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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.

Weatherford Canyon Loop, AZ

no permit
223 24 2
Guide 24 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NE
4.3 of 5 by 11
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 4.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,024 feet
Elevation Gain 962 feet
Accumulated Gain 993 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.27
Interest Historic
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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15  2018-08-04
Kachina - Weatherford - Humphreys Loop
8  2018-08-04
Kachina - Weatherford - Humphreys Loop
7  2018-07-25 fricknaley
8  2017-09-30
Weatherford Trail #102
21  2014-10-05 winotron
20  2012-10-20
Pumphouse Wash (Upper)
24  2012-08-18
Weatherford Trail #102
9  2012-07-20
Kachina Trail #150
Page 1,  2,  3
Author hippiepunkpirate
author avatar Guides 25
Routes 36
Photos 2,877
Trips 657 map ( 2,276 miles )
Age 33 Male Gender
Location Peoria, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct → Any
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:22pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Weatherford's Little Treat
by hippiepunkpirate

Likely In-Season!
This fantastic lasso loop is formed by a section of the Weatherford Trail combining an unmarked but fairly obvious side-trail that parallels the Weatherford Trail. The side-trail intersects the Weatherford at two different junctions, so it is up to you to decide which way to take. My preference is to take the Weatherford all the way up to the second junction and save the best for the way back down, so that is how I will write the directions for the hike. The first junction is extremely obvious, take that one if you like!

Head up the Weatherford Trail taking special care to enjoy the early diversity of open meadows, plentiful wildflowers, and old growth ponderosa pines. Approximately 3/4 of a mile into the hike you will notice the very obvious first junction spurring to the right with a sign indicating the official Weatherford route is to the left. Veering left you will pass the first grove aspens before you reach the intersection with the Kachina Trail about 1.7 miles in. Be sure to stay on the Weatherford and head up into the second grove of aspens and the lower reaches of Weatherford Canyon. The aspens will close in and thicken up before opening up to a meadow. When you reach the register its time to stop and look for the second junction. Its obvious if you look for it, but not if you have your head down as you fly up the trail. In my opinion, the Weatherford is a top notch trail, but at this second junction starts the most magical section of trail in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. At first fern are overgrown and brushing at your shins while a moderately spread out section of aspens is intermingled with a few gorgeous old growth pines. Aspen Spring is located along this section. A meadow opens up but soon collapses into an incredibly dense yet powerfully majestic grove of Aspens that seems to go on forever. When you finally exit that thicket you will be back to the first junction with the Weatherford, and unfortunately just a short distance to your car. This is a short but incredibly sweet little hike, but you'll want to give yourself some extra time because it's impossible not to stop and little on a log and take in the majesty of lower Weatherford Canyon. This ain't a hike to set speed records on!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-08-26 hippiepunkpirate
  • FR22 Car Camping
    area related
    FR22 Car Camping
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
Weatherford Canyon Loop
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
We didn't want to hang out with the tourist in the Inner Basin, so we went with Weatherford for the obligatory fall colors hike on the peaks. The colors seem to be about a week, or so out, but we still enjoyed them. We turned around at Doyle Saddle after a long break. We started to an empty parking lot and finished to a full lot, with nearly all of the foot traffic coming in the final few miles. The shoulder is getting better, as I was able to wear the shoulder strap on it for the first half of the hike, but it was starting to throb a little by the time we got to Doyle, so I went with one strap for the way down.
Weatherford Canyon Loop
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Really wanted to see some fall color this weekend, and this hike looked like a winner. Wasn't sure if we should go this weekend or wait til next, but I was impatient. My first time here. This is probably one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on. The parking lot was overflowing and we had to park a bit down the road in one of the small pullouts, but the trail didn't feel crowded. After taking the trail down from the 2nd junction we only saw a handful of people. The weather was very nice... sunny and pleasant.

I don't know if this was the peak time to go, but it was definitely close. Most of the older stands of aspens were still green, but all the younger trees had at least some gold to them. Some stands were definitely at their peak. The golden aspen tunnels after heading back down were quite amazing. I could have stayed there all day. My phone's camera just can't quite capture the colors. You're probably gonna be sick of looking at aspens by the end of my photoset...

