Posts Tagged ‘Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail’

Signed copies of Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail are available for $25 (includes shipping and handling, US only)

PayPal: paypal.me/desertsirena

Venmo: @desertsirena

Please include your shipping address or email it to sirena@trailsinspire.com.

The 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) is as beautiful as it is daunting. It crosses the state, from Mexico to Utah. It travels up and down Sky Island mountain ranges, across the Saguaro-studded Sonoran Desert, through the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world, past Arizona’s highest peak, and from rim to rim of the Grand Canyon. But you don’t need to hike the entire route to experience its historical, geological, and botanical significance. Many scenic views and important sites are accessible within a few hours’ journey.

Trail expert Sirena Rana guides you along the most interesting and accessible portions of the trail in 30 carefully crafted routes. Each entry includes navigational information and interpretive facts about the trail’s cultural history, natural history, and geography.

Inside You’ll Find:

  • 30 hikes through the most scenic and significant portions of the trail
  • In-depth route descriptions and fun facts
  • Detailed maps and full-color photographs that highlight Arizona’s diverse environments
  • Information on area food, activities, and lodging

This guidebook was created in partnership with the Arizona Office of Tourism and published by Wilderness Press. It is perfect for casual and experienced hikers alike, so get out there and enjoy the trail!

  • Arizona Public Media radio interview
  • Gossamer Gear Interview
  • Grand Canyon Conservancy Interview
  • Keep Nature Wild Interview
  • The Trail Show podcast (starts at 1:35:25)
  • Pinal Central article
  • Summit for Arizona Trails (starts at 37:56)
  • City Sun Times article
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    Exciting announcement: I’ve created a Patreon community at Patreon.com/desertsirena! Join now to get videos, newsletters, digital downloads, my upcoming guidebook, prints and behind the scenes content for my writing, photography and trail design. For a limited time, you can get even your name listed in my upcoming book, Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail!IMG_5580

    Patreon is a monthly subscription-based site and I’m thrilled to create a community of folks who want to learn about and be inspired by the outdoors. Support from Patreon will allow me time to produce content, promote my current book and get started on the next one. And I’ve got a fantastic idea for my next book…

    Each month, you’ll receive a newsletter exclusively for my Patreon community with information on what projects I’m working on and any events, podcasts or articles I’ve been featured in. I love sharing what I know about hiking, backpacking, the desert and how to get started in the outdoors. You’ll get an inside scoop on my trips, whether it’s packing for a weeklong backpack or just walking around and appreciating nature close to home.

    For the first time, I’m providing a peek behind the scenes at my process for writing, photography, travel, and trail design and development. I look forward to sharing because I believe that people get inspired to do things they might have never thought possible by seeing how others do it.

    Everyone who joins will receive a Sonoran Desert Wildflower Guide, discount codes for Gossamer Gear and Huppybar, and be entered in a raffle to win one of five Gossamer Gear Bumster fanny packs. Join at Patreon.com/desertsirena and share the link with your circles!

    I’ll also be a part of a panel discussion with Joshua Tree National Park Association on Thursday, August 13th at 4pm PT called Why Leave No Trace? The link to join the event is https://www.joshuatree.org/live/ and here’s the overview:117715724_10108264644358287_130023841511872565_n

    As our public lands and outdoor spaces gain increasing popularity, it is our responsibility as good guests and visitors to make sure these spaces can be enjoyed by future generations. Hence we are faced with the challenge of minimizing the impact of millions of us who are eager to explore the great outdoors.

    When we talk about Leave No Trace (LNT), we talk about caring for the natural resources of the places we come in contact with through self-awareness. But, why should we Leave No Trace? Who practices these principles, and who is left out? Why is that?

    In this panel and open discussion with live audience members, we intend to explore the big questions of WHY that surround each of the 7 Leave No Trace principles and the idea of Outdoor Ethics as a whole.

