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Snow Flat, AZ
65 14 0 0 official
Description 14 Triplogs  0 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
Difficulty 1    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 0.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,808 feet
Elevation Gain -150 feet
Accumulated Gain 180 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.7
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Perennial Creek
Author Preston Sands
Descriptions 166
Routes 149
Photos 5,490
Trips 1,148 map ( 5,965 miles )
Age 37
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
26  2013-03-18 SkyIslander15
17  2012-07-13 Outdoor Lover
15  2012-07-13
Twilight Spring
15  2012-04-27
Swift Trail (State Hwy 36
Outdoor Lover
10  2010-08-31 SkyIslander15
3  2010-05-31
Big Creek Trail #320A
Preston Sands
12  2009-07-16 Preston Sands
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Forest Coronado
Wilderness Mount Graham Study Area
Backpack - Possible - Not Popular
Seasons - Spring to Autumn
Official Route
Alternative Routes
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Treasure Park from Snow Flat
0.4  High Peak Road #507
0.4  Plain View Peak 10370
0.5  Marijilda Cutoff
0.5  Heliograph Peak from Shannon GC
0.5  Heliograph Peak Loop
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An avalanche of nature's beauty
by Preston Sands

Overview: Why write a description for an easy, half mile hike to nowhere? Because it's beautiful, and if you happen to be camped at Snow Flat in Arizona's Pinaleno Mountains, you might wonder what lies below the flat. A well traveled trail, possibly dating to Snow Flat's days as a Boy Scout camp, leads into the forest below Snow Flat's little lake, and makes for an interesting, albeit brief, exploration.

Hike: From the little concrete spillway on the south side of Snow Flat lake, a distinct trail heads downhill into the coniferous forest, following Snow Flat's creek down a shallow drainage. The path soon beelines through a small meadow, which in summer is filled with the Pinaleno's ubiquitous yellow wildflowers.

As the drainage narrows, leafy skunk cabbage and cow parsnip plants line the trail, which stays close to the trickling creek.

After a quarter mile of lush greenery, the drainage drops off the southern edge of the Pinaleno Mountains, and the little trail comes to an end atop a rocky platform next to the creek. Below, the canyon steepens, and becomes a maze of near vertical rock walls and tangled broadleaf trees. One can see a small wedge of the Sulphur Springs Valley out of the mouth of the canyon. There may be some small waterfalls farther down canyon, but navigating through this rough terrain is not likely worth the effort.

On the return hike, be sure to stay right when the drainage forks, as a little side trail heads up the left drainage as well.
© 2009 - 2015


    Map Drive
    Water lake and creek (purify)
    Sun5:17am - 7:31pm
    Preferred Jul, Aug → Any
    RoadFR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay
    Permit $$

    Directions To hike
    From Safford, Arizona, head south on U.S. Highway 191. Turn west onto State Highway 366 (Swift Trail), and follow it for 20.1 miles to the signed turnoff for Snow Flat. Follow Forest Road #472 (Snow Flat Road) for 0.7 miles to the meadow at Snow Flat. Park anywhere, and head down to the lake, past the "motor travel is restricted to roadways" sign. The trail starts next to the spillway of the lake, and heads downstream. (see hike description)
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
    page created by Preston Sands on Jul 19 2009 4:29 pm
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    Hiking 101
    Warning: heat kills! Avoid 8am to 5pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated.
    Hikebot recommends using an umbrella to block the sun.
    Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.
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