For hikers the preferred times to visit the Kachina Peaks Wilderness are summer and fall. Snow begins in the higher elevations as early as October and may stay on the ground through June. Mid-June through July are the peak blooming periods for high-elevation annuals, such as Rocky Mountain iris; late September and October are the best times to see aspens turn golden. Saw-whet owl, common flicker, Western bluebird, pygmy nuthatch, chickadee, raven, Clark’s nutcracker, hermit thrush, white-throated swift, wild turkey, Steller’s jay, blue grouse, American robin, black bear, porcupine, mountain lion, gray squirrel, bobcat, elk, Abert squirrel, and deer are a few of the many birds and mammals that inhabit the Kachina Peaks Wilderness.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are excellent within the wilderness, particularly in the Inner Basin and along the Kachina Trail. The Kachina Trail is easy to access via the Snow Bowl Ski Area. Unplowed roads leading to the Inner Basin, however, may be impassable to vehicles in winter, requiring a 4.5-mile ski or snowshoe to Lockett Meadow.
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