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Kendrick Peak Trail #22, AZ

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Guide 229 Triplogs  11 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NW
4 of 5 by 70
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,700 feet
Elevation Gain 2,639 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,639 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 22.2
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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10  2019-09-07
Kendrick - Pumpkin - Bull Basin Loop
16  2019-09-07
Kendrick - Pumpkin - Bull Basin Loop
5  2019-08-26 LJW
5  2019-08-24 toddak
3  2019-07-14 chumley
4  2019-06-08 DixieFlyer
14  2019-05-30 LindaAnn
3  2019-03-14 hikeaz
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 12
Author ck_1
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 0
Photos 120
Trips 117 map ( 396 miles )
Age 46 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:26pm
Official Route
11 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
A forested mountain hike
by ck_1

Likely In-Season!
The Kendrick Mountain Wilderness straddles the boarders of the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests. Located within the wilderness is its namesake, Kendrick Mountain. One of the larger volcanoes in the San Francisco Peaks Volcanic Field, Kendrick Mountain reaches a height of 10, 418 feet. Driving north from Flagstaff on 180 Kendrick is the predominant mountain on the left, or west, side of the highway. The telltale sign of a volcano, the two peaks, characterizes it.

The forest itself is comprised of ponderosa pine, aspen, oak, fir, and spruce trees and is home to Mexican spotted owls, mule deer, elk and black bear. My experience in the Kendrick Wilderness has resulted in spotting a hawk, and the ever-elusive cow. There are a lot of cows in the area. If you have any fear of cows, stay way. Seriously, lots of cows. And cow turds. Lots of cow turds. Which my dog seems to like. I didn't like that part too much.

The trailhead has tons of parking and even a few pit toilets. It is also a stop on some kind of car tour, so on nice weekends, there could be a lot of traffic. The trail starts off as an old logging road, and although gentle at first, goes up the whole way. You'll start hiking in a northerly direction and will pass East Newman Hill off to the left. The trail is very wooded, so views of the actual summit are sparse. The trail itself is soft, littered with pinecones. This is a sweet hike! First off, it has a few HUGE switchbacks! These are really long switchbacks... reminded me of Colorado. And although you are always gaining elevation, it's not what I'd call a tough hike. Sure, you're going to gain almost 3000 feet in elevation, but it's entirely a walk up, no scrambling required. The trail is very similar to Humphrey's Peak below the saddle. Eventually, the trail narrows to single track and you enter an area of the forest that is recovering from fire. Pat captured this area so well with the digital that it's currently our desktop wallpaper. The only word I could think of to describe the area was "haunting". You can look at where the trees burned, and see how the fire focused on one side, working it's way up the ridge. It was kind of scary to think of being in the area during the fire, you would have had to choose which side of the ravine to run up, left or right, if you'd guessed the right, you'd have been fine. Had you chosen left, the fire would have caught you. Standing there, thinking about that, made me feel small. The easy to follow trail continues to switchback its way up the mountain. Gradually, the switchbacks become shorter in length and you can feel yourself making progress.

Although all the views were enjoyable, they were primarily of the volcano field to the west. It's not until you reach a saddle of sorts, more of just an open flat area, that you are graced with easterly views of the San Francisco Peaks, most notably, Humphrey's Peak. It is at this same clearing that you come upon the Old Lookout Cabin. This structure was built around 1911-12 and was the lodging for the fire lookout stationed atop Kendrick Mountain. It's quite picturesque, and still functional. The door is secured with a common eye bolt and hook, which, when opened, reveals a tidy cabin containing a spring bed, a spring bunk bed, and some camping supplies inside a small storage chest. I couldn't help but think of how perfect a site the area would be for backpacking. This clearing offers access to another trail, heading back down the mountain, so make sure when continuing on that you remain headed toward the summit, which would be off to the west.

