Kachina Loop Trail

Flagstaff, Arizona

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Follow the Humphreys Peak Trail under the ski lift and across the meadow, where the route enters dense fir-aspen forest. The trail climbs steadily up the west slopes of the mountain in a series of broad switchbacks. As you climb, the forest gradually changes to spruce and the aspen zone is left behind. Finally, the trail swings southeast into the canyon above the ski area. A series of short switchbacks lead through sparse bristlecone pine forest to the Humphrey-Agassiz Saddle at 11,800 feet and the junction with the Weatherford Trail. Here you can do an optional side trip on the Humphreys Peak Trail to the summit of Humphreys Peak, which at 12,633 feet is Arizona’s highest point. This side trip is 2 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 800 feet. Note that cross-country hiking is prohibited above 11,400 feet (the approximate elevation of timberline) on the San Francisco Peaks in order to protect the San Francisco Peaks groundsel, a low-growing plant with yellow flowers that grows only in loose cinders above timberline. It is found nowhere else in the world.
Best Loop Hikes Arizona

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Loop Hikes Arizona

by Bruce Grubbs (The Mountaineers Books)

Follow the Humphreys Peak Trail under the ski lift and across the meadow, where the route enters dense fir-aspen forest. The trail climbs steadily up the west slopes of the mountain in a series of broad switchbacks. As you climb, the forest gradually changes to spruce and the aspen zone is left behind. Finally, the trail swings southeast into the canyon above the ski area. A series of short switchbacks lead through sparse bristlecone pine forest to the Humphrey-Agassiz Saddle at 11,800 feet and the junction with the Weatherford Trail.

Here you can do an optional side trip on the Humphreys Peak Trail to the summit of Humphreys Peak, which at 12,633 feet is Arizona’s highest point. This side trip is 2 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 800 feet. Note that cross-country hiking is prohibited above 11,400 feet (the approximate elevation of timberline) on the San Francisco Peaks in order to protect the San Francisco Peaks groundsel, a low-growing plant with yellow flowers that grows only in loose cinders above timberline. It is found nowhere else in the world.

©  Bruce Grubbs/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Flagstaff
Distance: 16.9
Elevation Gain: 4,350 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2 days
Season: Jully through October
Trailhead Elevation: 9,400 feet
Top Elevation: 12,060 feet
Local Contacts: Coconino National Forest, Peaks Ranger District
Local Maps: USGS Humphreys Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to Kachina Loop Trail

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May 2018