is a current FKT attempt out there and good luck for the supported route, however I will be attempting to set the self-supported FKT for the women starting on 10/23/2019 going SOBO. Exact start time is TBD. Will be tracking with a Garmin InReach.
Howdy! Inspired by the most recent FKT podcast I though I would share the trip report for our AFKT (A=almost) or CFKT (C=couples) of the AZT this past Spring.
Koolaid (me) and Early Bird set out on the AZT with a loose intention of pushing hard and maybe going for an FKT. At the time we didn’t know the guidelines and figure we if we hit a sub 25day hike we would have a Team FKT - we now know we would have had to best Anish’s record to gain that title. We ended up about 11 hours behind Anish’s time at 20 days, 4 hours, 31 minutes.
The primary purpose of sharing this experience is to put forth the idea that these big pushes don’t have to be complete suffer-fests. We suffered more in the beginning but took time to look after each other and adjust our mind-set moving forward. We put all goals on the back burner and had a seriously good time the last 2 weeks of the trip. This mental reset allowed us to go with the flow and push our bodies in what felt like a more natural way. It was a fantastic experience and gave us important insight to what to expect of our bodies in the event we tackle other big challenges - which Early Bird did in the fall, clenching the unsupported FKT on the Long Trail in impressive fashion.
Trip Report found here:
Reddit post with additional info/gear talk/photos here:
I plan on attempting to be the first to complete a Unsupported hike of the AZT starting on or about March 2nd heading northbound. (I’ll update with my actual start time). I’ll be using the strictest interpretation of unsupported, if I don’t have it on step one, I don’t have it. All water will be gathered from naturally occurring sources. I’ll be carrying a Garmin mini and you can follow along here.
Good Luck! This is a pretty wild! 800+ miles with no resupply! I can't wait to read your trip report!! Stay safe out there!
Well shit. That didn’t go as planned. First few days were slow, lots of snow, rain and mud. Pack was finally starting to feel right north of Patagonia then disaster. Of all the reasons I thought I’d fail being covered in blood and gore from a cow was not one of them. Long story short I came across a cow with its legs broke that had been down for a couple days and the critters had been at it but it was still alive. I put it down but only had a tiny Swiss Army knife. Got covered in blood and knew there was no way I could go on without new clothes. There’s always next year😞
That's different ... good for you for doing the right thing !?!
I was instructed by the FKT crew to confer with the community about reroutes for an FKT attempt. In the event that the Bighorn and Bush fire closures aren't lifted by April, I have created an option for each with mileage and gain that is, in my mind, similar enough. Below is a link with my ideas, let me know what you think (sorry the images are kinda janky). Also would be interested to hear what people think regarding the southernmost 2 miles being closed indefinitely due to border wall construction. My reroutes would end up balancing those missing miles out.
I hope to begin my women's self-supported attempt in the end of March and will post more on that later. COVID disclaimer - I am fortunate enough to be vaccinated and will also mask in towns/crowded areas.
Have you shared your document with Matt Nelson at the AZT Association? My gut feeling is that with substantial reroutes, you may face a fair amount of scrutiny on your attempt, especially since this trail was designated as a “Premier Route” by FKT. But if your route gets his blessing, that would likely go a long way towards validating your plan. Good luck!
Thanks so much for the tip! They actually just announced that the Bush Fire closure will be lifted this Friday, so hopefully the same happens with the Bighorn Fire soon. If not, I'll reach out to Matt!
Hey y'all. The time has come for my AZT FKT attempt! Starting 3/30/21 sometime in the afternoon, I'll begin my attempt of the women's self-supported record, currently held by Anish. My inReach will upload my position throughout and can be viewed here -
I'll message the MapShare with quick updates throughout each day. I don't plan on using social media much during the actual attempt, but will do follow up posts (regardless of my record success) on my Instagram @baileylinette. Happy trails everyone!