    Hope you can join in! It will also be available after the event at this link. I also did an interview on Instagram with JTNPA to talk about my experiences with the outdoors, trail design and the upcoming book.


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    The last time I posted, I was excited about the coming year and all it held. Little did we all know that 2020 would be different than any of us expected due to COVID-19. I was visiting Michigan and Chicago in early March when everything suddenly changed. I returned home to Tucson on March 15th and have been trying to navigate life ever since. My heart goes out to all who have lost family, friends, jobs and opportunities to this pandemic.

    Sunset in the Catalina Mountains

    Sunset in the Catalina Mountains

    I’d like to take a moment to remember Ahmaud Arbery, a black man chased down while jogging and shot by white supremacists in February. The murderers were only apprehended last week and only after a video of the chase and the shooting was circulated publicly. No one should have to fear for their life while trying to enjoy the outdoors. No one.

    Ahmaud Arbery

    RIP Ahmaud Arbery

    Here’s updates, some good, some bad:

    First, some good news: I am going to be on the Unlikely Hikers Podcast today, Tuesday May 12th at 5pm PST! It’s a storytelling episode, you can see the live Zoom show at jennybruso.com/podcast or listen to the audio anytime. Unlikely Hikers is such a wonderful community, their group hike was one of the last outdoor events that I attended before COVID-19 took over and I am thrilled to be on the show. It’s a special day because it’s the 11th anniversary of completing the Arizona Trail for the first time and also Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. I hope you’ll head over and listen!

    Unlikely Hikers Podcast guests – Daniel “The Blackalachian” White, me, Tam Wiley and Travis Clough

    Now for bad news: my book, Best Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail, has been postponed until August. Yet another thing affected by the pandemic. I had also planned on a multi-city book tour, which seems unlikely now. I’m working with my publicist at Wilderness Press to figure out virtual and livestreaming events instead. Email sirena@trailsinspire.com to be on the mailing list for the latest book updates.

    Arizona Trail Super Gate near Oracle

    I am also in the process of putting together a Patreon account, where folks will be able to subscribe to access exclusive content, videos, Q&A, and trip planning, as well as receive advance information about events and livestreams. Maybe even a level that will include exclusive Micro Chicken content! In the meantime, if you’d like to support my work, you can Venmo me a tip at @desertsirena or PayPal at sirena@trailsinspire.com.


    Micro Chicken and Ocotillo Bloom

    Good news: Last week was supposed to be my return to guiding in the Grand Canyon. I got hired back with Arizona River Runners to work their 3-day trips that go from Las Vegas to the Bar 10 Ranch, spend one night, and then helicopter down to run 90 miles on the Colorado River in a boat with another night on a beach in the Canyon. Here’s a video that shows the trip:


    Bad news: Grand Canyon National Park is currently closed until at least June 13 (as of now) and there’s no telling when it will again be safe to open it to run this kind of trip. It’s been five years since I last guided on the river. Here are a couple memorable moments from the seasons I was lucky enough to spend down there.

    Cheering at the end of Hermit Rapid at 22,000 cfs, the most fun on the whole river!
    Redwall Cavern
    Giving an archaeology talk at the Whitmore Pictographs

    Good news: the Tusayan Community Trails Plan has been once again funded and my company, Trails Inspire, is going into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment phase of the project. I also published an article, 25 Indoor Activities for Outdoorsy People During Quarantine for Gossamer Gear’s blog. I also took this amazing photo of a levitating Javelina:dsc05049_2

    Bad news: I am in a fibromyalgia flare because of all the stress and anxiety surrounding COVID-19. Stress is one of the biggest contributing factors to my flares. I also had a small calf muscle tear occur on May 2nd that has limited my mobility. It’s not as bad as the muscle tear that required me to be helicoptered out of the Grand Canyon, but it’s definitely going to take some time to heal.

    Times are tough, uncertain and ever-changing. I have so much gratitude for the essential workers who have kept our country going during the pandemic. If you’d like more frequent updates from me, follow my Instagram. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

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