Hiking the Western Trail

Western Trail

Hiking the Western Trail

The Western Trail Conservancy was created by volunteers in following a plan drawn up by the American Planning Association and the National Park Service. The idea was to build a hiking trail through the high desert in order to protect the local desert wildlife. It was also hoped that the trail would encourage people to become more politically active. Over the years the trail has become one of the most popular hiking destinations in the U.S.A.

The Great Western Trail is basically a north-to-soutterly long U.S.A. distance (strewn) hiking trail that runs from Canada eastward to Mexico via five west-west wide states – Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Oregon and California. The trail has access for motorized and non-motorized users and traverses over 4,356 miles (7,161 kilometers) in Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. At various points along the route there are observation towers and rest stations for hikers.

The most easterly portions of the western trail begin at the Dixie National Forest in Arizona and continue along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. The trail also includes portions of the Bureau of Land Management lands and parts of the Las Vegas Strip. The southern portion of the trail begins near Dodge City, which is just south of Bluff, Utah. Near Dodge City, the trail crosses the street known as Main Street and then takes a left onto Las Vegas Boulevard. From there the path proceeds to enter the vibrant Las Vegas Strip.

About one mile (two-thirds of a mile) after reaching the Strip the trail makes a right turn and goes back onto the southern side of the Grand Canyon. Here it makes another right turn and goes toward the Bighorn Canyon. The route then makes a left on its way back to the start of the Grand Canyon Trail. Another short section of the western trail leads hikers between the towns of Tusayan and South Rim, New Mexico, following the ridge line that separates the south rim from the west rim of the canyon. It then makes a right turn and proceeds back down to the starting point of the South Rim Trail, where it joins the main trail again. The last segment of the trail follows the lower elevations of the Grand Canyon to Pinos del Sur, New Mexico.

Hikers who prefer to travel by air can make their way to Mexico by taking a flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Several airlines offer scheduled routes to various Mexico destinations. You can check with your local airport’s office for availability and ticket prices. Another option is to travel by train from any number of international airports in North America to Mexico. One option is to travel from British Columbia, Canada to Mexico via the Pacific Trail; this can be a great way to get close to nature while experiencing the western route of the Pimahtqui Indian Reservoir and the wildlife-rich wilderness of Mexico.

The Western Trail has three countries along its path. Mexico, Peru, and Colorado are the three countries that make up the route. Each country has a number of cities along the way which provide accommodations for hikers. They are Puebla, Mexico; Riviera Nayarit, Peru; and Albuquerque, NM. There are also a National Park in Puebla and a National Park in Machu Picchu in Peru. Other attractions include the ruins of the Mayans and the stunning sandstone temples of Cahuilla.

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