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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.

Oldham Trail #1, AZ

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Guide 46 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NE
Rated
2.8
2.8 of 5 by 16
 
3
Statistics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance One Way 5.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,000 feet
Elevation Gain 1,749 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,113 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.34
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9  2018-09-29
Elden - Oldham - Sunset Loop
The_Eagle
9  2018-09-29
Elden - Oldham - Sunset Loop
joebartels
10  2017-08-19
Dry Lake Hills Loop
The_Eagle
6  2017-08-19
Dry Lake Hills Loop
joebartels
2  2017-04-01
Elder Canyon
MountainMatt
10  2016-09-24
Mount Elden - Dry Lake Hills Loop
joebartels
14  2016-09-24
Mount Elden - Dry Lake Hills Loop
The_Eagle
8  2015-10-03
Elden Super Loop
chumley
Page 1,  2,  3
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Sep, May, Jun, Aug → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:31pm
Official Route
 
16 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!
Oldham Trail begins in Buffalo Park, Flagstaff's urban forest park, and climbs gradually up the south slope of Mt. Elden, an extinct volcano. The trail gets its name from Oldham Park, an open area near Elden's summit. From that high perspective you'll get a bird's eye view of Flagstaff and the surrounding area including mountains, deserts, and canyons as much as a hundred miles away. Some prominent features that are easily visible are Oak Creek Canyon, Sunset Crater, and the Painted Desert.


Along the lower reaches of the trail, you'll encounter boulder fields and cliffs where there are hidden crevices to explore and rocky nooks that make great places to picnic. As you climb higher, the trail takes you from a ponderosa pine forest into groves of aspen and mixed conifer stands of spruce, fir and pine.

In Oldham Park you'll see evidence of a catastrophic burn that occurred in 1977. Although the area affected by this huge wildfire still looks barren from Flagstaff, up close you can see how nature is healing from this man-made disaster.

Near Elden Summit, Oldham Trail joins the Sunset Trail which leads north across the top of Elden to Schultz Pass and south to the Elden Lookout Trail and east Flagstaff.



Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2008-06-11 HAZ_Hikebot
  • Kachina Peaks Map
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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 of 21 deeper Triplog Reviews
Oldham Trail #1
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Dry Lake Hills Loop
This typically easy for me hike was among my most difficult, in the end it was among the most rewarding.

2.9 mi on Rocky Ridge Trail #153
Appropriately named compared to other tails in the area. I'd imagine some mountain bikers enjoy the course as the rocks have a firm hold making it more fun than irritating.

left 0.25 mi on Oldham Trail #1

left 3.5 mi on Brookbank Trail #2
Immediately climbs up into the Dry Lake Hills. The only good ascent picking up 700 ft in 1.25 mi. Lots of courteous mountain bikers passed by announcing their presence and the number remaining in their group.

right 0.35 mi on Sunset Trail #23 - Flagstaff
Pines thinned for this short 200 ft descent. Passed several runners throughout the day. Two chicks at the top of this trail got our attention minutes after passing. We realized how impressive their pace was considering they just topped out a 200 ft ascent.

left 3.55 mi for the entire Little Bear Trail #112
Dense pines returned. Then they thin before what looks like a monster descent. Views of NE Flagstaff are scenic, especially now with fields of yellow wildflowers.

I deemed this trail the "find" of the day 1.55 mi in, the next 3 miles slapped back hard. The monster descent joke was on us. This trail drops 1,118 feet in the subtle fashion. There was no quick drop. The grade is steady throughout. Most will enjoy, the dragged out switchbacks were just wearing on me.

Anyone that has hiked with me knows I can whine like no other. This slow down grade just wasn't pumping blood thus amplifying every ache along with lack of sleep. B & D absorbed more of my nonsense than any human should fall victim.

left 4.9 mi on Little Elden Trail #69
Bruce thought this would be a 500 ft ascent to Schultz Tank. It turned out to be a ridiculously subtle 350 ft. In all fairness these trails are designed for mountain bikers and ascending period was better than slow descending.

