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

Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin, AZ

no permit
129 9 0
Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NE
3.7 of 5 by 6
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,567 feet
Elevation Gain 2,430 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 Hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.15
Interest Seasonal Creek
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
2  2018-05-18 Boothroyd
4  2017-06-21
Inner Basin Trail #29
20  2017-06-03
Humphreys via Inner Basin
20  2015-10-24 The_Eagle
20  2014-10-04
Inner Basin Cirque Plus
42  2011-07-24 OZZZ
21  2009-06-09 hippiepunkpirate
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
Expand Map
Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep → 7 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:25pm
1 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Great Alternative!
by hippiepunkpirate

Likely In-Season!
Mid to late spring is the best time for this hike because that's when Snowslide Spring is pouring out the most water! When the spring is flowing well, a small but magical stream flows down the mountainside at 11,000 feet above sea level, and makes for a wonderful spot to relax. The end of this hike definitely has a different feel than the upper portions of the normal route up to the Weatherford. But have no fear, the route still passes through that oh so famous meadow that everyone associates as "THE Inner Basin."

The route to Snowslide Spring is actually on a water maintenance road that allows the City of Flagstaff to access the catch via pickup truck. Pick up a copy of a Humphrey's Peak USGS Topo or check it out on the the Dynamic Map Interface, it shows the maintenance road going right up to the spring!

Hike: I did this hike with my dad on July 9th, 2008. It was a really wet winter with snowstorms into May, so the spring was still flowing marvelously. During a normal year, I wouldn't expect this to be the case in early July. Anyway, the first half of the hike is on the normal Inner Basin route. Park at the trailhead in Lockett Meadow and head up the Inner Basin Trail 2 miles to the fabled "Inner Basin Meadow." This is a magnificent place, and always a good spot to take a breather. In the middle of the meadow at about 9,800 feet is a well pump station, with a maintenance road spurring off just before it, don't turn here. About a quarter mile up the trail PAST the pump station a sign will indicate the official Inner Basin Trail continues straight ahead, this is where you want to turn right. After another quarter mile or so there will be another less obvious junction, make sure to veer left and Snowslide Spring will be straight ahead.

Along this section of trail, make sure to look over your shoulder every once in a while and enjoy the view. It's a narrow canyon your are entering, so the view from Snowslide Spring is a bit obscured by the canyon walls. When I came in July '08, there was so much water that the catch was overflowing and trickling even farther down the canyon. The catch is a good stopping point, but a faint footpath does continue up along the creek that flows into the catch. I followed until the canyon narrowed to the point where snow and water blocked my path. Some other hikers passed by and scrambled up one side of one of the walls, so it is possible to continue farther. My dad has stories from the '80s of camping (illegally) in of the cirques above and bushwhacking down to Snowslide Spring for water, so I know it is possible to get all the way out of the canyon.

On our trip to Snowslide Spring, we saw two other groups of hikers so it definitely gets some traffic. If you've already done the normal route up to the Weatherford, this is a great way to see the Inner Basin in a new light. Spring is the best time to come, with possible spring flow during the monsoon season as well. Autumn is also an option as you still get to see some fall colors, though the spring would probably be almost dry.

Check out the Triplogs.

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

2008-10-01 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
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
My first +10K' hike of the season, and kinda kicked my butt. Thought this would be a good one for the dogs, as it's somewhat "off the beaten path" of the ordinary Inner Basin hike most choose. There was an abundance of elk sign between 9-10K, so if your dogs are animal chasers, might be best to keep them leashed. Was also intrigued by previous trip logs describing bountiful water issuing forth from Snowslide Spring at this time of year. But, alas, the water was barely flowing . . . and not much snow to boot. Makes me think about the possibility of forest closures due to the enhanced fire danger from a historically dry fall/winter/spring.

A good workout hike, views are mostly rocks and trees, but a few decent glimpses of the surrounding landscape, especially on the way down.

Still early, mostly of the tiny ground hugging variety in yellow and white. Aspens are leafing out at lower elevations, but bare above 10K.
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
This was just a glorified dog walk, as I was seeking a little quality time with the pups before I leave for the northern Rockies and I was feeling bad for making them endure the heat in the valley these last few days. The inner basin offered the quickest coolest temps we could reach in my estimate, so that is where we headed and pretty early too, in order to beat the unseasonably warm temperatures at the higher levels as well.