All the younger aspens were gold. The older stands were still green.
Weatherford Canyon Loop
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Added a bit extra to this trip exploring further down the wash. Saw more fall colors following the wash to the south before heading back and hitting the actual trail in the description. Very interesting area as far as the rock formations at the beginning, and the small cave area. We found an owl hanging out in said cave, and he was nice enough to sit pretty while we snapped as many pics as we can get. It looked like we were about a day late on some of the fall colors, but south in fry canyon was very nice. All and all a great area to explore and I'll be back. Headed up to weatherford loop afterwards for a few more miles on the day. Another beautiful area as well, although we missed out on the aspens there. All the leaves were already down. Had lunch in a nice sunny spot, enjoyed the nice crisp thin air, and soaked it all in... Another perfect day in AZ.
Weatherford Canyon Loop
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
On Friday we hiked the Kachina Trail with a loop into Weatherford Canyon. Great hike. Weatherford Canyon was beautiful. I was hoping see water at Aspen Spring but it was dry. The clouds started to roll over the peak as we were making the trek back and it started to sprinkle with about 2 miles to go. We picked up the pace to try to miss the downpour but missed it by about 5 minutes, having to hike the last .25 miles or so in the rain. By the time we reached the TH, and on the drive out, it was pouring buckets :y:
Weatherford Canyon Loop
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
My dilemma today was whether to head down to Pumphouse Wash or make one last trip up to the Peaks for the aspens. I'm heading to Sedona on Wednesday and Friday, so I figured I better "break up the monotony" and do the mountain. I wanted to hit Kachina but I have work tonight and a paleo exam tomorrow, so figured I better keep it short. Weatherford Canyon did not let me down.

I did the loop clock-wise (as usual). The first large stand of aspens I passed were already bare of leaves. No worry though, I knew there were some yellow aspens around here somewhere! Up at the Kachina Junction, the big stand above the meadow still had some color. Coming up through the dense woods by the wilderness sign, the trail had a nice carpet of leaves. The turn onto the loop section is where the real magic happened: the gusting wind was showering leaves down from the golden canopy above! I guess that's why it's called "Weather"-ford! :sl: The aspen tunnel was bare, but yet another golden carpet awaited. Man, I love Weatherford Canyon. :D
Weatherford Canyon Loop
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
I took my new roommate, Derek, for a nice early morning hike to check out the fall colors. Some of the aspens in the dense sections are near their peak while the taller ones are still green. The morning sunlight was a little tough to work with, but did provide some nice shadows. All in all, it was a sweet hike.
Weatherford Canyon Loop
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Came back for another great hike, this time once again bringing along Blaine, my co-worker and neighbor. The loop seemed even more amazing than yesterday, holding firm with a 5 rating. Forgot the camera but I posted some from this section yesterday so its not a big deal. We hiked a little farther than the second loop split so Blaine could get a look at Elden Lookout. All in all it was a fantastic hike once again. When I have a little more time I'll write the description for this one!
Weatherford Canyon Loop
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Yet another beautiful day for a hike on the San Francisco Peaks. I only hiked maybe 1/3 of its length, but I was VERY impressed with the Weatherford Trail. When I parked my car at Schultz Tank, I was trying to decide between the Little Bear or the Kachina. I flipped a coin and it landed heads, therefore I headed up the Weatherford toward the Kachina Trail. When I reached the junction I looked west and saw the grove of Aspens I passed through few weeks ago. Then I looked north and saw a grove of Aspens I had never set foot in. My sense of adventure kicked in and I continued up the Weatherford. If I had another quart of water and a lunch I would have gone all the way to Doyle Saddle but ended up stopping at about 9,800 feet. In that probably mile and a half after the Kachina junction, the Weatherford is fantastic! Much diversity with old growth pines, Aspen groves, open meadows, views of Mount Elden and beyond plus deep woods similar to Abineau Canyon. I can't wait to hike this to Doyle Saddle so I can feel certain that it rates a 5. But I hadn't even reached the best part! About where the register is, I spied a side trail shooting off down Weatherford Canyon toward Aspen Spring. Cosmic Ray shows Aspen Spring on the Weatherford page of his book, but not this side trail. Turns out this is the "Weatherford Canyon Loop" section of the trail. Also turns out to be the most beautiful stretch of forest on the Peaks! I'm planning on heading back up here tomorrow to find Aspen Spring so I can submit a description for "Weatherford Canyon Loop". I wish I could give it a 7 because it rocks harder than a Rolling Stones concert at a cinder quarry. I suppose I could post this on the loop page, but this set has a few pics from 9,800 feet so it will stay on the Weatherford page.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Schultz Trailhead
Location: 7 miles north of Flagstaff on graveled Forest Roads.

Access: Drive north out of Flagstaff on US 180 to FR 420 (Schultz Pass Road). Drive 6 miles east on FR 420 to the trailhead at a parking lot on the south side of the road.

Road Condition: FR 420 is graveled and suitable for passenger cars except during winter when it is closed because of snowpack.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 158 mi - about 2 hours 35 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 263 mi - about 4 hours 5 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 10.1 mi - about 24 mins
page created by hippiepunkpirate on Aug 25 2008 6:45 pm
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