I mentioned earlier our friendly mountain bikers would give way to afternoon riders. Less announced their approach, none notified group number remaining and their speed was blazing at times. No issues, we're friendly aware hikers. Just pointing out morning nets better results in my experiences when hiking popular mountain bike areas.

continue 4.2 mi / -920 ft for the entire Schultz Creek Trail #152
This is a cool trail weaving next to the dry creek and nearby road. Pines provide shade throughout.

Synopsis
Bruce knew I needed an easy course. As much as it dragged out and amplified various pains the net result was monumental. After the hike my left fist which had been clenching for months is now sometimes at ease. I can move my fingers outward for the first time. Albeit ever so slow, this new hope is a lot to take in. Huge thanks to B & D for putting up with the world's biggest baby. They monitor me, the footing, among other tasks helping me sit, stand and the constant struggle with my pack.

One improvement on hydration was a success. I have an idea that should put pack stress to rest and we believe a little change in nutrition will make it easier too.

Wildflowers
Substantial in areas with an excellent variety. Extreme fields of yellow looking down at NE Flagstaff.
Oldham Trail #1
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Dry Lake Hills Loop
Up to the High country to enjoy the Temps.
53 degrees to start, mid 70's most of the day, hitting the low 80's in the exposed sections

Along the Rocky Ridge #153 trail there has been a lot of thinning going on. This trail roller coasters up to the Lower Oldham Trail, that we were on for just a stones throw.

Brookbank #2 climbs to the NW, affording good views of Mt Elden. Once you get up around peak 8747, the views open up to "The Peaks". On the Sunset #23 Trail for a snippet of time, we made our way over to the Little Bear #112.

This was my first time on Little Bear #112 and it had some big pluses and minuses. It goes through the old burn area, so you loose the trees. For me at the top, this was actually a plus. The views are huge as the trail follows on the side of the mountain. There of signs of reforestation, with scads of cone protected, 18" tall pine saplings planted everywhere. This trail drops almost 900', taking more than 3.5 miles, through exhausting switchbacks. I say exhausting, because the JBM was in full force once again.

The Little Elden Trail #69 / AZT, is a pleasant trail making its way up to Schultz Tank and the Sunset TH. We passed Thelma and Louise on Horseback.

The Schultz Creek #152 Trail is a gentle downward grade, in the pines, taking us back to the truck. We saw 5+ elk on the way down.

I couldn't count the number of mountain bikers we saw on this hike. They were out in full Fource...

The phrase that pays, two weeks in a row.
"What I meant to say was, Thanks"

Did we have a good time,
There's no Talon.

Wildflowers
Substantial in pockets. there was a cornucopia of color.
Oldham Trail #1
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Mount Elden - Dry Lake Hills Loop
This is one of our go to hikes now for color.
This seems to be the correct week for this one based on our previous 2 trips here.

We hit the Elden Lookout Trail #4 at about 8am and started the more than 2400' climb to the Lookout. Once you hit the saddle where the Sunset Trail ends, the Aspens were all aglow. There are nice tunnels of Aspens leading you up to the Lookout. This is the first time the Lookout was open while I was up there and I took legal advantage of going up into the tower. The gentleman manning the tower said he would pack it up Tuesday the 27th for the season.

A short road walk on the Lookout Road and we rejoined the Sunset Trail #23. Golden views back to Elden Mountain to the SE and other Aspen stands to the West are.... Nice... This is an enjoyable trail that takes you through Sunset Park, stands of Aspen and then lower to old growth conifer and some grassy areas.

We had never done the the upper portion of the Brookbank Trail #2 before. It will be in the rotation, as it was quite enjoyable. Mostly tall Ponderosa and smooth trail.

Once out to the Little Gnarly Trail, we headed westish across another new section for us, Dry Lake Hills. We took this to it's drop to the Rocky Ridge Trail #153.

The Rocky Ridge Trail #153, is a pleasant roller coaster through mixed conifer and deciduous.

The 1600' climb back to the top, starts in earnest on the Oldham Trail #1 and then Upper Oldham Trail. A steady climb at first and then gets steeper by the switchbacks approaching Oldham Park.