From the clearing, it's a short .3-mile hike to the summit. This section is rocky and steep. In fact, it's the steepest section of the hike. You'll reach the summit and approach the modern fire lookout, which rests atop Kendrick Mountain. Continue to the flat concrete pad just past the lookout. This is really the only area to hang out on the summit; the lookout takes up most of the available space. On the day we summited, we were able to see the smoke form a nearby forest fire, it created a dull haze throughout the area. Although the person manning the lookout was visible, he didn't offer us a tour, and we thought it best not to ask. As it was a Saturday, we figured he had already been bothered enough. The fire lookout on top of Kendrick is unique in that it is the only lookout in Arizona without an access road. (Note: some access roads have been decommissioned) The person working the tower has to follow the same trail we did to get to work. Heck of a commute. Knowing this ahead of time, we contemplated taking along a few beverages and snacks to leave for the lookout worker, however, we weren't sure how that would be received, so we opted against it. I couldn't get over the sense of seclusion one must feel working that fire lookout. Especially considering that you don't even have a truck nearby. I would think it would be quite a different experience than working a lookout you can drive to.

The actual length of the trail is arguable. The forest service says it's 4 miles one-way. AZ2020 claims it's 7 miles round trip. Another source reports 4.6 miles one way. I would say it's closer to 8 miles round trip. I would also call it a moderate hike. It does go up, but it's not a tough up. This is a truly enjoyable hike; just remember to make sure you are prepared for sudden weather changes, and lots of cows. And as always, make sure you...
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2002-10-16 ck_1
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Kaibab FS Details

This is a hike to one of the highest vistas in northern Arizona. From Kendrick's 10,418 foot summit, you can see the Grand Canyon to the north and Oak Creek Canyon to the south. In addition to the impressive scenery, it's a good place to see wildlife, especially elk and mule deer. The trail starts in the ponderosa pines and climbs into the mixed conifer forests of Douglas fir, white fir, Engelmann spruce and corkbark fir within the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness. Note that there are no reliable springs along the trail and no water at the top of the mountain.

Just below the mountain's summit, you'll see an old cabin. This is the old lookout cabin, built in the early 1900s and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Trail Layout: After about 1/2 mile of trail, this route up Kendrick Mountain follows an old fire road for about one mile. From this point the trail becomes a foot path again and is well marked and gently sloped. Almost all of the trail is within the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness.

Length: 4 miles

Hiking Time: About 5 to 6 hours round trip.

Rating: Moderate

Trailhead Location: Trailhead at 7700 feet. An accessible vault toilet is available here. Trail starts at the parking area along FR 190.

Recommended Season: Late spring to early fall.

Use Restrictions: No motorized vehicles or mountain bikes. Hiking and horseback riding only.

USGS Map(s): Moritz Ridge-Kendrick

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 of 39 deeper Triplog Reviews
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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Kendrick - Pumpkin - Bull Basin Loop
The drive in was slowed by the Barnburner MTB race going the opposite direction than we were going. I was yelled at a few times for my 3mph pace for kicking up dust. The bikes were kicking up more dust than I was. There was easily 300 bikes that passed us.

This loop was a summer staple for us. The last time though in 2018, it was a total cluster of downed tree on the Bull Basin Trail. Knowing they would never put out the manpower to clear the more than 300 downed trees, I'd written this one off for any future attempts.

Flash forward a year. Going CW around this loop.

Kendrick Peak Trail is still one of the best tracks in the state.

Pumpkin Trail is showing the effects of past fires, but is flagged for what appears to be future work.
We saw more than 5 friendly groups on this trail. The most people I've ever seen on it.
Big views for this trail!

Connector Trail This trail is best followed with a GPS Track. It is flagged, but most of the flags are shorter the the grass.
This is usually the hottest part of this loop being totally exposed.

Bull Basin Trail This trail from the Connector Trail to the top was a minefield of fallen trees last year. Recent August triplogs from @toddak and @LJW gave us hope. Holy crap have the ACE crew been busy. We did not see them on this day, but the cuts on trees were very recent, tools were still out there, so they are still busy at work on this. I'm guessing they are about 85% done with this trail. The worse part, as of this triplog, is the torched section just NW of the cabin.

Jupiter – reigns supreme in the September 2019 night sky. That’s because Venus is sitting close to the glare of sunset all month, leaving dazzling Jupiter to rule the night. Jupiter pops out at dusk – brighter than any star – and stays out until late night. Not sure which one is Jupiter? See the moon in Jupiter’s vicinity for several days, centered on or near September 5. Or just look along the path the sun travels during the day – the ecliptic – for the brightest starlike object you can see. That’ll be Jupiter.
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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Kendrick - Pumpkin - Bull Basin Loop
Passed hundreds of mtn bikes after turning off SR180. Apparently the Barn Burner Race was in full swing!

