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Abineau Trail #127, AZ

no permit
413 50 4
Guide 50 Triplogs  4 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NW
3.9 of 5 by 23
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,500 feet
Elevation Gain 1,790 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,790 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.32
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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9  2019-08-10
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop
30  2019-06-15
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop
7  2018-05-19
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop
22  2017-10-07
Bear Jaw Rees Abineau loop
7  2017-10-07
Reesy and Abby
5  2017-07-15
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop with some offtrail
7  2017-07-15
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop
9  2017-07-08
San Francisco Peaks Loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,834
Trips 4,261 map ( 21,471 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
11 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Real Forest in Arizona
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
Arizona is a desert. Wait a minute. Actually it's a gift from mother nature! One trip up Abineau Canyon will surely convince a desert dweller. The drive to the trailhead is spectacular in itself. You'll pass stands of Aspen engulfed by fields of bracken fern. There is a great view of the peaks along the way too. Park your vehicle and head on over to the trail signage in the distance. It's another quarter mile of easy hiking to the official trailhead junction for Abineau and Bear Jaw trails. As you can see from the map this could also be a great loop hike. If you're looking for an easier venture take the Bear Jaw Trail.

Okay, now it's on up the Abineau Trail. The lower sections include large stands of Ponderosa pines. Several stands of Aspen are encountered along the way. Carvings in the aspen dating back to the fifties are everywhere. Please refrain from the act. There was slim reason for cattlemen, long ago, to mark these trees. There is no good reason to leave a beautiful tree susceptible to disease and death these days. In the upper reaches you will be hiking next to picturesque Douglas fir. This is a great hike. The air is real and views are beautiful.

Be careful as the footing is loose in the upper reaches. The trail is steep. It's easy to see how an avalanche might roll down this canyon in the winter. Once again the views are excellent. If you've hiked the Humphrey's Trail you expected views like this without reward. Unless you're looking to bag the peak, I recommend this trail.

Ending at the pipeline road I opted to turn around. You can turn east and do the popular loop hike down Bear Jaw Trail. Be cautious of lightning in the upper sections of Aubineau Canyon.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Lightning Kills
Stay off the mountain when thunderstorms are forecasted. July and August are notorious for quick unexpected storms. Lower the risk by being OFF the mountain before 11am on a clear morning. Stay safe, read the NOLS Backcountry Lightning Safety Guidelines.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2000-08-08 joebartels
  • Kachina Peaks Map
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    Kachina Peaks Map

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking 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.

Most recent of 23 deeper Triplog Reviews
Abineau Trail #127
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This loops is a real gem in my opinion. I would honestly put it up there with some of the better hikes in Arizona and in terms of the Kachina Wilderness, its somewhat off the radar reputation and lack of crowds, probably makes it one of the better hiking options on the Peaks as well.

Gorgeous hiking conditions all day and big clouds. I don't know if it is the elevation, but the initial climb always hits me a little on this one, but other than that and the steep descent, you can't beat the trail conditions on this loop. Its a shame that we are in full fire ban mode, before the aspens have even gotten their leaves, but alas I feel this will be the new norm for us in AZ and the entire southwest. But hey let's keep rolling back those environmental regs and ignoring science in the name of corporate interests and profits, no since trying to slow it down, we will all be dead before it matters anyways. It was nice to get a hike knocked out in this area before the first dry lightning strike turns the Peaks and the surrounding forest into matchsticks.

Abineau Trail #127
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Bear Jaw Rees Abineau loop
Matt and I headed up to retry our trip from last year that got interrupted with thunder and snow.

The aspens were a patchwork of perfect and absolutely gone with not much in between. I'd guess that there was a freeze early in the turning cycle and those leaves that had begun were stripped bare in subsequent wind storms. Those that hadn't begun before the freeze were in their prime colors.

The lower portion of Bear Jaw was ok, but once getting above Bear Jaw Canyon and all along the Wateline, it was mostly bare. We headed up to Rees, and I got a reminder of how steep this one gets. The weather was calm and perfect as we dropped down to the saddle to set up camp. A few side trips for evening sunset, moonrise an hour later, and sunrise the next morning completed the photoshoot before packing up camp and heading down via a new route (to me) staying just to the west of the bottom of Rees Canyon. I liked this route!

Once back on the Waterline we headed uphill to Abineau where I checked to see if the Abineau Spring Box was open so I could preemptively answer DA3's near-certain question about it: no.

The top of Abineau always sucks, but the bottom part was the gem. Still plenty of aspen in full color as well as a yellow brick road of litter along the trail. It was nice to see outdoorlover as well, who was on her way up.

