**Updated Dec 16, 2015**
I am just one month away from starting the Hayduke trail with Katherine! Much of the Hayduke planning is complete. What has me at my height of wiredness is the three months after the Hayduke of continued hiking, traveling, and logistics that are still being worked out. The clock is ticking and I don’t have enough time. I’m even taking a day off work tomorrow just to catch up and I NEVER do that. A blog follower just sent me this personalized cartoon yesterday and I swear it was as if he were sitting with me. Thank you to Boon Cartoonist for drawing what I have been feeling for over a month now! Nice touch getting the umbrella in there too:)
|Personalized “Taunting Calendar” from Boon Cartoonist|
Those of you that have followed this journal for awhile know that I’m a detailed planner that detests planning. The level to which it simultaneously annoys, exhausts, frustrates, and angers me is ridiculous. In fact, I’m writing this planning post right now to avoid planning the Great Divide Trail. I got spoiled by the logistical simplicity of the Appalachian Trail last summer, and it’s making the more time consuming planning of the Hayduke Trail and Great Divide Trail seem tortuous in comparison. I’m a terrible reader and get overwhelmed by multiple sources, so this has been a slloooowwww process for me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, planning these hikes makes me feel like a toddler with no nap that is just one denied cookie away from a full on tantrum. I just want to huddle up and watch TV instead…I missed the Oscars last night with this ridiculousness!
This post will save Hayduke planners a fair amount of time and effort as I’ve done my best to make this a one stop shop for all the resources and links you might want (let me know if I omitted any). I’ve likened this to a scavenger hunt with how much information is spread out over the Internet about the Hayduke. I realize that not everyone is as paranoid and detailed as I am with prep and planning, so take from it what you find helpful as not all of it is a must read. I’m going to write this as concise and to the point as possible. Someday, hopefully all of this will be integrated into one source. About a month ago, I took this photo in a classroom as I felt like everything was taunting me with all the planning that needed to get done…
**Fair warning to anyone planning to hike the Hayduke. I recommend planning at least 2-3 months before the hike as there are many permits required and knowing your timing and plan of attack is key. This isn’t like other hikes where you can guesstimate a 2-3mi/hr pace. Many sections, you’ll be lucky to make a 1mph pace, and at some points, your days will be dictated by permits and reserved campsites. I will do more posting after the hike on specifics and advice, but for now, you’ll want to find journals of comparable hikers and guesstimate your mileage in accordance with theirs. Dates you choose will be the best guess you can make, but you’ll have a better chance of shifting dates on a preapproved permit than trying to get one at the last minute.
The Hayduke website is managed by HDT co-founder Joe Mitchell. Until a few weeks ago, the site had not been updated in six years. I was able to get in touch with Joe and he kindly updated the site with many of the links listed below. The section updates are not up to date, but the links to journals and resources are there and that’s very helpful. Thanks to Joe for making those updates!
Hayduke Facebook Group
Always nice to have a place to meet other Haydukers, ask questions, and share information. Unlike the bigger trails, there is no need for yearly class pages and this is the only Hayduke group on Facebook.
Hayduke Trail Guidebook
This original guide for the Hayduke was written by trail co-founders Mike Coronella and Joe Mitchell in 2005. It has not been updated, but much of the descriptions are still It is intended as an overview of each section with detailed descriptions including mileages and what hikers will encounter. Although not intended as the sole resource for hiking the HDT, it is one of two main guides that all Haydukers carry as it is quite detailed and informative on the turn by turn descriptions.
Skurka’s Hayduke Bundle (Updated 12/16/15)
NOTE: Updates to the bundle are included with new purchases, but if you have a previous version, the updates (made 12/16/15) can be downloaded here on Skurka’s site. Skurka’s bundle is the must have supplement to the Handbook. His downloadable bundle contains maps, waypoints, alternate routes, and a data book including water sources that are all synced with the descriptions in the Hayduke Handbook, making the two a perfect pairing. He has also included some more detailed background on the areas you’ll be hiking through and I look forward to reading that as I want to truly appreciate the experience.