Not many vee-hicles(ode to rizzo) at Kendrick Trailhead, maybe a dozen. Interestingly we passed and helloed more heading up than ever. Hikers, newbies, dog walkers, a large group with a good mix of ages and personalities, plus five runners including the famous lacey___jo and Rachel!

After several CCW loops Suburuce wanted more elevation early on so we summited then went CW down Pumpkin. We continued to pass more than anticipated. All seemed to be doing an out-n-back or a midway-up-n-back. One guy mentioned Sheepherders Cabin. I wasn't paying enough attention if he was referring to the summit saddle cabin. At any rate, that term caught my attention.

Bruce wanted to lunch further in than usual as he recalled a nice group of trees we breaked at with Karl last year. It sort of worked out as he described. Except we passed the area he pointed out along the way. Nevertheless he picked a seemingly decent spot. Neither of us found a comfy seat. It was good to rest regardless. At one point I had a dozen large ants crawling on me. Exhausted from previous whining, I sucked it up. Figured if gummo purposely picks up scary looking bugs I could survive ants. Only three bites, all when I was flicking 'em off.

We did not see anyone along the connector trail. Flags were faded, still helped navigate. Two washed out areas had dicing footing. Glad to be going CW since I have better balance to catch a fall on my right. Noted a little bit of foxtail. Not dry enough for pure hell. Prickly plants loaded my socks with scratchies. Nothing remotely irritating like foxtails.

Heading up Bull Basin Trail was a dream compared to last year. ACE teams have worked miracles on a majority of the trail. Notably 90% of the worst log jams. A few good sized jams still need to be tackled. With lots of traffic having passed through now the easiest route over is easy to decipher.

Fun Facts - Venus is always brighter than all other planets or stars (except the Sun) as seen from Earth.
This brings joy to my little shriveled up black heart. A vicious doubter argued like a hungry wolf. In the end I got lucky...

Good hike, Kendrick always delivers.
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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Back for another counter-clockwise loop. Two years since the 2017 Boundary Fire devastated areas of the mountain, and new vegetation is thriving in the burn zones as nature does her thing to soften the scars and begin the recovery.

On the way down Bull Basin I met a crew of 9 Conservation Corps workers doing a beautiful job grooming and refreshing the trail, and they said that a crosscut crew will be coming through soon to take care of the numerous downed trees :y:. The full length of the Connector has been flagged, hopefully that means it is also scheduled for maintenance. Upper Pumpkin also had some flagged sections. So awesome that these trails aren't going to be abandoned!
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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Kendrick Bull Pumpkin
Because of all of the closures, this was the most cars I've seen at the Kendrick TH. Luckily, this did not equate to jammed trails, as there is plenty of room out there.

Kendrick Peak Trail #22 is a jem. Great shape, nice gain and great views. Only slightly noticeable fire damage.

The Bull Basin Trail #40 took the brunt of the fire damage from the last couple of fires up there. Starting from right behind the cabin at the saddle, some places look like a moonscape. There is one 200 yard section up top, through the non-existent Bull Spring, that a GPS is you main means of finding the trail. Even with this devastation, you can't beat some of the views up top. This trail is really needed to make this wonderful loop happen. I'm guessing we went up, under and/or around, 200 or so trees on the length of this trail getting to the Connector Trail. With all the trees down, I find it unlikely the FS would bring in hand saws to clear this wilderness trail. I for one, would not mind giving the FS special dispensation to use chainsaws in cases like this. I know the purists will yell at me for this, but I can't ask FS workers to do what what I wouldn't/couldn't do.

The lower sections of Bull Basin Trail and the Connector Trail #80, are wide open and exposed. It provides an eerily picturesque landscape.

Having accidentally drained my backpack's bladder at lunch and not feeling the best, I split from Joe and Karl at the Connector/Pumpkin intersection, They went up and I went downhill on the Pumpkin Trail #39. This is the first time I'd been on this portion of the trail. It's actually quite nice and just as steep as the upper portion. I always thought this trail got it's name from the steepness of it. I was wrong [ photo ] .

Taking some FR's back, I met Joe, then Karl back at the TH. An enjoyable day.

Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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Kendrick - Bull Basin - Pumpkin Loop
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
Still one of the easiest ascending treads in AZ. Fire damage is notable if you concentrate on it. On route to the trailhead and on this trail most of the burned trees still had green crowns. Expected worse, plenty of untorched forest remains.

