Course of trail changed somewhere around 2010 - 2012. Description below reflects old alignment. Check the official route for your hike.History:
Originally known as Interior Valley and was once noted for its continually flowing springs. A disastrous fire in 1876 destroyed its splendid stand of Engelmann spuce, with the probable result that the springs are now intermittent.
This is Probably one of the prettiest hikes in the Flagstaff Area. It starts in Locket Meadow and ends up in the Inner Basin. This is the only place in Arizona you will be completely surrounded by mountains. It really feels like a 'Little Colorado.'
The Inner Basin is the middle of the crater of San Francisco Mtn, Arizona's only Stratovolcano. Surrounding you is Arizona's 6 highest points, and 4 highest mountains. As you enter the Inner Basin, from right to left you have Rees Peak (11,474 feet), Aubineau Peak(11,878 feet), Humphreys Peak(12,633 feet), Agassiz Peak (12,356 feet), Fremont Peak, (11,969 feet) and Doyle Peak (11,460 feet). Rees Peak and Aubineau peak are not real Peaks, just named high points on Humphreys ridge. This is the only place in Arizona that mountains higher than 11,000 feet completely surround you.
The trail you are on is an old forest service road. Only certain vehicles are allowed up this road. Horses and Bikes are allowed.
The hike in is a steady but easy climb the whole way. Thick forests surround you. The forest is a mix of firtrees and aspens. The ground is covered in ferns and grass. There is not one place you can see where you're going. There are no views until you reach the Inner Basin. If you hike when there is snowmelt, the spring is running, which adds to the beauty. In the fall the aspens are changing colors which makes for a photographers paradise.
This is the most beautiful hike through aspen in Arizona for 1.7 miles. Then you merge into the old alignment which is a maintenance road. Even most of the die hard "I won't hike a road" snobs will be taken away by the beautiful scenery. Around 3.95 mi the road fades into a trail. The final 0.3 mi is a steep set of switchbacks up to the Weatherford Trail.
Camping is not allowed in the Inner Basin