Li Brannfors’s Maps & Tracks
**Note: Li has asked me not to post his contact info here or give out his maps. He has chosen to take a step back from distributing his maps. Feel free to hunt down his email and attempt to contact him for a mapset, but as of now, he’s wanting to take a break and only wishes to share the maps with friends or possibly friends of friends or people who are highly experienced. If that is you, give him a shout.
If you’ve been in the thru hiking community awhile, you’ve probably heard of Li Brannfors. I am in awe and admiration of Li’s voluntary efforts with creating free maps and tracks on so many young trails. He hikes the trails and takes his own personal time to create informative maps along with waypoints and tracks. He does this for no reason other than that he loves doing it and wants to help future hikers. He has mapsets and/or tracks free for download in his personal Dropbox of files for the Arizona Trail, Hayduke Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, and Great Divide Trail. Mad respect for Li and I hope to meet him as he lives/works in the Grand Canyon and hosts hikers from time to time. It’s a matter of personal preference, as some might find Brannfors’s maps to be too busy with many notes and alternates, but they help me to see the trail more clearly. Brannfors also has some great additional alternates that are not in the Handbook or Bundle. In a dream world, one resource would combine the Handbook, Bundle, and Brannfors’s maps to make the ultimate HDT guide, but that just doesn’t exist yet…so have fun combining the three…yes, I say that sarcastically as it can be quite time consuming, but it’s totally worth it as once it’s mastered, it’s like having the key that unlocks the adventure of a lifetime! Maybe someday he’ll be comfortable with posting them on a public link…
Buck-30’s 2013 Data
Buck-30 and Skittles hiked the HDT in the spring of 2013. Buck-30 put together the most up-to-date info on the routes and water sources. Most of it is in Skurka’s Interim Updates on his Bundle, but click here to download Buck-30’s COMPLETE 2013 Data it along with waypoints of the route that correspond with Skurka’s Bundle. Thanks so much to Buck-30 for the time and effort he put into this!
Spiderwoman’s 2014 HDT Tips(*Updated Dec 2015)
A wonderfully detailed and descriptive list of tips from Spiderwoman and The Brawn’s fall 2014 HDT hike! She put this together for me and kindly allowed me to share it with others publicly as it is very helpful. She has since updated it even further and the newest copy is in this link. At the end of the document are even tips on caching and what she’d do differently if she were to hike the Hayduke again.
In the last two years, there has been a bump in Hayduke hikers and that will just multiply as more information and blogs are out there. I find it best to find a blog of someone comparable to my style of hiking and use their blog to help plan mine. Just in the last year, there has been a great increase in the quality of online blogs and they have all been very responsive to any of the questions or concerns I’ve had. Here are a list of the most current ones and the ones I found most helpful in my planning. For the sake of time and effort, I will refer you to the Hayduke Website where there is a more complete list that includes most public blogs that have been done on the Hayduke.
*Buck-30 & Skittles Spring 2013
-These two hiked together yet I found reading each of their journals helpful in different ways. Buck-30 has great posts on advice and planning at the end of his journal!
*Nic Barth Fall 2013
-Nic and Tuna Helper embraced the Hayduke and did some of the most amazing alternates. Nic has breathtaking photos and details on the alternates he took. Just a wonderfully inspiring resource! Unfortunately, due to government closures, Nic and Tuna Helper had to cut their trip short at the end.
*Brian & Martina Spring 2014
A wonderfully organized site devoted to the Hayduke! I wish my info here was as visually pleasing and professionally laid out as theirs. Brian and Martina also have a great video of their hike. Due to the intense heat, they had to alter their trip at the end, but specifically, their trail notes and notes on alternates are a big help.
*Fireweed & Trekker Bob Spring 2015
A great summary of Fireweed and Trekker Bob’s section hike of the first half of the Hayduke that includes a journal summary of each section and their GPS tracks. Great information! They will be doing the second half in Spring of 2016.
*Again, see the Hayduke official website for a more complete list of most all public Hayduke blogs.
I will have more detailed planning tips and advice after the hike when things settle down in the fall, but I hope this helps keep you busy until then if you are planning a future adveture along the Hayduke!