Hiking Club Supports AZT in a Day

SaddleBrooke hikers during the 2019,
pre-COVID AZT in a Day event.

Elisabeth Wheeler

The SaddleBrooke Hiking Club is a strong supporter of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. Volunteers attend five to six work sessions a year to maintain the Oracle Passage, a 8.6-mile section from American Flag Ranch Trailhead to Tiger Mine Trailhead, through Oracle State Park. Ongoing work is required to dig out encroaching catclaw, clean out water bars, improve drainage, and optimize the tread of the trail.

Another way SaddleBrooke hikers support the Arizona Trail is by hiking and donating to the Arizona Trail (AZT) in a Day event. This event, on Oct. 9, will be part of an effort to hike, bike, and ride by horse all 800 miles of the Arizona Trail, from Mexico to Utah, in a 24-hour period. A few sections will be unavailable due to wildfire damage this past year. Funds for repairs to the wildfire damage on the Arizona Trail are needed.

The SaddleBrooke Hiking Club will offer two opportunities to participate in AZT in a Day. Elisabeth Wheeler will lead a four-mile, round-trip hike from American Flag Ranch Trailhead. A tour of the American Flag Ranch House will be available afterwards. Members of the Oracle Historical Society will highlight the history of the oldest existing territorial post office still standing. The ranch house also features displays about the cattle, mining, and ranch life history of the Oracle area.

Hikers on the four-mile hike with Elisabeth will depart SaddleBrooke at 7 a.m. The American Flag Ranch House will be open for hikers to tour at 9 a.m. Special thanks go to the Oracle Historical Society for this open house. Donations to the Arizona Trail Association and the Oracle Historical Society are welcome. Envelopes will be provided for the Arizona Trail Association. A donation box for the Oracle Historical Society is located in the ranch house.

Also, Ray Peale, steward of the Oracle Passage of the Arizona Trail, will lead a key exchange hike from American Flag Ranch Trailhead to Tiger Mine Trailhead. The hike will include seven miles of trail through Oracle State Park. State park passes will not be needed to hike through the park. Hikers hiking the 8.6-mile Oracle Passage will depart SaddleBrooke at 6:30 a.m. A key exchange will be arranged ahead of the hike. Donations to the Arizona Trail Association are welcome. Envelopes will be provided.

To sign up for either hike, email Elisabeth Wheeler at [email protected]