Bull Basin Trail #40
Perhaps a hundred plus trees to crawl over. It's tidy mess. Travel is just slow and tedious not horrible as other burn areas I've been through in other areas. Personally I would descend it again. Forget ascending until serious trail maintenance.

Connector Trail #80
Albeit semi moonscape in areas this trail gets a bump up from 2 to 3 for myself. Views are easier to appreciate now that the prickly shrub is all gone. Route finding still demands your attention in areas. Enough pine covered islands/stretches to enjoy a lunch break.

Pumpkin Trail #39
Aside from a little more route finding in the mid-lower section, same tree cover and tread as years past.

Busier than ever with lots of nearby areas closed due to dry conditions. Piestewa Peak is still busier in 100+ temps... Humphreys if open would have five times the visitors so enough with the I don't have the most popular part of the wilderness all to myself in prime season sniffle syndrome.

Light for most of the loop. Lower mountain ridges of the Pumkin Trail are a blanket of lupine.
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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I had never done this hike, and I figured that heading up to Flagstaff was a good excuse to get out of the heat of the VOS, so Tracie, my intrepid hiking partner, and I headed north.

The trail is an incline of about 600' per mile all the way to the top. However, it was an easy trail to hike since it was mostly smooth dirt and there are lots of switchbacks. After dealing with lots of deadfall last week on the West Baldy Trail and the Escudilla National Trail, it was nice to hike without having to go over, under, or around fallen trees.

As for wildlife, we saw 3 antelope while driving on the gravel roads to the trailhead, and we saw 2 elk on the first portion of the hike.

The fire tower atop Kendrick Peak was unmanned, which I found a bit surprising given the extremely dry conditions in the area.

There were some nice views along the way and at the top, and there were some pockets of snow to be seen on Humphreys Peak.
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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I've wanted to snowshoe the Kendrick trail for a couple of years now, but it offers a few challenges. First, Coconino NF closes the roads that access the trailhead in winter. Second, the trail is south-facing, which means that unless it's very cold or cloudy, the snow has a very limited life of quality conditions. And of course, the snow pack itself is questionable due to the southern exposure because it melts from the ground up and the top down simultaneously.

So basically this is best attempted after a good storm in December or January when it's coldest, in a year that has dumped a lot of snow, while somehow figuring out how to get to the trailhead. Yeah. Long odds.

And today didn't meet the criteria either! :sweat: But I knew it had snowed on the mountain, and the snow level was high enough that getting to the trailhead was possible. Surprisingly however, nobody else there! :lol:

It took me a bit longer than expected on the climb to reach good snow pack, but the lower sections were pleasant to hike as well. There was a single set of footprints from after the last storm but before this one. I'd guess another Norwegian. :)

I was happy to have brought my rain jacket as the fresh snow was melting off the trees on the way up and I would have been soaked. That didn't last too long though and most of the day featured pretty good snow showers. I was hoping for the clouds to break and get dramatic, but the peak stayed socked in and I never got any distant views.

There are signs of fire on the peak, but it's sporadic. Plenty of trees alive and standing, but also fewer than before. There's a short section of burn near the top of the switchbacks that wasn't there before.

The fallen tree has been removed from the cabin, but it's locked closed now. Looking inside, it appears to have been rigged to withstand winter snowfall. I hope more permanent repairs occur this summer.

Things look good enough to maintain favorite backpacking destination status. :y:
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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I had to go check out the damage caused by the Boundary Fire in June on Kendrick Mountain, home to one of my very favorite loop hikes. I went counter clockwise from the Kendrick trail head, with side out-and-backs to the Bull Basin and Pumpkin trail heads.

Heading up Kendrick Trail it looks like there's a few fresh burn areas in the lower and middle sections, but this area has burned before so its hard to be sure. As you approach the Lookout Cabin saddle there's clearly some recent burn areas along the ridge.

Continuing past the Lookout Cabin and heading down Bull Basin Trail, you soon reach an area of utter devastation. What used to be some of the most mature pines on the mountain have been reduced to charred matchsticks, many of them on the ground. The trail is non-existent, and even the soil looks like it has been sterilized by the heat. At one point I just stood there and cried. Fortunately the worst damage extends only a few hundred yards, and then the trail continues down through stands of young aspen that survived. There are dozens of old downed trees across the trail among the aspens. Further down and on towards Bull Basin trail head is now a patchwork of mostly low-intensity burn zones among surviving forest.