On the drive out I took the west loop around the peaks wondering if the colors there had suffered the same freeze, and they had. There were pockets of perfection, but still quite a bit of drab bare trunks. Still one of my favorites, and a great night along the crown!

A freeze and high winds over the past couple of weeks have left a lot of the aspen bare. If they hadn't started their turn before the freeze they were in prime color, especially on the lower Abineau trail.
Abineau Trail #127
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A final hike with the pups and Jackie before I make what is becoming my annual summer exodus from Arizona. A fair amount of hikers out, but nothing overwhelming. The trails in the loop were all in pretty good shape, with only a little deadfall to contend with on Bear Jaw. The highlight of this loop is still the top of Abineau in my opinion, a great little area. We did some further exploring around here and took an extended break to allow the pups to play in the snow. We ran into a guy taking a break in the same area, he recognized the dogs and had been following our hikes for a few years on HAZ, so we chatted it up some there and then again at the trailhead. A good final hike with the pups, I am going to miss them, Montana bound first thing tomorrow morning.
Abineau Trail #127
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Would I do this hike again? Every day? Yes.

This is simply probably my favorite hike that I have done in Arizona. It's close with the Kachina Trail but this trail is a bit more difficult and more sustained climbing.

My trip got off to an inauspicious start as I realized I had forgotten my hat. I haven't hiked without a hat or something on my head in a VERY long time. I was bummed but it turned out OK.

FR 151 and FR 418 are actually pretty good roads. My SUV made it just fine and even I didn't worry... :y:

When I got to the Trailhead it was 37 degrees. When I arrived home it was 97 degrees. Yikes.

Back to the hike... I chose to go up Bear Jaw first and then to descend Abineau. Although I say that I wouldn't have wanted to ascend Abineau, next time I might do it just for the challenge as it is MUCH steeper.

I marveled at the views along the higher parts of the trail and the aspens are not at peak but probably middle peak, maybe. I saw one hunter and there was one other vehicle at the TH which I believe may have been a fellow HAZ'er Preston Mc.

I got back to the TH, took my pants off, switched to shorts and readied for my next adventure about 2 miles down the road...
Abineau Trail #127
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Beautiful day for a hike in Flagstaff! Went up Abineau and down Bear Jaw. Aspens had some color.

Came in from 180, on the northern 151 route. FS151 and 418 are in good shape with just pot holes here and there. FS9123J is rough, but I would say passable in a car, rain ruts in the parking area would be the biggest obstacle, but you can drive in and out without having to cross them.

Aspens were starting to turn yellow.
Abineau Trail #127
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I was going to go to the Parson's Trail with Lily and a friend today. Chumley said something the other night about how hot it would probably be. I can't possibly listen to ALL of Chumley's opinions so I didn't check the weather until last night-- holy crap... its was gonna be hot. Last minute I decided to go check out this loop. Its been on my to-do list for a while. This is a great loop. There were plenty of hikers but no so many that it was not enjoyable. If fact, we started a little late and seemed to be doing to loop the opposite way of most people so we pretty much passed everyone as they were coming down. Everyone was really friendly and Lily met lots of friendly dogs. We got a little nice chilly rain on the way down. This is a great little loop!
Abineau Trail #127
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Abineau and Rees Peaks from Abineau Canyon
For something different and new I opted to try the north side of the Peaks, since I have visited it only once before. I wouldn't recommend my route, but you got to try something, sometimes.

Up Abineau Canyon, hiked a small section of the Waterline RD, then directly up a steep and rocky slope with abundant (ouch!) low hanging branches( without any fruit) to a nice broad ridge that led to peak 11783. Headed briefly towards Humphrey thinking I could tag that, but I was already tired and I guess I am not good off trail at altitude the way I was in the past, so I turned back towards the original plan of Abineau Peak. There were dark clouds over Humphrey and rain showers to the west, so it was fine by me. I had nice views to the north and east, which was what I wanted, anyway.

Over the ridge to grandma's house on Abineau Peak for a nice summit at 11,838 and great views to the north and east. Calm, and mild while there and signing the little peak registry, but cold out flow descended from the west and I layered up to head to Reese. Going down the loose slope towards Reese was a challenge, but after tagging Reese it seemed like cake compared to the horrible landmine strewn slope that I went down. Nearly the same route as Todd in June, except in reverse. Not only was there abundant debris, but I ended up catching on a branch and falling in to a rock slamming my upper tibia into a rock. It hurt, but I managed to stave off death in the wilds of the Peaks before continuing down. At least I didn't fall on the steep rocky slope I ascended!

