Humphreys Peak

Flagstaff, Arizona 86001

Humphreys Peak

Humphreys Peak Professional Review and Guide

"As the highest summit in the state, Humphreys Peak (12,633 feet) is more reminiscent of Colorado than Arizona. Reaching above timberline, the tallest of the San Francisco Peaks features the only true alpine environment in Arizona.

Needless to say, the views from the top are awesome. Because it stands virtually alone (nearby Agassiz and Fremont peaks excepted), Humphreys offers hikers a real “top of the world” feeling."

More Humphreys Peak Professional Reviews and Guides

"This popular trail makes the arduous march from the bottom of the Snowbowl ski resort up the slopes through diff erent ecozones to arrive at Humphreys Saddle. Th e trail then climbs even farther above the tree line to the peak of Mount Humphreys, the highest point in Arizona. Th at status makes this trail quite popular."

"This popular hike takes you to the highest summit in Arizona, which is in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. On a clear day the views are, well, incredible. Note that cross-country hiking is prohibited by the USDA Forest Service above 11,400 feet on San Francisco Mountain. Above timberline, you must stay on the trail. This trail was built in 1985 and is not shown on the topographic map. The trail starts near the base of a chair lift in upper Hart Prairie and crosses into the forest on the north side of the meadow. The trail ascends in a series of long but well-graded switchbacks through the dense forest.

At first, the forest is a mixture of ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, and quaking aspen trees associated with the Canadian life zone. These give way to limber pine and Englemann spruce in the higher sections of the forest. Near timberline, the forest is mostly subalpine fir, Arizona corkbark fir, and bristlecone pine, which represents the classic subalpine life zone."

Humphreys Peak Reviews

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7/22/2018
Highest peak in Arizona--woo hooooo!!! It took us about 4 hours to reach the summit but we were doing lots of ogling, drinking (definitely bring much more water than you think you might need) and snacking, and photo taking along the way. It is steep with switchbacks, altitude sickness is always a possibility but not so much if you stay hydrated. The trees are beautiful and the hike along the ridge offers fantastic scenery. Its chilly and windy up there! What a nice escape from summer heat--the views are incredible, and I'm definitely going again. One word of advice would be to check the weather before attempting the hike because summer storms make this trail scary. We got lucky!
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10/1/2009
All of the guides are wrong on the mileage. The sign at the trailhead says 4.8 (meaning 9.6 miles RT, not the 9 claimed in various guide reports). I have done this hike 3 times and never once has my GPS recorded less than 10 miles. The average distance by my GPS is 10.2 miles. So be aware, this is a 3200 foot climb over at least 10 miles.
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9/27/2008
a moderately difficult hike, but a non-technical walk up. the trail is in good condition and easy to follow. Good views of the flagstaff area.
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6/23/2007
This trail is pretty strenuous. We did the whole thing in six hours and I am not sure how long it took to get to the top. Part of it was because of the masses of boy scouts on the trail that particular day. Otherwise, there's not normally a lot of people on the trail. Its a tough hike but the reward once you get to the top is worth it! Make sure you drink a lot of water on the way up because it helps with the altitude.
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5/19/2007
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.
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6/10/2006
We set out from trail head at 6:30am and it took 4hrs to arrive at the Peak, mainly due to flatlanders disease. Being as our home town is at 75ft and we drove 20hours to the trailhead slept 7hours then set out on the trail. The trails are well kept and well marked. The trail description was very accurate. We did see some patchy snow, a big treat for us from deep South Texas hikers. Very enjoyable day spent hiking.
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10/19/2005
Beautiful trail! Great views of Flagstaff, Snow Bowl and surrounding areas. Snowed the evening before we hiked so duration of hike was longer than expected. Also, we were grateful to have had others hike before us earlier that morning - without their footprints we might never have been able to follow parts of the trail. No markings except at start and at the saddle; once you get past first mile or so, trail is obvious as it is narrow and traverses side of ridge. Well worth the trip! Leave early for good views at the top.
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6/12/2001
The trail is difficult especially for people not accustomed to high elevations. There are dozens of switchbacks for a trail that climbs 850 ft per mile hiked. It is a steep trail that winds through aspen groves and across boulder fields until it comes out on the ridge below the peak. The last quarter mile along the ridge is brutally exposed to high winds and fast changing weather. On a clear day you can see to the Grand Canyon and all the way across the Painted Dessert. Most of the trail is above tree line. Exposed skin will get sun burned if not well protected. There is no water on the trail and few hikers, bring what you need to get in and out. I find that the trail is clear from May to late September, but in the early season the wind and elevation come together to make it bitterly cold. Overall it is a difficult trail with a great reward at the end. We would do this as a day hike while living in Flagstaff. I find the trail time closer to five hours, but round trip travel time from downtown Flagstaff to the trail head is closer to an hour. The trail head can be found from the Snowbowl parking lot.
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6/10/2001
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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Humphreys Peak Photos

Trail Information

Flagstaff
Nearby City
9.6
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
6 hours
Duration
Best June to September
Season
9,266 feet
Trailhead Elevation
12,633 feet
Top Elevation
Coconino National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Humphreys Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018