The Connector Trail was never in very good condition before the fire, and its worse now with lots of erosion from post-fire monsoon rains. Lupine and a few other plants look like they're thriving in the ash-enriched soil, and they are overgrowing the trail in places. Still, there's lots of cairns to help keep on track.

The first mile of the Pumpkin Trail is now among mostly burned pines, all they way up to the ridge. Up higher the trail goes through a large stand of young aspens that did not survive. Further up used to be a beautiful mix of thick pine, aspen and grassy meadows as you climb to the summit. It is now a patchwork of around 50/50 burned/untouched.

In terms of the trails themselves, Kendrick had no significant fire damage, and some work has recently been done clearing downed trees on upper Pumpkin, so apparently those will be maintained. I can't imagine anyone investing any money trying to clear and restore the Bull Basin or Connector trails.

So overall a pretty depressing day. It seems that the few areas that survived the 2000 Pumpkin Fire have now been mostly lost. But fire is a part of wilderness, and I will keep coming back and watching how the mountain slowly but surely recovers.

Nice to meet HAZ member mt98dew doing the same loop in the opposite direction. He passed me on the climb up Kendrick, we crossed paths at the Pumpkin/Connector junction, and we met again going back down Kendrick and hiked the last couple miles together. I'm pretty sure that qualifies him as a hiking partner.
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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Headed back up to Flagstaff. We planned on hiking to the summit a couple weeks ago but Lily's been sick so we didn't make it all the way up. We headed back this morning since she's on the mend. The lot was only about half full when we got there. We passed about 5 or 6 groups on the way up and made really good time. There were quite a few people and dogs lounging on the summit when we made it up. Everyone was pretty friendly and laying around on the helipad. I ran into an acquaintance up there who had lugged a 50 pound bag up as training for a big trip soon. She had carried 60 pounds up Wrightson the week before! My training for the Tetons this summer has been much less impressive. It was a beautiful day and it felt like it had been a while since I'd been on a summit.
Kendrick Peak Trail #22
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Hazy and very windy day, but worth it for the acclimation and quiet forest hiking. The old cabin at the saddle had a tree fall on it over the winter; smashed the roof and cracked the beams, but still intact. There was a large brown and white rat on said beams nursing four pups and keeping an eye on me. Saw what must be an old volcanic dyke at one of the switchbacks. No one home at the lookout tower, where winds were fierce. The only logbook to be found was at the historic rat-cabin. Took a detour across much deadfall to the east shoulder for a wind-less view of Hump during lunch.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike

Access: From Williams, take I-40 east to the Parks Exit (#178). Turn left back across the overpass, turn left at the "T" intersection, then turn right onto FR 141 and continue north for about 8 miles; continue north on FR 194 for about 4.5 miles to FR 171. Turn right onto FR 171 and go 2 miles to FR 190; turn left onto FR 190 and go 1 mile to the parking area.

ck1: Drive about 14 miles north of Flagstaff on 180 to milepost 230. Forest Road 245 is off to the left. Follow it 3 miles to Forest Road 171. Hang a right and go another 3 miles to the turnoff for the trailhead. The roads are signed well and accessible for cars.

From Flagstaff, take Hwy 180 North to FR 193, about 10 miles north of the turnoff to the Arizona Snow Bowl; turn left on FR 193 and continue to FR 171. Turn right on FR 171 and go 2 miles to FR 190; turn right on FR 190 and go 1 mile to the parking area.

Travel Time: About 1 hour from Williams to the trailhead.

Road Condition: Paved road and all-weather gravelled road suitable for passenger cars.

Directions by Unvamp:
From Flagstaff take US180 towards the Grand Canyon. Turn left on FR145. Follow it back to FS171 and take a right. From 171 turn right on 171a and that road will lead you to the Kendrick Trail. Stay on 171 and you will get to the Pumpkin trail.

The other way:
From Flagstaff take I-40 west to exit 185 at Bellemont. Drive west along the north service road to FS 171. Turn right and follow FS 171, 11 miles (viatierra writes: maybe 2 miles and can't be missed) to 171A. Turn right on 171A and follow the road to the trailhead.
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