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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.

Mormon Mountain Trail #58, AZ

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166 29 1
Guide 29 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff SE
Rated
3.2
3.2 of 5 by 10
 
7
Statistics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,200 feet
Elevation Gain 1,300 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.5
Interest Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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2  2019-05-05 azbackpackr
8  2018-07-24 DarthStiller
9  2018-07-21 Nightstalker
11  2018-04-22 Crzy4AZ
11  2018-03-01 chumley
7  2015-11-06 charlieaz
14  2014-10-04 winotron
17  2014-07-02 azbackpackr
Page 1,  2
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 55
Routes 44
Photos 7,651
Trips 1,615 map ( 9,681 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Sep → 11 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:23pm
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1 Alternative
 
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Named place Nearby
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Nice and Easy
by Jim_H

Likely In-Season!
Overview
Mormon Mt is one of the lesser used trails in the heavily used Coconino National Forest. Its easy to find and has paved surfaces nearly to the trail head. The trail is pleasant, and the mountain enjoyable. Views are rather lacking.


This is a nice quiet hike with a low likelihood of seeing other people, except perhaps when the nearby campgrounds are under heavy use. Judging from the sign-in sheet at the trail head, which had dates from September to early December, there is light usage of the trail. Less than 3 single sided sheets were filled out. Other area hikes like Elden go through a sheet every day or so during the same period.

Hike
The trail itself starts at 7,200' and climb over the course of 3 miles to the top of Mormon Mt, which is somewhere around 8,449'. The trail may not actually reach that "summit", but a short side trip to some of the higher ridges on the side of the trail at the top probably get you to that point. Trail quality is good, and very gentle. Some parts are a little rocky, but this is nothing a seasoned hiker couldn't handle. There is only one switchback on the trail, but if you are like me you won't notice the climb for most of the hike.

Wildlife is abundant in the area, but larger animals are most likely nocturnal. I hiked a few days after a light snow event, and was the first person back on the trail. I saw my tracks and a great number of other animal tracks as well-elk, mule deer, bear, mt lion, turkey, fox, small feline, rodents, and other small mammalian tracks. Birds were rather abundant for early winter as well. Chickadees and nuthatches were everywhere, and because of the abundance of snags, woodpeckers were plentiful and quite busy.

The area has numerous stumps with old fire scars at their bases; evidence of past fire activity. However, fire has been absent from most of the mountain for a very long time. Consequently, white fir (abies concolor) is rather abundant. The large ones are impressive, but there are numerous thickets of fir reproduction. Some of these areas block the view at the top of the mountain. You can't see any peaks from the trail. The best views are through the trees at elevations under 8,000' and of Mormon Lake. Its not bad, but I like to look at the volcanic peaks up towards Flagstaff. Just after the trail meets FR 648 I went off to the northwest and found a small opening through which I could see Kendrick, and the San Fransisco Peaks complex.

Views are lacking, but you can find them if you look hard enough. The hike is a gentle one, an quite pleasant. The trail is good and I would recommend it to anyone. Unless it happens to be a busy summer weekend I would think you could be the only one out there. So, enjoy!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2006-12-01 Jim_H

    Coconino FS Details
    This trail to the top of 8,449 foot Mormon Mountain climbs gradually through a forest of ponderosa pine, mixed conifers, and aspen. At a number of places along the route openings in the forest canopy provide long distance views of Mormon Lake and the grassy flats and forest-covered hills that surround it.

    The trail begins at the rear of the group-camp area of Dairy Springs Campground, which is located just west of the road that borders Mormon Lake s eastern shore. For a short distance after leaving the trailhead, Mormon Mountain Trail shares the path with the self-guided nature trail that skirts the campground. The mountain trail then branches off on its own to complete the 1,500 foot climb. As the trail nears the top of Mormon Mountain it joins a primitive road (FR 648) which leads to the summit and good views of Mormon Lake and the San Francisco Peaks.

    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
    Mormon Mountain Trail #58
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I decided to take advantage of the recent storm and celebrate the first day of spring with a trip to higher elevations.

    I was able to snowshoe right from my truck! :y:

    The south facing slope is a bit thin lower down, but once above the switchback the orientation got better and by 8000 feet there was a good winter snowpack. In general it ranged from 14"-20", but there were spots at the top where it was over 35".

    I need to find places to snowshoe where I'm not the one breaking the trail. It's exhausting! When I topped out on the road, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a track vehicle had been by, presumably for maintenance on the tower farm at the summit. It was so nice to have a packed down trail to follow for a change!

    I hit up the highest point, with great views of all the peaks to the north, before heading back down. The exposed spots had started to melt, and I opted to drop the snowshoes at about 7800 feet. A few patches had gone bare, and I was able to use my uphill steps to maneuver through the remaining deep snow sections.

    Near the bottom, I checked out the Dairy Springs Loop and then headed over on the Ledges Trail for a view of Mormon Lake. All in all, a pretty good day! :)
    Mormon Mountain Trail #58
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I seem to have gotten out of shape again after a couple weeks of not much hiking. I had to stop and catch my breath a lot on this one. Sigh.

