Along the Arizona Trail are 33 Gateway Communities, each with their own unique character and charm. Towns that welcome Arizona Trail users and offer a place for rest, food and resupply. The Arizona Trail Association currently holds six Trail Day events a year throughout the state. This year we started with the Legends of Superior Trail Fest in February. This Trail Day featured eight different hikes and two mountain bike rides, lectures on the Arizona Trail, history and geology of Superior, and even a ghost walk in the evening.
Next up on the calendar is one of our biggest events, Arizona Trail Day and Colossal Campout located at Colossal Cave Mountain Park, a short distance east of Tucson in the Gateway Community of Vail. On March 28th, there’s a full day and night of free fun to be had starting in the morning with a guided hike, bike ride and an equestrian ride (BYO horse) on the Arizona Trail. In the afternoon, visit with wild raptors, meet mini-donkey Jasmine and explore our Outdoor Expo with booths, a gear swap and activities for all ages! There will also be a trail maintenance event in the afternoon if you’re looking to get your hands dirty and a roundtable discussion where folks can trade tales of the trail.
In the evening, relax at the La Selvilla Campground with tasty food and live music featuring Eb Eberlein and friends. There will even be Arizona Trail Ale by That Brewery to enjoy by the campfire. There’s ample camping and hot coffee and breakfast will be served in the morning. Both Patagonia and the sister towns of Pine/Strawberry hold their Trail Days on April 18th this year. Patagonia is a small Gateway Community close to the Mexican border in its sixth year of celebrating its trails, biological diversity and cultural heritage. A friendly community with an artistic style, it is surrounded by rolling grasslands and lush riparian areas teeming with wildlife. Patagonia is a gem of Southern Arizona and there will be guided walks and bike rides as well as workshops and activities suitable for all ages.
The Pine/Strawberry Trails Day is an event in the cool ponderosas beneath the Mogollon Rim. One of the highlights is taking a hike with the llamas from Fossil Creek Ranch. There are guided hikes and bike rides, a trail maintenance event, and an Outdoor Expo with activities and a raffle full of local prizes.
Arizona Trail Day – Flagstaff on September 12th is a special celebration in the hometown of the pioneer of the AZT, Dale Shewalter. People hike, bike, ride or run on the AZT in the morning and then meet in Buffalo Park from 10-2 for live music, a beer garden featuring Flagstaff’s Wanderlust Brewery, a gear swap, tasty food, information booths and kid’s activities.
Arizona Trail Day – Page will have its inaugural event on October 10th at Sanderson’s “Into the Grand”. Shuttles will be provided for hiking and biking on two different portions of the Arizona Trail- one at the sandstone of the Utah border and one in the pines near Jacob Lake. In the evening enjoy live music, a dutch oven dinner, and tasty brews while playing horseshoes and explore the one-of-a-kind river rafting museum on the grounds.
Update: Some events may have expired
This post was contributed by Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador Sirena Dufault.