This past weekend we camped in the Cochise Stronghold campground in the Dragoon mountains. A rain storm moved in the first night; it rained all night long which rarely happens in most parts of Arizona. We woke up the next morning to fast moving clouds and changing light. I took a bet that the worst of the storm was over and went for a six mile hike to the saddle and back. It was a great decision since I got to see this area in a unique way with wet cacti and interesting ever-changing clouds. Jay also went exploring, but he did so on his bike and captured a time lapse video of the clouds.
Time Lapse video, view below or click HERE to view on YouTube.
I have been hearing about the southern reaches of the Arizona Trail and how great they are from a lot of the people I have been riding with for some time. In particular everyone really seems to like the bit around Kentucky Camp. Since Sharon and I have been exploring southern Arizona, I finally got the chance to sample some of the trail for myself. We camped off of Gardner Canyon road and I went from the Gardner Canyon trailhead to just a little bit past Kentucky Camp.
The Outside of the old Hotel/Mining head quarters
Kentucky Camp is a historic district that now includes a hotel. Much of the ambitious mining operation never actually came to bear, but the ghost town left behind is still well preserved.
This is the front room of the old hotel
Ok, now back to the real reason you’re here and why I am writing, the Arizona Trail (AZT). This segment of the AZT is not exactly technical, however its not even close to all smooth and buffed beginner friendly single track. Some of it follows the old water line and flume from the mining times and some of it is on an old road. The rest is mostly bench cut single track with a switch back here and there.
The following clips show the highlights of the ride. Part 2 and Part 4 are my two favorite bits of the trail. It’s also worth noting that the scenery out here is awesome. The Santa Rita Mountains even had a dusting of snow.