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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.

High School Hill Trail, AZ

no permit
32 8 0
Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Williams
3 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.81 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,968 feet
Elevation Gain 748 feet
Accumulated Gain 873 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.72
Interest Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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11  2018-08-19
Williams City Loop
2  2016-08-03 azbackpackr
3  2016-06-07 azbackpackr
3  2015-08-20 azbackpackr
6  2015-05-31 azbackpackr
10  2015-05-06 azbackpackr
8  2014-05-27
High School Hill
Author azbackpackr
author avatar Guides 26
Routes 365
Photos 4,732
Trips 720 map ( 5,214 miles )
Age 66 Female Gender
Location Flag-summer-Needles-winter
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, May, Apr, Sep → Any
Seasons   Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:34pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Better than sitting in class
by azbackpackr

Likely In-Season!
This is a nice trail that goes to an overlook and a campsite near the summit of High School Hill. Then there is a short bushwhack to the top of the hill. If you don't want to bushwhack it is still a rewarding short hike with great views from the overlook, both to the east and to the north. To the north you can see the North Rim of Grand Canyon if you know where to look. To the east you can see the San Francisco Peaks, with a lot of territory in between.

The trail tread is pretty good, occasionally rocky. The vegetation is mostly Ponderosa Pine, Gambel Oak, with some Pinyon Pine and Utah Juniper.

Once you have seen the overlook you may want to bushwhack up to the summit. Use the GPS route provided, or a map and compass. Or just keep going uphill. Just make sure you remember which way you went up! The view from the peak is mostly to the west, south and northwest. You can see Bill Williams Mountain right across the valley.

It has been a tradition in Williams for high school kids to hike the mountain. The campsite near the summit is large, with a big fire ring.

To find the trail:
Park at the south end of 2nd Street in Williams. This is also Grand Canyon Avenue, Exit 163 off I-40. Heading south, its name changes to 2nd Street once it passes through the tourist areas of town. It dead-ends after driving up a steep hill in a residential area. There's a dirt berm at the turnaround point. Make your way up the berm (to the right of a private property sign, but not within the private property) and to the right of a huge pile of rocks someone dumped there. You'll see the power line going straight up the hill. To find the trail start looking to your right as you head toward the power line easement. You'll see the trail contouring off to the right (south). Follow it up less than two miles to the first overlook. To reach the summit you'll have to bushwhack to the south. (See GPS route.)

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2015-05-06 azbackpackr

    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
    High School Hill Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Second hike of the day. Didn't take my camera. Took a couple of photos with my cell phone, but they're not that great. Will post anyway. Very muggy and warm, very cloudy, thunder in the distance. Trail is kind of muddy but very easy to avoid mud due to it being very rocky as well. There were a lot of big puddles. It really rained hard this morning. Lots of asters and red penstemon (scarlet bugler).

    Penstemon and asters.
    High School Hill Trail
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    Early mornings are the best time to hike, in my book. I started at 6 a.m. and finished at 7:45, then did a whole lot of other things the rest of the day. A gorgeous morning. I generally don't go to the summit of this but to a good overlook where you can see to the east, across Davenport Lake area (no lake) and the Peaks.
    High School Hill Trail
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    Hiked only the trail to the overlook this time. (The last little bit to the summit is off-trail, and I didn't want to bother with it.) This was an after-work hike. I'd guess I can hike this after work until the days become too short.

    The view from the overlook is gorgeous, looking east toward the snowy Peaks. Everything is getting so green due to our rainy May. There are a few flowers, mostly Indian Paintbrush, a few lupines and yellow composites.
    High School Hill Trail
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    Last year I'd bushwhacked to the top of High School Hill and had seen a trail when I got up almost to the top. Today I found where the trail starts. It's at the end of 2nd Street in Williams, where I hiked yesterday. But yesterday I didn't see the trail. It's kind of in a jumble of old roads and a big pile of rocks at the beginning. You have to bear off to the right once you have started up the berm at the end of 2nd Street.

    It's a proper trail, not an old road. I guess it is used a lot by locals but I think originally it was built for the high school kids. The trail doesn't lead to HS Hill's summit, but almost. It leads to a nice overlook to the east, and a campsite with a fire ring and logs. You have to bushwhack the rest of the way to the top of HS Hill. Nice views!

    This is likely going to be a regular hike for me. It's the closest trail to where I'm living. And it's not gloomy and dark like the Bill Williams Mtn. trail. (I do like the Benham Trail, however.)

    Indian Paintbrush, lupine.
    High School Hill Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    2nd Street Trail
    I thought I'd take a neighborhood hike, in between the rain showers. I turned around when it started drizzling again since I hadn't come very prepared for it. (Also it's the last week of the semester, so I have writing projects due.) Anyway, I'd heard about this trailhead from my nurse practitioner. It's at the south end of 2nd Street in Williams (which is Grand Canyon Avenue at its north end.) You drive way up a hill to the end of it and park, and just start hiking. There is a network of abandoned subdivision roads.

    Edit: The next day I discovered an actual trail from this trailhead, the High School Hill Trail.
    High School Hill Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    High School Hill
    First more-or-less "real" hike I've done in some time, since having to deal with foot problems. This hill has a nice view of Bill Williams Mountain, and a Christian Disneyland-like camp in Lost Valley, and a lot of the San Francisco Volcanic Field, and some of Williams, etc.

    When I had almost reached the summit, relying on my GPS, I ran across a trail. I don't know where it starts, but maybe off 4th Street (Perkinsville Road). Or maybe it starts at that camp. It did have some footprints on it, so I guess other people climb this hill from time to time. After all, it is called High School Hill, so maybe there is a tradition of climbing it.

    Forest seems dry, but not "scary dry."

    Edit: One year later. I found where the trail starts! See linked description and triplog posted 5/6/15.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Flagstaff, Arizona, take I-40 west to Williams, taking the Grand Canyon Avenue exit #163. Head south on Grand Canyon Avenue, passing the Grand Canyon Railway and the touristy downtown area of Williams. Grand Canyon Avenue eventually becomes 2nd Street. Continue south on 2nd Street until it dead ends. There is no sign for the trail. See written directions.
    page created by azbackpackr on May 06 2015 8:40 pm
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