Crossing Arizona


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Crossing Arizona is an extraordinary journey through some of the harshest, most remote, and most beautiful natural terrain in the Lower 48. In March 2000, long-distance hiker Chris Townsend, inspired by the writings of Edward Abbey and Colin Fletcher, set out on a solo trek to explore the desert landscape that enthralled them. One of the first people to complete an end-to-end hike of the Arizona Trail, Townsend followed the rough, still-evolving route for 800 miles across the desert floor, through grasslands and mountain forests, and over rocky, snowy passes-all the way from the Mexican border, across the Sonoran Desert and through the Grand Canyon, to Utah. Hiking alone over the course of two months, Townsend rarely encountered another hiker; heat, discomfort, and the quest for water were constant concerns. But he also experienced moments of profound solitude and extraordinary beauty-gazing across the endless vistas of the Grand Canyon, making camp under the stars each night, or reflecting on the stark beauty of this vast, wild, uniquely American place. Illustrated with maps and photographs of his trip, Crossing Arizona is both an entertaining account of Townsend's adventure, and a vicarious journey through a spectacular landscape.
Paperback256 pages
Date Published2001
Dimensions6 x 9 in
  • 9 maps
  • 35 Black and White photographs
W. W. Norton