    Very pretty up there right now, it's all green and flowery. Saw a mama elk with spotted calf. Since I know there are no real views I was not disappointed. Just disappointed in myself for getting out of shape again.
    Mormon Mountain Trail #58
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    My girlfriend and I camped for the night at the nearby Dairy Springs Campground. After we set up camp we hiked this trail before sunset. Warm and sunny but the temperature was very pleasant. I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this hike after reading other triplogs, and it was about what I expected. Definitely nice scenery, but nothing particularly exciting about it. Probably not a trail I'll hike again, but worth checking out if you're at one of the nearby campgrounds. I did like the variety of trees here... pines, spruces, oaks, aspens. I'm not yet in the shape I was last hiking season, so this was a really good workout for me. The climbing isn't terribly steep but it is relentless.

    We only saw 4 other people out here. The solitude was nice. The little meadow near the end of the trail had some aspens which had a little color on them. The sun was starting to set as we started to head back down and it quickly started to get chilly. It was awesome to get back to camp and sit in front of the warm fire and look up at the stars.

    Foliage
    Aspens near the end of the trail had a little color on them.
    Mormon Mountain Trail #58
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    I was very pleasantly surprised by this hike. I'd heard it might be a bit boring. But the old growth forest on top of the mountain is lovely! True, I didn't see any good views. But that's okay.

    Saw some guys from a Hot Shot crew out doing their daily exercise, running up the mountain.

    I didn't go to the towers and I didn't look for the stock tank ("lake").

    Update on my feet: They burned and then hurt while going downhill. I stopped, took off the boots, took Ibuprofen, put my feet up for a while. Removed foam inserts under tongues, re-laced loosely, then hiked on down. No more pain or burning, but not very practical to have boots so loose.

    Wildflowers
    Columbines!!
    Mormon Mountain Trail #58
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    My first time on this popular Northern Arizona trail despite my living here for over 26 years....

    To be honest, I was kinda let down...I was hoping for more surrounding views...would have been quite spectacular with lake, hills, sky, etc...

    I hiked up with my 11 y/o daughter and our 2 dogs...the first mile and 1/2 seem a bit steep, but then the vertical rise tapers off once you hit the ridge line. We got to the signed end of the trail and noticed we simply in a small meadow with no view!?!?! Where was the great view??? Couldn't see a thing...trees were just too thick.

    Another group of 4 were there and said they were disappointed as well, and were turning back at the sign...undaunted and wanting a dazzling panoramic view, my daughter and I continue another 100 yards past the meadow and saw a blocked off road/trail, which lead to a wide forest road. Knowing there were radio towers up there, I chose the easterly direction and about 1/4-1/2 mile later arrived at the towers...still no view. :(

    Well...we went back to the meadow...took a short water/snack break and busted back down to the campground where we were staying. Pretty disappointing, but was nice to get outta the camp and stretch the legs....
    Mormon Mountain Trail #58
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    My longest Hike to date! 33+ miles in less than 12 hours! We had a couple of side trips that kicked up the mileage a bit, but the track I post will be corrected to show 100% AZT #30.

    I saw 2 elk on the way in to set up the north shuttle. When I got out of the car at the Marshall Lake TH, it sounded like a concert in the woods with all the Bugling.

    Off to the Allan Lake TH and to start a bit after 6am. The weather was perfect for this hike. We started off in the low 30's with a little frost on the ground. The were lots of bow hunters in the woods today. We only saw 8 or so during the hike, but there were trucks and campers all over. The hike was pretty uneventful. Not a lot of elevation gain made the 33+ miles more bearable.

    We took a brief break at the Double Springs campground to take on a bit of water and then were off.

    We picked a spot at the half way point for lunch that looked like it was out of the Sound of Music. It was a large meadow NE of Mormon Mountain that was absolutely plastered with a carpet of yellow flowers.

    The next stop was our cache spot where the trail crossed Lake Mary road. The last little climb for the day from the cached spot took us up onto Anderson Mesa. This mesa is mostly unprotected, so we were glad the temps were only around 70. This is a 10 mile walk that takes you past a few tanks, Horse Lake, Prime Lake, Lowell Observatory, a sweet view of Lake Mary, and then makes the final drop to he TH at Marshall Lake.

    I'm glad to have the longest Passage of the AZ Trail complete. 7 Passages and 151 miles complete now. I've completed a section from south of Pine to Flagstaff and 23 miles from the Mexican border north.
    Mormon Mountain Trail #58
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    I wasn't too impressed with the lower sections of this trail as the forest is not incredibly healthy. The upper portions are better with old growth ponderosas, aspens, firs and spruces. Unfortunately, there is no lookout tower at the top so you don't really get any views. Yet another "Glad I did it once, probably won't do it again" trail.
    Mormon Mountain Trail #58
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    My first time on this trail, but it won't be my last. I enjoyed the quiet and solitude that is hard to find on the trails closer to Flagstaff. The only other mountain I have had more privacy on was Fremont in the Peaks complex. I went right after a snow and found lots of animal tracks. The air was cool, quite and broken only by the sound of birds chirping. I didn't hear one train horn the entire time!

    Permit $$
    no fees or permits reported

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    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Location: About 24 miles southeast of Flagstaff just north of Mormon Lake.

    Access: Drive south 20 miles from Flagstaff on Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road) to the Forest Road 90 intersection. Turn west on FR 90 and drive 3.5 miles to the Montezuma Lodge turnoff. Drive 0.6 miles to the trailhead. All roads are paved except the last 0.6 miles.

    jhodlof writes: Take Lake Mary Road south from Flagstaff. This will become county road # 3. Turn right onto the Mormon Lake loop road. Follow this road to the Dairy Springs campground turnoff. Follow the gravel road and the signs that point to the trail head for about 3/10 of a mile. Park by Kiosk.
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