Sirena Dufault is the Gateway Community Liaison for the Arizona Trail Association and writes a blog about her outdoor adventures hiking, backpacking, climbing, canyoneering, and rafting in Arizona. She has been involved with the Arizona Trail Association since 2007, helping to build many miles of trail near Tucson and is a Trail Steward, responsible for maintaining a 5.5 mile stretch along the Gila River. Sirena section-hiked the Arizona Trail in 2008-09, mostly solo, which fueled her passion for the wilderness. She is an advocate for outdoor recreation, eco-tourism and women in the outdoors.
The Grand Canyon is one of her favorite places and she has backpacked miles and miles on its trails and routes. Sirena also works as a river guide in the summertime on the Colorado River with Arizona River Runners, leading people on amazing hikes and educating visitors about the incredible archaeology, geology, and natural history contained within.
She discovered the importance of paying attention to pack weight during her section hike of the Arizona Trail. Sirena has had fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, since a car hit her while walking across the street in 1997. Keeping her pack weight light is an integral part of being able to enjoy her time out on the trail.
Favorite Training Grounds: Tucson is surrounded by five mountain ranges so I am never at a loss for places to hike! I love the Sky Islands, mountains that take you from saguaro-studded desert up to aspen in a day. The Santa Catalina Mountains offer wonderful opportunities and endless bushwhacking adventures for training for even the toughest trips! I am fortunate that my work takes me all over Arizona- I can often be found sneaking in a hike or backpacking trip between meetings and events.
Outdoor Organization Involvement: Sirena has been the Director of Arizona Trail Association Gateway Community program since 2011, fostering a relationship between trail users and the 33 towns along the Arizona Trail. She organizes Trail Day events, does public outreach, guides hikes, and promotes area tourism to stimulate local economies. She is the also the author of the Gateway Community Guide in the new official Arizona Trail guidebook amd the Trail Steward for Passage 16c
Current Plans: On March 14th, I begin the Arizona Trail Trek, a thru-hike to promote the Arizona National Scenic Trail, the Gateway Communities and the new official guidebook. Along the way I will be having Gateway Community events in the trail towns and folks will be able to join me for hikes highlighting the best the Arizona Trail has to offer! Visit www.aztrail.org/azttrek for the full schedule of events and to register for the hikes. I will be posting updates on the Arizona Trail Association Facebook and on Twitter @AZTRAIL. An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign will run from March 28th – May 28th to raise $20,000 for the Arizona Trail Association to maintain, protect, and promote the trail.