The conditions ended up being pretty good, as we were the beneficiary of some pretty good cloud cover at times. The trails were a little busier than I had thought they would be, but nothing like a weekend. There was not much snow lingering in the inner basin, however, there was some significant water flowing from what appears to be an overflow pipe in the Snowslide Spring drainage and it was creating quite the robust little stream for the pups to play and drink from. After an extended break, it was pretty straightforward hiking out and then a stop at Locket Meadow Tank to cool the pups down one last time.
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Lee and I decided to summit Humphreys from the Inner Basin. I knew there was still plenty of snow, so we both grabbed our microspikes, and I decided to bring my snowshoes along too, thinking that there might be places they would come in handy to prevent postholing.

The aspens are popping and the lower inner basin is alive with the fresh color of spring. The first half mile or so of IB29 has not been cleared of winter deadfall. Once you get to the aspen grove, it's mostly clear sailing above there.

We hit the first snow drifts at 10k, alternating between dry trail and climbing over 5 foot drifts. It wasn't long before it was totally snow covered. There was no level ground, and travel was tiring. I opted for the snowshoes here, while Lee was able to make do with spikes. We almost missed the start of the switchbacks up to Weatherford, and there was no chance of following the route here, so we just made our way up the ridge. Worked out pretty good as we topped out exactly at the sign!

On Weatherford, we were able to stick to the trail for the most part, but it was 100% snow covered and the drifts made for mostly side-hill footing. After Doyle Saddle, the snow thinned a bit and patches of dirt appeared before giving way to a bare hillside to start the traverse. That didnt last long however, and the most harrowing part of our day was crossing the half-mile snowfield in the upper basin that took us over half an hour.

It would have been nice to have an ice axe since a slip here would not have ended well. It's a lot steeper than you realize either from photos or when hiking the traverse on a nicely cut trail, which of course was a few feet below us on this day! Each step was deliberate and dug deep. There was no room for error. A little slip could result in a slide that would be difficult to self-arrest. :scared:

Finally we reached the ridge and dropped down to the saddle and the indescribable filth of humanity. I'm just gonna skip the trip to the summit and back as I don't want to remember it or really ever want to think about it again.

On our return we opted to avoide the treacherous traverse and just ride the snow straight down into the inner basin. Again, we wished we had ice axes as the glissade would have been much easier and less tiring. Nonetheless, we managed okay and somewhere around 11k reached some dry ground and ultimately dropped into the drainage below Snowslide Spring. From there it was a very welcome road walk back to the trailhead.

We did get to see a nice stretch of "roaring" surface water, of which I drank a liter. It's a rare sight to see a nice creek running in the Inner Basin. :)

Humphreys has moved over into my Camelback / Squaw equivalent. The Inner Basin is still a winner, though I may wait for a bit more snow to melt before I attempt a spring run in the future.
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
My son and I have been trying to get our schedules to coincide. It finally worked out Saturday.

He really wanted to go up and photograph Lockett Meadow, even though I told him it'd be past prime.
He said he wanted to photograph Sunrise or Sunset there. Knowing he wouldn't want a 3:15am leave time from the Valley, we got to the TH around 9am and planned to spend the day roaming around the area. We actually got a spot in the front row.

I wanted to visit a canyon/spring that'd been on my list awhile, so we made that our destination with lots of time for photos on the way.

The aspens were at least a week past their prime, but there was still some vibrant pockets hanging around. Sweet views. We started seeing snow at about 9,500'. By the time we got to our spot to turn up the canyon (10,000') the ground was snow covered in all the exposed areas. A mile later and 1000' higher, the snow was calf to knee deep in spots.

We saw water from the spring beginning .2 of a mile away by some sort of a grate structure. There was evidence of an old sign there.
We continued on to the spring itself, which is located at the base of a rocky mound.

Back on down and we had some lunch at a dry spot and then I took him past the Snowtel site. :next: ... SCA3

So, now back on the Inner Basin Trail, after 3pm ish, (ie, less than 2 hours of light) I'm still amazed at the amount of people still going up. People in street shoes and skirts, people with babies in back packs, tourists with cameras, people wrapped in blankets, people on clearly their first hike EVER. Also, for the first time, I passed 3 Elk hunters, in full camo, with their rifles, going up to camp for the night.

We made it back to the truck and drove to find a place in the Meadow for my son to set up for a Sunset. It wasn't going to be what he wanted, but we'd come this far, might as well wait it out and do what he could.

A fun day with my son! He got a bunch of photos. I guess I'll have to see if any are Arizona Highways Magazine worthy. If you happen to get the Arizona Highways Magazine, check out this Month (Oct 2015, Page 5), that his.
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Inner Basin Cirque Plus
I needed a color fix and had not been to Flag in awhile. The Aspens in the Inner Basin (I always want to call it the Inter Basin) should be at their peak and the Inner Basin Trail is a favorite.

