After doing a bit of research looking for a “longish” hike (2-3 weeks) for early spring (February) as part of our training for Patagonia and also just to get back into the woods, I came up with two possible options: (1) the first 300 miles of the Arizona Trail (AT) from the border to Superior (just East of Phoenix) or (2) the Ouichita National Recreation Trail (OT).
The profile comparison (below) shows one of the main reasons for picking the OT – it is both lower in elevation and has fewer big climbs. This is important for a late-winter hike since the weather at higher elevations can be problematic.
Speaking of weather the February trail averages look pretty good – low 50’s for the highs, high 20’s for the lows. If historic averages hold the weather should be perfect for hiking. Of course a late winter storm could totally change that.