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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

McMillan Mesa Trail, AZ

no permit
15 8 0
Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NE
2 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,100 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Avg Time One Way 0.5
Kokopelli Seeds 1.83
Backpack Connecting Only
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
13  2015-09-12
Arizona Trail Day - Flagstaff
1  2015-07-11 trekkin_gecko
19  2015-07-11
McMillan Mesa Loop
4  2011-08-16 hippiepunkpirate
5  2010-01-06 hippiepunkpirate
5  2007-12-23 Randal_Schulhaus
Author Shilo
author avatar Guides 6
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 17 map ( 68 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Flagstaff, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:08am - 6:37pm
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
Overlooking Flagstaff
by Shilo

Likely In-Season!
McMillan Mesa is part of the City of Flagstaff preserve. This trail is part of the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS) and the trailhead is located at Buffalo Park. It's a well maintained trail traveling along the edge of an open grassland mesa with excellent views of the San Francisco Peaks, Mount Elden, and East Flagstaff. An impressive pedestrian bridge has recently been built over Cedar Ave. near the beginning of the trailhead. This bridge symbolizes the City of Flagstaff's focus on enhancing the urban trail systems in and around Flagstaff.

The trailhead is located at the southeast corner of the Buffalo Park trailhead. You'll see a main trail heading east and then quickly forking. Stay to the right (remember, you want to eventually go over the pedestrian bridge). The bridge takes you up and over Cedar Ave., the street you just came in on. Off to the right you'll notice a stockyard of ciders the City uses for coating the roads during periods of snow cover. You'll quickly pass by this and be in pristine, open grass country. You'll be traveling along the eastern edge of the mesa traveling south with nice views over East Flagstaff. Several locations have park benches so that you can take a break and soak in all the beautiful views. This is also an excellent place for wildlife viewing. You'll typically see deer and all kinds of birds.

At 1-mile into the hike, the trail will turn west and then take you north along the western edge of the mesa. The trail will then turn west again and terminate at a cul-de-sac on Hemlock Dr. An interesting side trail is at the southern end of the McMillan Mesa Trail that takes you further south on the mesa to a point where you can further overlook the city. This trail is not marked, but just take the jeep trail at the 1.2-mile point. At this trail junction, you also have excellent views of the San Francisco Peaks and Mount Elden.

This trail gives you a nice quick and easy respite from the city life of Flagstaff. You'll immediately feel your stress leave you as you step onto this trail and proceed.

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2007-03-25 Shilo

    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 Triplog Reviews
    McMillan Mesa Trail
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    McMillan Mesa Loop
    this is your perfect after-dinner hike and since we had both done the Buffalo Park Loop, this was a nice option I found while researching Flagstaff local and easy hikes. After dinner it was actually a bit cool temperature-wise but once we started hiking, all was fine.

    We did get distracted by these gold and rust-colored bunches of Mexican Hat flora not too far into the hike (just past the water tank). This trail, of course, is wide open so you can walk and gawk to your heart's content :DANCE: and in my case film. The bridge is pretty cool as you walk across it. AND there are some great views toward Elden and to the SF Peaks as you hike this loop.

    There are also some off-shoot trails that you can investigate, we didn't. Instead we opted for Cinder Hill, it wasn't as slippery as I thot it might be. The 360 views are sure nice from up there too. After having fun coming down we continued on this nice wide path. We saw a large bird fly over to one of the few trees. Soon you come to the church. It's very pretty and they are doing some sort of addition.

    We thot this was an in and out but if you keep heading to the west to Hemlock Drive, you can veer right and the trail continues. There is also what looks to be a new Pipeline and you will pass by some rather large manhole covers surrounded by Mexican Hat flora right now. You will eventually cross Gemini Road and then arrive at Forest Road where you will hang a left and continue on the sidewalk until the light where you will continue north across Gemini Road again and onto the trail to cross over the Bridge toward Buffalo Park Trailhead.

    And so concluded our busy 1/2 day of hiking in Flagstaff. Now to rest up for Lost Burrito tomorrow.

    And yes, I have lots of video; not sure why I took so much but I did. ... lQXo includes Cinder Hill ... XPR0

    Mexian Hats here and there
    McMillan Mesa Trail
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    After cancelling on Jim for some Sedona climbs due to the "Agave vs. HPP's Knee" incident, I still had an itch to get out an at least shoot some photos. Managed a short stroll on the southern end of the McMillan Mesa Urban Trail. The snow isn't so fresh anymore, so there are foot and ski tracks running everywhere, thus my photos today mostly lack foregrounds. The knee remains sore but better than yesterday, and should be ready for some Morning Glory Spire action soon.
    McMillan Mesa Trail
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    I grew up in Sunnyside, on the eastern skirts of McMillan Mesa. Naturally, I have many fond childhood memories of bike rides and walks with my mom and our golden retriever atop the mesa. It has probably been ten years since I've been on the McMillan Mesa trail, but after nursing a foot injury for two and a half weeks, I needed a short and easy stroll close to home to test out my foot and McMillan Mesa fit the bill.

    Even though it was a cold morning, I parked at the south end of the trail (cul-de-sac at the end of Hemlock St.) to avoid the weekend bustle at Buffalo Park. Within the first quarter mile, I was surprised to see sweet panoramic view of the Peaks, Dry Lake Hills and Mount Elden that I must have taken for granted when I was a kid. Of course, I was kicking myself for forgetting the battery to the camera as some awesome lens-shaped clouds were forming over the mountain. A few minutes later I came across the edge of the mesa with its view of the east side. Then I was reminded of the eyesores on this trail (man-made cinder hills, powerlines, an electrical substation). It is a nice area that I've neglected to go back to, and it's only five minutes from my apartment! It's not strenuous, but it's perfect before a ten hour work day. I'll probably be back next weekend if the mountain provides some morning clouds for sweet photos.
    McMillan Mesa Trail
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    A "Flagstaff Walkabout" today picking up Hannah from NAU for Xmas break. Went east along Route 66 to one of my favourite meadow locations, then on to Lockett Meadow and Inner Basin. Road was blocked off due to winter conditions (really?) and not feeling we had the clothing to make the 3 mile jaunt up the Forest Road decided to move on to Buffalo Park and McMillan Mesa.

    Good news about the Beale Wagon Road Historic Signs reappearing courtesy of the City of Flagstaff

    Finally made our way over to Snowbowl where 100's of people were enjoying the winter activities. Day was topped off with a stunning sunset...
    McMillan Mesa Trail
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    I was with Hannah and Skippy today doing our "History Detective" thing tracing the route of the Beale Wagon Road through Flagstaff and then westward to Government Prairie.

    Followed the route on Switzer Mesa and traveled the modern streets through Flagstaff that have paved over the historic wagon road.

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

    if incorrect tell us about it

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From City Hall, travel north on Humphreys Street. Turn right onto Columbus and then left onto Beaver Street. At the top of the hill you'll turn right onto Forest Ave. Forest Ave. turns into Cedar Ave, so continue for about two miles until you see the pedestrian bridge crossing over Cedar Ave. Just before you come to the bridge, turn left onto Gemini Drive and park at the Buffalo Park parking area.
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