Kearny to Lake Roosevelt

April 4th-April 9th, 2021

Kearny turned out to be the perfect place to take a zero day. There isn’t much to do in this tiny town, so I had no distractions from my primary goal, relaxing in an air conditioned hotel room. The local store had everything a hiker could need, and the Old Town Pizza was perfect for a couple large meals.

The following day we caught a ride back to the trailhead from the previous owner of the Old Town Pizza. From the trailhead the trail meanders along the Gila River to the lowest point along the trail.

The first night out of Kearny we camped just off a forest service road near the Gila River. The shade was a nice respite from the heat, but unfortunately this area had lots of evidence of surface poos. Toilet paper, and worse could be seen in all directions from the obvious tent sites.

The climb up and away from the Gila River was fantastic. For several miles the route climbs in and around several interesting rock formations. For miles, off in the distance, we could see an unusual shaped structure on the top of a hill. The building looked like a giant funnel sitting on top of a large cylinder. As we huffed up the last 100 yards we could see more clearly that the structure was a rain collector that has been provided by the Arizona Trail Association(ATA). Not only was there crystal clear water that flowed from a spigot, there was also a nice little sliver of shade next to the rain collector. It was really impressive to see the lengths that the ATA has gone through to ensure water along this dry stretch of trail. Thank you!

Climbing up from the low point
The long traverse to the Rain Collector

We decided to take a nero into Superior for a little R&R. Superior was a great little town to explore. There were fun murals all over town. We stayed at MJ’s house, which I highly recommend. After a short stroll through town we returned to MJ’s where we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon on the porch.

In the morning Marco, one of MJ’s amazing volunteers, gave us a ride back to the trailhead. From Superior it was just two days to Lake Roosevelt, where I had a resupply box waiting.

Looks like Mountain Dew, but it doesn’t take like it!

Hiking down into Lake Roosevelt was very exciting. I could practically taste the burger and beer as I shuffled down the dirt road towards town.

Lake Roosevelt in the distance.

Upon arriving at Roosevelt I went straight to the restaurant and enjoyed a burger with several Dr. Peppers. It is always interesting how every trip, I develop some new/specific craving. For the AZT that craving was Dr. Pepper. After my meal I picked up my resupply box and a few treats from the convenience store. Contrary to what I’d heard/read the folks at Lake Roosevelt were kind and welcoming. They’ve even provided a space across the parking lot from the store where hikers can relax. There are picnic tables, and a little shed with a hiker box and a charging station. Thanks!

It was extra hot the day I was in Roosevelt. I spent the heat of the day relaxing and enjoying the comforts of town(gas station).

short road walk
Climbing out of Lake Roosevelt

In the late afternoon I finally worked up enough motivation to leave the comforts of Roosevelt. Clouds rolled in around 4pm. It provided just enough of a reprieve from the heat that I shouldered my fully loaded bag and hit the road. There is a nearly 4000 ft climb out of Roosevelt with little water. To break up the climb I knocked off 1000 ft in the evening before I set up camp. It felt really good to sit in the cool evening air and watch the sunset. Fully resupplied and ready for the stretch to Pine!

Watch where you step!
Sunset near camp

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