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Inner Basin Trail #29, AZ
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Note: Course of trail changed somewhere around 2010 - 2012. Description below reflects old alignment. Check the official route for your hike.

History: Originally known as Interior Valley and was once noted for its continually flowing springs. A disastrous fire in 1876 destroyed its splendid stand of Engelmann spuce, with the probable result that the springs are now intermittent.

This is Probably one of the prettiest hikes in the Flagstaff Area. It starts in Locket Meadow and ends up in the Inner Basin. This is the only place in Arizona you will be completely surrounded by mountains. It really feels like a 'Little Colorado.'


The Inner Basin is the middle of the crater of San Francisco Mtn, Arizona's only Stratovolcano. Surrounding you is Arizona's 6 highest points, and 4 highest mountains. As you enter the Inner Basin, from right to left you have Rees Peak (11,474 feet), Aubineau Peak(11,878 feet), Humphreys Peak(12,633 feet), Agassiz Peak (12,356 feet), Fremont Peak, (11,969 feet) and Doyle Peak (11,460 feet). Rees Peak and Aubineau peak are not real Peaks, just named high points on Humphreys ridge. This is the only place in Arizona that mountains higher than 11,000 feet completely surround you.

Old Trail: The trail you are on is an old forest service road. Only certain vehicles are allowed up this road. Horses and Bikes are allowed.

The hike in is a steady but easy climb the whole way. Thick forests surround you. The forest is a mix of firtrees and aspens. The ground is covered in ferns and grass. There is not one place you can see where you're going. There are no views until you reach the Inner Basin. If you hike when there is snowmelt, the spring is running, which adds to the beauty. In the fall the aspens are changing colors which makes for a photographers paradise.

New Trail: This is the most beautiful hike through aspen in Arizona for 1.7 miles. Then you merge into the old alignment which is a maintenance road. Even most of the die hard "I won't hike a road" snobs will be taken away by the beautiful scenery. Around 3.95 mi the road fades into a trail. The final 0.3 mi is a steep set of switchbacks up to the Weatherford Trail.

Note: Camping is not allowed in the Inner Basin
Description 219 Triplogs  9 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 
0
0
 Flagstaff NE
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 4.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,700 feet
Elevation Gain 2,369 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,460 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.45
Author MtnGeek
Descriptions 9
Routes 0
Photos 118
Trips 72 map ( 489 miles )
Age 39
Location Denver, CO
Co-Author joebartels
Descriptions 209
Routes 700
Photos 8,988
Trips 3,175 map (16,402 Miles)
Age 46
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
25  2016-08-28
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
chumley
8  2016-08-28
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
lindaagm
18  2016-07-03 azbackpackr
28  2016-06-25
Humphreys via Inner Basin
Widowmaker
15  2016-06-25
Humphreys via Inner Basin
lindaagm
16  2016-06-12 friendofThunderg
82  2016-06-10
Doyle & Fremont Partial Horseshoe
AZHiker456
9  2016-06-02
Humphreys via Inner Basin
joebartels
11  2016-06-02
Humphreys via Inner Basin
JuanJaimeiii
2  2015-11-01 CoryTallman
1  2015-10-31 tynert2
20  2015-10-24
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
The_Eagle
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 12
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Forest Coconino
Wilderness Kachina Peaks
Backpack   Connecting Only
Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 10 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:58am - 6:55pm
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Abineau Peak
0.0  Doyle Peak
0.0  Humphreys via Inner Basin
0.0  Inner Basin Cirque Hike
0.0  Inner Basin to Doyle Peak
0.0  Rees Peak
[ View More! ]
Culture
     Snoozing Home
     Wooden Dwelling
Space
Fauna
     Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly
   Riding's Forester
     Satyr Comma
     Teva
 Unidentified Butterfly
     White-tailed Antelope Squirrel
Space
Flora
     Arizona Thistle
     Bristlecone Pine
     Common Sunflower
     Douglas-Fir
     Engelmann Spruce
     Fleabane
     Golden-Beard Penstemon
 Green gentian
     Orange Agoseris
     Parry's Primrose
     Ponderosa Pine
     Quaking Aspen*
     Richardsons Geranium
     Silverstem Lupine
     Subalpine / Corkbark Fir
     The Sickener
     Unidentified Mushroom or Fungi
     Witches' Butter
     Yellow Columbine
Space
Arizona
by MtnGeek & joebartels

Note: Course of trail changed somewhere around 2010 - 2012. Description below reflects old alignment. Check the official route for your hike.

