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

O'Neill Crater, AZ

50 6 0
Guide 6 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NE
3 of 5 by 2
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,378 feet
Elevation Gain 559 feet
Accumulated Gain 559 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.3
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
9  2015-06-07 sirena
11  2015-02-01 BEEBEE
5  2011-09-11 Jim_H
25  2011-07-03 squatpuke
Author squatpuke
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 3
Photos 1,454
Trips 166 map ( 1,082 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Flagstaff, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Oct, May, Sep, Apr → 8 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:07am - 6:36pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Culture Nearby
Great Place to Explore
by squatpuke

Likely In-Season!
O'Neill Crater (cinder cone) is part of the San Francisco Volcanic Field which covers roughly 4700 square kilometers of Northern Arizona and contains many, many volcanic features including mountains, domes and cinder cones. Famous points of interest in the field include Sunset Crater, Mt. Elden and of course, the San Francisco Peaks.

However, there are a wide variety of small domes and cinder cones in Northern Arizona, all of which are worthy of hiking and exploring (where legal). Nestled outside of a neighborhood in Doney Park, within the Coconino National Forest lies a sweet little cinder cone with lots to explore called O'Neill Crater.

The best place to park and start the hike is at the bottom of a steep/loose and very visible 4x4/Quad trail (N35 15.139/W111 28.237)(see driving directions below). From this point, the trail takes you abruptly UP to a saddle between the two peaks of the cone. The obvious trail turns left and you will see ruin walls just a few feet north of the saddle. The trail going directly left of this first ruin will eventually take you to the top; however, you will pass through many more walled areas/rooms as you climb. The trail to the right of the first ruin will take you into the south-eastern facing cliffs where there are ruins, windbreaks & caves. Eventually, at the end of this second leg, you will climb an easy 10-20 foot cliff section (easy class III) to get to the summit. This latter trail is a bit more difficult and very hard on shoes (solid hiking boots with good soles are highly recommend as the basalt is very sharp and the footing loose). Taking either direction yields many interesting sites and ruins...and the complete lasso is recommended.

At the highpoint on the northern peak, there are 2 easy to find benchmarks.

Pot sherds abound in this area, please follow proper etiquette when exploring and take NOTHING but photographs.. :)

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2011-07-03 squatpuke
    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
    O'Neill Crater
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    Sort of an interesting trail on a crater in Doney. If it were close, I might do it more, otherwise once is enough. I can't understand why anyone would want to live on that crater. Unless is was seasonal only, or for defense, it must have been extremely windy, cold, and a generally unpleasant place to live 800 years ago. Good views, though.
    O'Neill Crater
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    My second time on this crater...only about 5 minutes drive from my house.

    I went exploring down the STEEP south face...many, many potsherds as I sled down the slope to the bottom..where there were even MORE!! In fact, I came across the LARGEST pot sherd I have ever seen sans museum (see photos).

    I stupidly left my water back at the summit since I didn't think I would wander off so far...was pretty dehydrated by the time I climbed all the way back up from the basin. As well, in the 90 minutes I was gone, a monsoon rolled in...barely made it back to my truck. Saw some sick looking lighting strikes not too far away.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Flagstaff, drive east on Hwy 89 towards page. Make a right at Townsend-Winona Road and travel 5.5 miles to Hutton Ranch Rd. Make left and follow the straight dirt road for 1.1 miles, through the neighborhood until the road turns sharply to the right. A few yards beyond the turn, you can see a 4x4 road that goes up half-way up the side of O'Neill Crater. I recommend parking at the bottom of this road.
    page created by squatpuke on Jul 03 2011 3:13 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker