The Gordon Hirabayashi Trail – Part of Passage 10

DSCN0365The Gordon Hirabayashi Trail has been named for an American citizen of Japanese descent who protested the relocation of Japanese citizens and later won a court battle against the United States Government.  Hirabayashi was imprisoned here in Arizona at the Prison Camp.

  • Distance – Out and Back – 5.95 miles / 9.58 kilometers
  • Elevation Gain – 899 feet / 274.02 meters
  • Elevation Loss – 902 feet / 274.93 meters
  • Average Temperature – 82.4° F / 30.61° C
  • Total Mileage – 11.88 miles / 19.115 kilometers


This trail winds its way west-northwest up the mountain to Romero Pass. We passed a camp site and conversation started of camping out. I have never camped out in my life, the closest I have come to sleeping outdoors was as a young woman when I fell asleep on the beach sun tanning. But this is something that since I love to hike I want to try. And besides in order to complete the AZT, there definitely will be a need to sleep out on some of the longer sections. DSCN0389

After a while we came upon a sandy arroyo where we met a fellow named Matt. Thank goodness for Sue, she likes to talk to passersby. DSCN0370

  • Sue: “Where are you going?”
  • Matt: “To Utah”
  • Lova: “Where did you start?”
  • Matt: “Mexico”

OMG, Matt is hiking the AZT!

  • One of us: “Did you run into illegal aliens?”
  • Matt: “No but I encountered Border Patrol Officers on several occasions.”
  • Arlène: “Where are you from?”
  • Matt: “Originally Georgia, but I now live in Colorado”

He was walking alone and had what seems to be a very small lightweight pack. We all started talking, asking questions about what he had in his pack. He told us that the pack is a grand total of 20 pounds when he has to be on the trail for a full week. But when there are sections where he can refuel it is around 10 pounds or so.

I think he is purifying his water. Don’t know if I could do that, but will definitely consider it. I gave him my Choose Happiness Adventures business card and asked him to please contact me and send me his packing list when he returns to his home. We said our goodbyes and he hiked off ahead of us.

From that moment on, talk of hiking the AZT ensued. We are actually going to attempt the entire trail. Sue and I are retired, well with the exception of running tours; however, Lova still works. But she is self-employed and should be able to manipulate her schedule to allow for time off to hike the trail.

Our plan is to hike all the southern trail in day-hikes leap frogging our cars when possible to not have to walk the trail as out and back hikes.

Sue and I did some yoga poses on a large flat rock on the side of the trail while Lova took our pictures.  As we hiked along the AZT we passed some breathtaking scenery of the Sonoran high desert.


Next on the schedule to be hiked is the Bellota trail.  Yes, we know we are hiking out of sequence but we must hike the desert areas as the temperatures allow.  And it doesn’t matter in what order the passages are hiked, as long as we hike them.



15 responses to “The Gordon Hirabayashi Trail – Part of Passage 10

  1. Serendipity at it’s best meeting that fellow hiker!! Will look forward to hear how you plan and execute doing the entire route 🙂


    • Hi Britta,
      Sure was serendipity! And now the dream is becoming real. I believe, live it like you already own it and it will become real – and look at how this is unfolding.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is awesome, Arlene! I am so excited for you! At some point, I want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. You are inspiring me! Safe travels! Julie

    Sent from my iPad



    • Julie,
      Ah the PCT, yes but the Appalachian Trail is the one that intrigues me – probably because I hail from New York and that is where my heart lies. Who knows, I’ll see how the AZT goes with the backpacking and sleeping outdoors goes. You never know. Here is a great blog from a girl who is currently hiking the PCT, you may wish to follow her


  3. awesome! Great photos…worth the wait.



    • Hey Lova,
      So glad you are one of my partners in this adventure! We sure are having a great time of it, aren’t we?


  4. Arlene, I am so glad to see you attacking the AZT as I know it is on your list. Heck, ultimately, you will probably walk across the US and Europe. Like Forrest Gump, just keep going. You are looking great and the scenery is beautiful and varied. Great pictures.



    • Thanks Steve,
      I’m having a wonderful time on the AZT! Don’t know about walking across the US but I’m still thinking about the Appalachian Trail, just have to see how the AZT goes with the sleeping outdoors thing and all that entails. I am thinking it will be fun no matter what. Hey, I never thought I’d like anything outdoors – shopping and beaches were always my thing, but the Camino changed all that and now look at what I’m doing. Who’d a thunk?
      Good to hear from you. Take care!


  5. It looks like great fun!


    • It is great fun Clare, but some parts are very steep and some of the passage distances are too long for day-hikes. So we must do out and back hikes which is frustrating, retracing our steps now that we have decided to hike the entire AZT. Just that in some cases there is no way or place to get off the trail other than back-tracking.


  6. You ladies can do the AZT! Go Arlene. So proud of you. The pictures are gorgeous. Inspiring me to walk further each day and push these new knees. So want to get back out hiking. Thanks for the inspiration!


    • Tami,
      It is pretty gorgeous out there on the trail. Before long, I’ll be expecting a call saying “let’s get out there and hike!” You know I’ll be ready when you are. I think it’s just a matter of getting those knees worked in, and I’ll bet it won’t be long either.


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