It was nice to be at the top again on the Sunset Trail, albeit a tad cold. We changed plans on our return to the truck to attempt get a good sun setting on the Aspen section of the Sunset trail. We missed prime light by 20 minutes or so. But, were able to catch a bit of golden light on the Eastern end.

All in all a nice new version of this loop.

Foliage
On the upper portions of the Elden Lookout Trail, above the Sunset Trail the Aspens were almost completely prime yellow. The Sunset Trail also was popping yellow!
Oldham Trail #1
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Mount Elden - Dry Lake Hills Loop
Based on a couple subtle observations it felt like Autumn might be a week early. We rolled the dice and lucked out.

Elden Lookout Trail #4
It wasn't cold enough to warrant long sleeves, simply perfect weather. The nearby dog food plant really stunk up the place for our first hour. My feathered naysayer companion held firm until we were surrounded in a lightbox of yellow atop Elden. On the same token he was kind enough to patiently wait while I took a crash course in insta media relations.

Sunset Trail #23
We religiously take a wrong turn off the summit and this year was par for course. Should we happen to get it right in the future an honorary fudge is in order. The views over to Humphreys never get old. Did I mention the weather? Phenomenal Autumn breeze, sweet yet slightly tangy. Away from Lookout #4 we only encountered a few hikers, such a shame. It got chilly enough to put on long sleeves for a half hour before Brookbank.

Brookbank Trail #2
We've hiked the lower portion of this trail many times. We changed the loop and got to explore the upper. Wow, what a great stretch of forest.

Flats & Gnarly Descent
Near the flats of Dry Lake Hills Bruce took a page out of a previous Tibber-Gecko hike. After working across the flats we lunched on the edge of a descent with nice distant views. The descent was semi ferocious. Albeit a trail it appeared blocked off when we bottomed out with Rocky Ridge #153

Rocky Ridge Trail #153
Neither bad nor exceptional... I barely recall our ~2 miles.

Oldham Trail #1
I've always enjoyed this one. We even have our break spots down to a science.

Lasso's Rock
On 2 previous loops we've returned on the Heart and Christmas Tree trails. We mutually agreed the only thing cool about the Christmas Tree trail is the name. In addition we'd never hiked the upper most half mile of Sunset #23. Considering it was a sea of yellow aspen the decision to change the loop to a lasso loop was easy.

Unfortunately we missed the fading sun by ten to fifteen minutes. Half of the stretch was still in full glory and it was great to mark off the trail as complete.

Elden Lookout Trail #4
The descent was shaded all the way down. We finished right at 6pm when Bruce told Debbie we'd finish. This was my first time descending and it reminded me Camelback... not a fan. Exactly like Camelback I love the ascent!

Synopsis
Perfect weather ruled.

Foliage
the top of Elden is brilliant aspen yellow
Oldham Trail #1
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Elden Super Loop
Bruce and I did "the" Elden Super Loop three years ago and really enjoyed it. Today we did a "sorta super" loop with CHUMS and Dave. Left out was the filet portion of Fatmans Loop Trail #25. Which any Elden Super Loop fanatic knows as the icing on this cake.

Check out my 2012 triplog for individual trail segment reviews.

Heading up Elden we found ourselves constantly passed by an Aravaipa Running event. For a good mile our attention was devoted to keeping an eye on approaching runners. They were all friendly and Bruce needed the mini breaks on the steep incline so it all worked out.

This hike was very nice simply due to the weather and company.

Carried 4 quarts, consumed about 1.7

Foliage
Timing is prime. It's just that we have seen it more spectacular in the past. We didn't receive a hard freeze that I know of so it's more likely dependant on the moisture pattern this year. The leaves have the pitted burnt look for reference.
Oldham Trail #1
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Elden Super Loop
Perfect weather for this one.

We hit the normal light flow of hikers while leaving the TH, but once we hit the intersection with Fat Mat's Loop, traffic got real heavy. Little did we know we'd timed our trip to Mount Elden, with Arrivipa Running groups "Sky Race" that features a 39K and 55K Race.

