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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.

Sunset Trail #23 - Flagstaff, AZ

no permit
572 87 1
Guide 87 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NE
4.1 of 5 by 25
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 5.14 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,000 feet
Elevation Gain 1,302 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,855 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.32
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Enjoy the slideshow!
9  2018-09-29
Elden - Oldham - Sunset Loop
9  2018-09-29
Elden - Oldham - Sunset Loop
10  2018-09-15
Little Bear Loop
27  2018-08-25 DixieFlyer
4  2018-08-04 Nightstalker
7  2018-07-24
Brookbank Trail #2
5  2018-05-04 hikerdw
14  2017-10-25
Elden Lookout Trail #4
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,872
Routes 15,972
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:47am - 7:04pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
21 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
Views of the San Francisco Peaks, the volcanic fields east of Flagstaff, Sunset Crater and even the Painted Desert are yours to enjoy along this high country trail. The route starts near Schultz Tank, a rare body of water here in these mountains Spanish explorers called sin agua (without water). It then climbs gradually to a high ridge where you'll find good views of Arizona's tallest mountain before continuing on to the east edge of Mount Elden's summit plateau. From this high perspective you can look down on Sunset Crater and the huge Bonito Lava Flow that borders it.

As you hike along this trail, take time out to check for black bear tracks in the dust. A few of these shy animals live in this area but usually all you see of them are their tracks. You have a much better chance of seeing elk and mule deer which are more plentiful and much less shy.

Along its highest reaches, the Sunset Trail traverses an area devastated by a fierce wildfire in 1977. At one point there was concern that the city of Flagstaff might even be consumed by this campfire gone wild. Here, among the burned out hulks of a once thriving forest you can see how nature recovers from such an all-consuming disaster. Pioneer plants such as aspen and Gambel oaks are already well established in the burned-over area.

Sunset Trail provides a connecting route to Schultz Creek, Brookbank, Little Bear Trail, Upper Oldham, and Elden Lookout Trails.

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

2008-06-11 HAZ_Hikebot
  • Kachina Peaks Map
    area related
    Kachina Peaks Map

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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Schultz Trailhead
Location: 7 miles north of Flagstaff on graveled Forest Roads.

Access: Drive north out of Flagstaff on US 180 to FR 420 (Schultz Pass Road). Drive 6 miles east on FR 420 to the trailhead at a parking lot on the south side of the road.

Road Condition: FR 420 is graveled and suitable for passenger cars except during winter when it is closed because of snowpack.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 158 mi - about 2 hours 35 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 263 mi - about 4 hours 5 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 10.1 mi - about 24 mins
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