I took the Waterline Road back to Abineau Canyon as I must have come on to the road just west of the Bear Jaw Trail, which would have been a nice change of scenery and cut some AEG and miles out. I spotted a bear near the bottom. It was so quiet, I heard it snort, and turned back to see it running away.

The knee seemed OK until back in Flag when the swelling set in. Basically, I won't be hitting Bear Mountain today.

I used some existing GPS routes and added in some off trail remotely created tracks. I believe this to be accurate, as I probably cut out some AEG and miles as I had few data points. Not 100% sure, but I think rounding down to 4200' and bumping the miles to 10.5 is close to what I really did.

In some Aspen on the road.
Abineau Trail #127
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After our Red Mountain hike, I dropped Claire off at the Nordic Center for an event she was attending. I decided to head over to check out this loop. I arrived at the trailhead right around 4pm. I was a little concerned about having enough day light for this so I really pushed myself up the Abineau Trail. The going starts out relatively easy but is challenging as the trail gains elevation. This trail keeps climbing and climbing and I hit some snow just below the intersection with the road portion of the hike. This section takes a pounding during the winter.

Once on the road I cruised toward the Bear Jaw portion. I stopped for a quick snack about halfway down the road. From there I hit the Bear Jaw Trail and cruised down and returned to the jeep. It turned out I had plenty of day light to complete this loop. This was a really enjoyable hike with some nice views along the way.
Abineau Trail #127
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My buddy Dan suggested doing this loop out of Flagstaff today, and I was all like OK, let's do it!!! 10 miles or so of varying good/bad dirt jeep road to the trailhead. More cars than I was expecting to see there, but didn't run into all that many people on the trail. According to the trail register, it appeared to be quite a number of parties on the trail today. Dan and I went up Abineau and the down Bear Jaw. Great trail, great scenery!! Rain started to fall just as we were returning to the jeep.

After the hike we stopped in at REI Flagstaff so I could check out their supply of Goretex jackets. As I walked in the front door, one of the lenses dropped out of my glasses, and I had to spend the remainder of my visit with one hand over the lense free eye so that I could see out of the other. I must have been quite the unique customer for the day. Interestingly enough, they only had one Goretex jacket, in my size (L), in stock! What the heck?? Isn't Gore right there in Flagstaff?? Doesn't it rain like every day on the San Francisco Peaks? So, I didn't buy a jacket :(

And! As we drove through Flagstaff, we hit every single red light. And And! We got stuck at the light waiting for not one, but two trains to go by! I swear, it must have taken us 30 minutes to go 4 miles. AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!! Sorry, I was really hungry!
Abineau Trail #127
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Morning hike with Brittain. We were originally supposed to do the loop, but when we got to the top of Abineau, we decided to scramble up the avalanche chute above. We got up to about 11,200' (1000' above the end of Abineau Trail), when we decided we didn't have time to go any farther. The views of the cones to the north are excellent from way up in the chute. Going down was a pain on the loose scree. Wish we would've had more time and an earlier start because I really would've liked to scramble all the way up to the Humphreys summit. Once back down to the trail, we didn't have time to complete the loop so we headed back down Abineau. It was a great hike, but even more so enjoyed great conversation the whole time with my pal Brittain.

Columbine and such down low, Parry's Primrose and such up high. If you want to see the primrose, you have to scramble up the chute above the trail.

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Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Abineau Trailhead
From Flagstaff, head north on SR 180. Follow about twenty miles to the second turnoff for FR151 at mile marker 235.2 FR151 is Hart Prairie Road. This is a great loop to drive in the autumn. You can see aspen leaves turn golden yellow alongside the road. Anyhow back to task, follow FR151 just over a mile and a half. Take a left on FR418. Follow just over three miles to FR9123J. Turn right onto FR9123J and follow just over a half mile to the trailhead. The parking is area is large. There is a small walk to the trail signage, but it's within view. On the drive in I noticed several homes along the way, must be nice!

Misubri writes: From Flagstaff go north on US Highway 180 for approximately 18 miles. Turn right on Forest Rd. 151 (well maintained). Then continue 1.6 miles and turn left on Forest Rd. 418. Drive 3.1 miles to the signed turnoff for Abineau Trail. Turn right and go .3 miles to the trailhead.

You can also reach the trail head by going north on US Highway 89 and instead of turning right into Sunset Crater National Monument, turn left to come to Forest Rd. 418. Then it is about 8 miles to the trailhead.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 174 mi, 3 hours 6 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 279 mi, 4 hours 46 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 26.7 mi, 45 mins
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