Skip to Content

DWTH Day 21: Snapper’s Trail Magic

DWTH Day 21: Snapper’s Trail Magic


👣 Miles: 10.69

📈 Elevation Gain: 1,148 ft

📉 Elevation Loss: 807 ft

Overall Weather: Cloudy, Windy

Slow Hotel Morning

We like to take advantage of the 11 am checkout time. That being said, that time is usually not taken up by sleeping. 

Once we’re on trail, we have a very on-point internal clock. It’s currently set for about 6-6:30 am and that’s when we woke up. 

We spent the morning doing last-minute internet chores, back flushing filters, taking an extra shower, and packing up. 


We’d been chatting on Instagram with Snapper about the DWTH since she travels between SoCal and the Phoenix area often. We met her on the GET last year and had a great time swapping trail stories back then. 

It just so happened that she was heading back to SoCal and literally passing our hotel on the way just after checkout. 

Snapper’s Trail Magic

Two thru-hikers hold up a box of trail magic provided by the third human in the photo.
Snapper’s Trail Magic

We coordinated a small hang-out and a ride back to the route. 

Then, she surprised us with vegan baked goods from Phoenix!!! 🤯🤗 We packed out the sugary goodness to savor as we hiked. She also brought me an extra solo kitchen trash bag that I needed to make a better rain cover for my camera front pack. 

In turn, we passed her our extra shampoo and conditioner (hotels never give you enough and it’s always crappy). We also gave her a pair of pliers that Karma found on trail and carried into town. He thought they were cool because the ends of the handles were a Phillips head and flathead screwdrivers. I’m not sure how thrilled Snapper was with that. 

It was beyond amazing being around someone who knew exactly what we were doing. We swapped trail stories since the last time we hung out and we showed her photos of the water sources we’ve had so far on the DWTH. As all trails go, when it comes down to it you always need to know how much water you expect to carry and what’s the water quality. 

She dropped us off right where we got picked up by the Uber yesterday. We chatted a bit longer, and then she drove to SoCal and we hiked onward. 

The Beginning of Section 3

Snapper gave us a great jolt of good energy and it helped us as we hiked out. Not to mention the multiple sugar bursts throughout the rest of the day!

We had to be on our game as we left. I felt like there were far more junctions than usual to pay attention to. 

The route started on a bit of pavement and went to various dirt roads and some cross-country. At some point, we found ourselves on a burro trail which I think some dirt bikers appropriated. I wasn’t a fan of it…it went the wrong way across a series of washes and it was a lot of extra short ups and downs on loose rocks that got looser with the recent rain. 

One rock gave out on me that I didn’t expect and I half skied and half slid on my butt for a few feet. I left a bit of thigh blood in that wash. 


Petroglyphs off-trail near an unnamed pass.

When we were hiking cross-country, we got distracted by a sheep trail and accidentally went up to the wrong pass.  While we admired the view and laughed at the map, we looked up to see petroglyphs. 

Neither of us expected that today. 

We admired them, looked around a bit for more, and made the easy traverse to the correct pass. 


We skipped the first water opportunity because of a comment on the water report from November. We wanted to go check it out anyway, but when we got to the scramble point my watch said 4 minutes to sunset. 

Instead, we continued down from the pass in a wash until we saw a promising shoulder ridge above it. 

It’s decently in the “flat enough” category. We like this category as long as our feet can be slightly downhill. With two people, the side slants are the worst. 

We set up and settled into the sound of more military jets blasting all over the place.