- Distance – 8.83 miles / 14.21 kilometers
- Elevation Gain – 1076 feet / 328 meters
- Elevation Loss – 1322 feet / 403 meters
- Average Temperature – 83.8° F / 28.8° C
- Total Mileage – 153.11 miles / 257.4 kilometers
This passage of the Arizona National Scenic Trail was perfect for leap-frogging vehicles. Lova and I drove from Tucson to Oracle to wait at the Northern trailhead for Marie and Gale to join us. Once they arrived, Marie parked her car and she and Gale jumped into Lova’s truck and off we went to the American Flag trailhead to begin our hike of Passage 13.
We began our hike as usual with a picture of us by the AZT trail marker.The trail was lovely, well-marked and slightly on the descent for half of the way.We passed a few interesting rock formations. I won’t tell you what one or our group was reminded of when we came upon this formation.And naturally, we had to cross over a cow bridge and open and close many gates along the way. The trail, as seems to be the case on each passage we have hiked so far, became very obscure and if it were not for the Garmin fenix3, we would have gotten lost again. As it happened we only had to backtrack once to look for the trail.
There was one small snake sighting by Scree Slider in the wash near the windmill, but nothing like the coiled up rattlesnake from the last AZT hike.The Silver Bullet decided to pick up a stalk from a Joshua Tree to take home, spray paint and decorate for the holidays. We all marveled at her tenacity for carrying the stalk for approximately 6 miles of the hike. She did bring it home with her.About half way through the passage we started to climb and then descend. For the remainder of the hike the trail was up and down. By the time we reached the underpass of AZ-77, we were thankful the last 1.5 miles was on Old Tiger Road, which was a pleasant dirt road.Finally, we arrived back at the trailhead, took a few pictures of the vistas of the mountain ranges in the distance and a shot of the beginning of Passage 14. We were then on our way to get an ice-cold beer in a local bar and grill in the little town or Oracle. It proved to be another wonderful day on the AZT spent with great hiking buddies.