Jake's Cirque hike had always held my curiosity and well as checking out some of the spring areas.
A cirque
1) a semicircular or crescent-shaped basin with steep sides and a gently sloping floor formed in mountainous regions by the erosive action of a glacier
2) (from a French word for "arena") is an amphitheatre-like valley head, formed at the head of a valley glacier by erosion. Alternative names for this landform are corrie (from Scottish Gaelic coire meaning a pot or cauldron) and cwm (Welsh for "valley", pronounced coom).

A 6:00 meet at Happy Valley Park and Ride had us to the TH by a bit after 8am and a glorious 44 degrees! Temps never got over 75 on the day... Perfect.

There were some campers and a only handful of day hikers on the trail already.. Good. We were worried that parking may be a problem.

The Inner Basin Trail to the Waterline Trail/Road #146, is just laid out perfect in my eyes. It switchbacks gently affording some spectacular views of the golden goodness. It was slow going on the way in, both in full Tibbermode.

The first side trip was up Beard Canyon, looking for Bear Paw Spring. There is a sign indicating the Spring about a 1/2 mile shy of it's location on the map, complete with a sealed metal container with the City of Flagstaff Logos. I followed the steep rocky canyon up, to try and find the map indicated source. There were remnants of old ceramic pipes going close to the spring area, but I could find no spring.

Next, it was time for the Cirque, so back down to find the old road leading towards the Cirque. Not much of a road but defines the path to the Flagstaff Spring area. After this area, the trail climbs steeply to the Cirque. You top out and breakout of the pines to views of Agassiz and Humphrey! Your reward for the steep climb up.

Another couple of side trips on the way back, and we hit the "Corridor" trails.

There was so many people, I didn't have a clue where they had all found parking spots. I was having fun watching the many different types of people out hiking. Jeans vs brand new straight out of the Columbia Catalogs outfits; Huge backpacks vs no backpacks (or water), dozens of dogs, Cellphone Cameras vs expensive setups; 70 year olds vs crying 2 year olds (thought it was Joe at first). Some hate this type of hiking, I was glad to see so many people enjoying the day. If you get tired of the masses, just walk 100 yds off trail.

There is least a week or so left to view the colors up here... Get out and enjoy

37,000 Steps aprox = 13.4 miles

Video at the Cirque :next:

70-80% of the aspens are in prime color. 5% are past prime, and the rest are a week away from prime.
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
This was a great trail. Awesome views and we ran into a black bear. 8 miles my A** though ... the road is closed 3.5 miles before the trailhead, Even though its hiking up a road, its rather steep and a decent elevation gain and turned this trip into a 14-15 mile round trip hike. 8 from the meadow to the inner basin, then 3.5 miles each way to get to the meadow.

Definately takes a lot out of it but it was still a great hike! I definately would have given it a 4 or better if it wasnt for the road being closed.
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
It was kind of a cold and windy day on the mountain, so I didn't really hang out at the spring as long as I had planned. There was more snow up there than when I came last July, but nothing that prevented me from going as far as I did last year. The flow was pretty substantial, and despite the cold, Snowslide Creek was still marvelous!
Snowslide Spring via Inner Basin
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
My first time to the Inner Basin! Went with my dad. The peaks are old friends of his so we didn't go to Weatherford but up a side road to Snowslide Spring (elevation 11,000 ft). It was a really cool area, and evidently a popular route as we saw to other groups of people at the spring. There were some monsoonal clouds overhead by the time we were leaving but we experienced no rain. Forgot my camera but my dad took some photos so maybe I'll upload them later when I can get a hold of them.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Inner Basin Trailhead
From Flagstaff take US 89 north to Sunset Crater Rd. Do not turn on Sunset Crater Rd. Turn left instead of Right. Turning left will take you on the forest service roads. There will be a sign on your left telling you different destinations and an arrow. Go straight until you reach a 'T'. Turn right (north). This road will turn west. Turn north when you come to a road with a sign that points to Locket Meadow. Follow this road all the way down, 6 miles I think into Locket Meadow. Once in Locket Meadow turn right and keep driving until you see a parking place for hikers. It is by the outhouse. Parking is on the left, the trail is on the right. A gate blocks the entrance for vehicles.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 173 mi - about 2 hours 59 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 278 mi - about 4 hours 27 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 26.9 mi - about 52 mins
page created by hippiepunkpirate on Oct 01 2008 3:16 pm
help comment issue

end of page marker