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Bismarck Lake Trail, AZ

no permit
531 31 0
Guide 31 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NW
3 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 8,590 feet
Elevation Gain 200 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 1.67
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
18  2018-09-06
San Francisco Peaks - AZT #34
10  2017-07-26 Oregon_Hiker
17  2017-02-24
Morning Glory Yurt Bismark Lake
6  2016-06-04 david_allen_3
295  2015-09-05
San Francisco Peaks - AZT #34
4  2015-07-04 paulshikleejr
13  2014-10-02 Alston_Neal
44  2014-08-23 Katzen4
Page 1,  2,  3
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Oct
Sun  6:14am - 6:25pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: Short trail in Hart Prairie that leads to a small, seasonal tank in an expansive meadow. The trail connects to the AZT and many various hiking options are available beyond the lake. This hike is also listed under the "Hart Prairie" hike description

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  • 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 Triplog Reviews
Bismarck Lake Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Nice trail through high elevation meadows and thick pine and fir forests, lots of wildlife due to the abundant (AZ Standard) water in the area. Bismarck Lake for most the year is really a small pond formed by a small spring on the west side of the lake. During years of heavy snowfall or heavy summer rains its conceivable for this small water source to become a very small lake at least by Arizona standards. There is also another small pond about half a mile from the trailhead. Very green hike considering its the driest time of the year with great views of nearly snow capped San Francisco Peaks makes for a great escape from the 115 degrees in Phoenix.
Bismarck Lake Trail
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On the way back to Page from the Rim, I decided to do a scenic drive out to Hart Prairie and Government Prairie. After hours of driving for the day, I decided to stretch my legs. Had a nice little stroll up to the pond, which is nearly dry right now, and just enjoyed a little rare quality time up on my mountain.
Bismarck Lake Trail
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Stopped by the Mountain on the way back from the Canyon for a little hike above Bismarck Lake. No water left in Bismarck right now, maybe the monsoon will change that. Took the AZT north as it climbed down a ridge. At the bottom of the descent, I headed off trail through with the idea of heading uphill to the southwest, hoping to hit some nice aspen groves. Mainly went through a whole lotta downed Doug Firs, which was a bit more work than I intended. Got into some aspens, but not pure groves, so nothing super awesome. There were game trails criss-crossing but it wasn't until I creeped up over the ridge that they actually went the direction I wanted. Popped out on the meadow above "Bill's Rock" so I was back in familiar territory. Took a short break to chug a gatorade and enjoy the view of Humphrey's above. Headed down the meadow past the rock, and dropped down into the little squared-off aspen grove along the AZT. Headed back toward the car via AZT northbound, connected back to Bismarck Trail, and enjoyed further meadow views on the way down. I'm really a sucker for meadow views. Had one of those magic moments at the big meadow near Bismarck when the combination of views, sunlight, temperature, wind, and just being out in nature gave me that surge of happiness. I love when that happens. It was good afternoon hike on the footsteps of the Mountain.

Loco weed, lupine, and hairy fleabane are doing well. Bit of paintbrush too and a few others. Most of the iris are wilting out.
Bismarck Lake Trail
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Was hoping to make it to HAZfest last weekend but the schedule didn't allow for it so we made our trip up to Flagstaff this past weekend.

Arrived at the TH a little after 8 AM when Ryan realized he forgot his pack :o OK, no problem, at least he had his water and lunch, so, hand it over and I will stuff it into my pack; heck what's another 5-6 lbs, let's do this.

We headed out on the Aspen Nature Loop and connected with the AZT, heading for an out and back to FR418. Took a side trip to check out Bismarck Lake which was nothing more than a small puddle. Beautiful area and we were fortunate enough to see 5 deer. Once we got to our destination we had lunch, chatted for a bit about where to have dinner (Salsa Brava) and which brewery to visit (Mother Road, the Mudslide was outstanding!!) and then made for the return hike. There was a little thunder and lighting but nothing more than a sprinkle.

Great hike, but then again, even a not so good hike is a great hike, IMO.
Bismarck Lake Trail
rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
Two day getaway to cool off in Flagstaff area. A pleasant walk through the pines...we continued past the (dry) lake to a dead end at a rocky dropoff. Backtracked to the lake and skirted up to the left, through the weeds and caught the other fork where it hit the Arizona Trail. Saw 4 guys with big packs and a few dogs resting under a tree. They said "187 miles to go".
Bismarck Lake Trail
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I logged into the Arizona Trail website and downloaded the trail description/map and the GPX file for section 34. The write-up talked about a new trail branching off of the Weatherford trail near the Schultz pass and the map confirmed it. The AZT does not follow the Kachina trail.

The Schulz's pass TH was full at 9:25. I loaded the passage34 GPX route in my GPS and took off. I got about a mile in and hadn't seen the new AZT trail. My GPS showed that I was on-track. I hit the Kachina trail and then realized that the AZT GPX file didn't match the corresponding write-up/map. The AZT GPS file must have not have been updated with the new trail; it was using the original route of the Kachine trail. I then figured that I would make a loop of this section. Take the Kachina out to the Aspen trail, go to FR418 and then return on the AZT all the way back.

I had lunch at FR418. It was really peaceful until a troop of 30 teen-age girls and 15 adults came down FR418 and went south on the AZT. I finished lunch and headed back down the trail. The girls must have been training for something because they all had shirts on saying "Training at 7,000 feet"

I made it to the Bismark lake junction. The AZT map showed the trail going by the TH, so I headed to it. I got to the TH and didn't see any AZT signs.
I searched for a bit on the roads and in the woods and then gave-up. It was starting to get late in the afternoon, so I used my GPS to locate the Schultz TH and made a beeline towards it. Bushwhacking in the woods was OK, but then it got a lot easier when I came out in a huge open field. I could see the ski-runs on Humphry's and had visual target. I intersected the Aspen loop trail and headed back on the Kachina trail. As I got near the Schultz pass TH, I was looking for this new AZT section.

About 85 feet from the road, I saw what looked like a spur single-track trail. At first glance I thought that can't be it, but then I saw one of the 2 inch AZT
logo nailed into a tree about 10 feet in. No AZT signs or carbonate posts. No wonder I passed it up in the morning. If the AZT logo didn't reflect back my flashlight, I would have missed coming out.

I saw about a bunch of wild turkeys and a pack of deer throughout the day.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
From Flagstaff drive north on Highway 180. After approximately 9 miles, turn right onto FR151. Turn right on FR 627 after approximately 8 miles on FR151. The Bismark Lake TH is at the end of the road (about 1 mile).
page created by hippiepunkpirate on Apr 26 2011 12:40 pm
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