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

Elden Environmental Study Area, AZ

Guide 24 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  2.7 of 5 
no permit
1 Active
15 24 1
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Multi-Loop 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 7,062 feet
Elevation Gain 100 feet
Accumulated Gain 100 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.5
Interest Historic
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
7  2014-12-10 azbackpackr
8  2011-01-24 Jim_H
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 60
Routes 56
Photos 8,504
Trips 1,852 map ( 11,109 miles )
Age 41 Male Gender
Location Marana, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:31am - 7:35pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 1977 Radio Fire4.8k

Suburban Excursion
by Jim_H

Likely In-Season!
remove free decal offer
The Elden Environmental Study Area is a small collection of trails forming various loops at the base of Mount Elden. Access is found at the end of a culdesac in a neighborhood in east Flagstaff. The area is popular with people walking their dogs and passing through on the Pipeline trail, which runs along the south end. One trail leads to the large crack or canyon, which divides Mount Elden in two. Therefore, you can use the trailhead to access that canyon for a scramble to the summit of Elden.

The Elden Environmental Study Area is a collection of small official trails and social trails that form various loops. Some of these have names like "Forces of nature" or "Walk through time". A map at the trailhead names them and shows where they supposedly go, but time and people have changed the trail pattern and added numerous short connectors. None of the trails are long, and because you are sandwiched between Mount Elden and the Pipeline Trail, you really can not get lost. I used to have a friend who lived over in east Flag and walked his dog out here. The loop he used took about 15 minutes and went for around 1/2 a mile. Your trip will vary depending on the trails you take.

The trails are in good shape and go through a mix of ponderosa pine, juniper, oak, shrubs, and open grassy areas. One interesting area is the Elden Grave. The Elden grave is where the 6-year-old son of the Elden Family was accidentally killed by a mule driver in 1887. The Elden family moved on to California, but they left their name on Mount Elden and a rock-covered grave with a small pipe cross marking it. There is a sign discussing this, and trail signs point the way to it. Another sign points to the origin of the 1977 Radio Fire, which started in this area when local teenage campers had a fire that escaped and burned most of Mount Elden in June of 1977.

The most enjoyable time of year for the area, being that it is Flagstaff, is probably summer, but it can be nice out here year-round. Following heavy snows, this is a decent area for short snowshoe or cross country ski trips, and due to its southern exposure, it melts off fast so it can be dry when other trails are still snow-covered.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2011-01-15 Jim_H
  • 2020 Kachina Peaks Map
    area related
    2020 Kachina Peaks Map
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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Flagstaff, go east on old route 66 to Fanning Dr. Turn left onto Fanning Dr and proceed north to Linda Vista Dr and turn left and drive west for a short distance. Take a right onto N Swiss Rd and when that intersects Matterhorn Dr, turn left and drive to Lugano Way. Turn north onto Lugano and park at the end of the culdesac by the trailhead. The trailhead is found between two properties at the top of the Way. There is a brown sign instructing people not to block the trailhead.
page created by Jim_H on Jan 15 2011 6:05 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
help comment issue

end of page marker