History: Originally known as Interior Valley and was once noted for its continually flowing springs. A disastrous fire in 1876 destroyed its splendid stand of Engelmann spuce, with the probable result that the springs are now intermittent.

This is Probably one of the prettiest hikes in the Flagstaff Area. It starts in Locket Meadow and ends up in the Inner Basin. This is the only place in Arizona you will be completely surrounded by mountains. It really feels like a 'Little Colorado.'


The Inner Basin is the middle of the crater of San Francisco Mtn, Arizona's only Stratovolcano. Surrounding you is Arizona's 6 highest points, and 4 highest mountains. As you enter the Inner Basin, from right to left you have Rees Peak (11,474 feet), Aubineau Peak(11,878 feet), Humphreys Peak(12,633 feet), Agassiz Peak (12,356 feet), Fremont Peak, (11,969 feet) and Doyle Peak (11,460 feet). Rees Peak and Aubineau peak are not real Peaks, just named high points on Humphreys ridge. This is the only place in Arizona that mountains higher than 11,000 feet completely surround you.

Old Trail: The trail you are on is an old forest service road. Only certain vehicles are allowed up this road. Horses and Bikes are allowed.

The hike in is a steady but easy climb the whole way. Thick forests surround you. The forest is a mix of firtrees and aspens. The ground is covered in ferns and grass. There is not one place you can see where you're going. There are no views until you reach the Inner Basin. If you hike when there is snowmelt, the spring is running, which adds to the beauty. In the fall the aspens are changing colors which makes for a photographers paradise.

New Trail: This is the most beautiful hike through aspen in Arizona for 1.7 miles. Then you merge into the old alignment which is a maintenance road. Even most of the die hard "I won't hike a road" snobs will be taken away by the beautiful scenery. Around 3.95 mi the road fades into a trail. The final 0.3 mi is a steep set of switchbacks up to the Weatherford Trail.

Note: Camping is not allowed in the Inner Basin
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Coconino FS Reports The San Francisco Peaks are actually the remains of an extinct volcano. Millions of years ago this great mountain was shattered by an explosion similar to the one that devastated Washington's Mt. Saint Helens in 1980. Inside the now quiet caldera a lush alpine environment has blurred evidence of that cataclysmic event.

The trail into the heart of the ancient volcano begins in beautiful Lockett Meadow. From this island of emerald ringed with aspens and high peaks it follows a primitive road into the mountain's now quiet Inner Basin and then connects to the Weatherford trail. Here, extensive stands of aspens cover the steep slopes of the old caldera coloring them solid gold in early fall. In spring and summer, wildflowers add a sprinkling of blue, red and yellow. From the basin's rims, avalanche tracks streak down the talus slopes and remnants of old lava flows bear witness to the mountain's cataclysmic heritage.

Snow may remain here even into summer. Cross-country skiers continue to ski as late as June in some years. Hiking is the most popular way of visiting this beautiful and unique environment; however, and hikers begin coming to the basin before the snows have completely melted from the trail.

Animals you may see in this high country include porcupine and elk. Black bears have been known to stroll right through groups of picnickers without so much as a glance at their lunches. The hermit thrush sings his best here. The climb to this high mountain place, where spring comes late and fall arrives early, is moderate but steady, but the reward is worth every bit of the effort.


One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.

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Directions
Map Drive
Road
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Inner Basin Trailhead
From Flagstaff take US 89 north to Sunset Crater Rd. Do not turn on Sunset Crater Rd. Turn left instead of Right. Turning left will take you on the forest service roads. There will be a sign on your left telling you different destinations and an arrow. Go straight until you reach a 'T'. Turn right (north). This road will turn west. Turn north when you come to a road with a sign that points to Locket Meadow. Follow this road all the way down, 6 miles I think into Locket Meadow. Once in Locket Meadow turn right and keep driving until you see a parking place for hikers. It is by the outhouse. Parking is on the left, the trail is on the right. A gate blocks the entrance for vehicles.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 173 mi - about 2 hours 59 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 278 mi - about 4 hours 27 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 26.9 mi - about 52 mins
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
stay out of the scorching sun
prehydrate & stay hydrated
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