Hiking Northern Arizona
by Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides)
© Bruce Grubbs/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Coming from the east coast the altitude was harder than I expected. After the 11,400 elevation sign the trail was steep, rocky and hard, at times after the saddle it was rock crawling and the trail was hard to follow. If it had not been for the trail "posts" I would have taken more wrong turns than I did, but the summit was worth the effort.
The trail starts at the bottom Snowbowl Ski Area parking lot. Beware the parking lot will be full in the summer. We camped in the grass beside the trailhead, and woke up early to start our quest for the highest point in AZ. It's nearly impossible to get lost on this "superhighway" that runs up the mountain. There seemed to be people everywhere. The views were quite spectacular from the saddle and again from the summit. Unfortunately the summit was swarming with an unbelievable amount of black bugs (they didn't bite). It wasn't unusual to have more than 100 bugs on you at any one time. I personally did not particularly enjoy this hike due to the extremely high traffic that I found on the trail. If you like company and don't mind sharing a trail with 100 or so people (most not prepared for any foul weather) than this could be a great place for a rather challenging hike.
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