As we were hiking up the Mt Elden Trail, we were passed by HikeArizona's own Frick Naley, who was running the 39K race. :app:

The besterest of the yellow Aspens we saw were on the short climb from the Sunset Trail intersection to the Fire Tower.

A road walk from the tower to regain the Sunset trail and we made our way over to Schultz tank. The water here looked pretty darn good.

Up Little Gnarly, past the Dry Lakes Hill Tank, we made our way downhill to hit the Oldham Trail. This one has a steady climb back up to the Sunset Trail.

From here it was mainly downhill back to the truck.

This is a great sampler hike for what the City of Flagstaff has to offer in Hiking and outdoor activities!

A great day in the cool weather of Flagstaff, finished off with Pizza at NiMarco's. :DANCE:
Oldham Trail #1
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Elden Super Loop
I'd never hiked up Elden before so I thought that this would be a great opportunity to grab a new peak while enjoying the perfect autumn weather in Flagstaff. The airport temperature was 29 as we passed through Munds Park, but I don't think the car thermometer ever dropped below 44.

The aspens are yellow but have some green remaining, and a lot of leaves already fallen. It looks a little dull actually.

We tested the new live updating water reports via Route Scout at Schultz Tank, took lunch near the Brookbank junction and cruised on the way down.

Had to fight the crowds as today featured a running race, but that only lasted for the first two hours. I think I saw a doctor from Tucson. The guy was fast though and I never saw him again.

Dave was having none of the extra Fatmans Loop so we skipped that and saw 6 deer instead. Good hike. Good peeps. :)
Oldham Trail #1
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Trying to train for a hilly trail run in Flagstaff in October and my old running partner from Idaho suggested that I need to start doubling up on my weekend runs to prepare. So despite heavy legs from yesterday's outings to the Weatherford Trail & Bar, I set out out to get in some more miles. Just wanted to get in around 90 minutes.

Got dropped off at Buffalo Park and headed off to the Oldham Trail. Kept running on the Oldham Trail until I hit the one hour mark about a mile or so up the trail from where it intersects the Brookbank Trail. Turned around and hopped on the Mt. Eldon road at the next opportunity to jump off the trail. Ran down the Mt. Eldon road until the dirt ends and the pavement begins. Then turned off into the subdivision and worked my way back to my weekend accommodations.

Took a quick shower, ate breakfast and joined the throngs of cars on I-17 heading back to Phoenix. I've lucked into a great base of operations for running/hiking in Flagstaff, so will be taking more advantage of it over the rest of the summer.
Oldham Trail #1
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Actually did the Lower Oldham Trail. It was a bit muddy at first from all the rain, but once we got onto the trail about 3/4 of a mile it dried up. This is a great short hike. Lots of water coming off of Mt. Elden, even saw a little waterfall by the base of the mountain. Some wild flowers, but many more just waiting to pop.
Oldham Trail #1
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Elden Super 8 Loop
I've tried to get Joe to do this one before, but there was no interest.

This week I gave him 2 choices, one I knew he was not ready to do, and this one.
Good thing he said no in the past. This is a real nice hike most of the year, but when you hit the colors the way we did..... BAM!

I was not expecting a lot from this loop, thinking the burned area, would be expansive and ugly. The old burned area actually gave the hike some interesting expansive views and was not as large as expected. Lots-o-Pines, Oaks and Golden Aspens throughout.

On the Sunset Trail squirrels and birds were busy reading themselves for winter. We also saw 2 rafters of Turkeys, 14 total Turkeys. The weather was perfect on this day starting in the high 40's at the TH and never getting over 75ish. The majority of the hike was in cloud cover and scattered sprinkles.

The trails at the lower elevations seem to et quite a bit of traffic, especially Fatmans Loop Trail. I can actually see why it is so popular. Not that long, a bit of elevation, nice layout and pretty views.

Expected JBF, based on comments first thing out of his truck, were expected to be off the chart. Ended up being not that bad...

Permit $$
None


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
The Buffalo Park parking lot is located on Cedar Street in north central Flagstaff. Another access point ison FR 557, the Mt. Elden Road, off US 180 north.
128 GB Flash Drive... $14
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