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Autumn Foliage HikesReports

Humphreys Summit Trail #151, AZ

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4.4k 773 55
Guide 773 Triplogs  55 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NW
Rated
4.5
4.5 of 5 by 158
 
84
Statistics
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,320 feet
Elevation Gain 3,313 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 - 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 26.82
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Enjoy the slideshow!
11  2019-10-10
Fremont Peak Loop
LJW
3  2019-10-03
Humphreys via Inner Basin
LJW
12  2019-09-07 RowdyandMe
9  2019-09-04 Jim_H
8  2019-09-03
Humphrey's Loop
fricknaley
3  2019-09-01
Humphreys Super Loop con Fremont Peak
DixieFlyer
9  2019-08-31
Humphreys Peak B24 Bomber
ddgrunning
9  2019-08-15 Jim_H
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 45
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,895
Trips 4,292 map ( 21,637 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Early
Seasons   Early Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  6:39am - 5:43pm
Official Route
 
44 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Rewarding!
by joebartels

Overview
Here is a hike to get excited about! First and foremost, be realistic, are you ready for Humphreys! Okay so this isn't Mt. Whitney or Everest, but this baby will push most desert dwellers to the edge.


History
An extinct volocano, Humphreys Peak is the highest in Arizona. It is one of three peaks forming a rough U shaped valley known as the Inner Basin or Interior Valley. G.K. Gilbert in 1873 named the peak for his superior officer, Brig. Gen. Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, who had been with the Ives Expedition as a captain in 1851.

Hike
Welcome to Snow Bowl. That's right! The first section of trail crosses winter wonderland. Wildflowers and warm air will keep skiing off your mind. Pass under the ski lifts on towards the forest. Soon after entering the forest you will pass Kachina Peaks Wilderness boundary. The trail is consistently uphill all the way.

After 3 miles of hiking you are near timberline, stunted bristle cone pines take over. The forest thins out and you will pass the junction with the Weatherford Trail at 3.75 miles.

From here on pay attention to the trail. There is no vegetation. It's easy to get off track as the trail is vaguely defined in areas. Weather changes in a flash up here. Summer of '98 I got pounded by a hail storm. Excitement builds as you pass a couple false peaks along the way. Soon after you will reach the summit. Wow what a feeling!

Car Camping
Consider nearby FR 522, Freidlein Prairie. Designated sites are available.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.


Lightning Kills
Stay off the mountain when thunderstorms are forecasted. July and August are notorious for quick unexpected storms. Lower the risk by being OFF the mountain before 11am on a clear morning. Stay safe, read the NOLS Backcountry Lightning Safety Guidelines.

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

1998-08-07 joebartels
  • Click to enlarge map!
    guide related
  • FR22 Car Camping
    area related
    FR22 Car Camping
  • Kachina Peaks Map
    area related
    Kachina Peaks Map
  • book
    area related
  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
    area related
    100 Classic Hikes - 2007

Coconino FS Details
This steep mountain trail leads to the highest point in Arizona. If you consider it merely as a means to that end, however, you'll miss much of the reason to come here. Along its 4.5 mile course, a thriving alpine forest streaked with huge rock slides and avalanche tracks hugs the mountain's slopes. Scenic Hart Prairie stretches out the base of the incline and the Grand Canyon is easily visible on the horizon.

As the elevation increases, trailside vegetation shows more and more evidence of the extreme harshness of this environment. Near tree line what's left of the forest consists entirely of bristlecone pines bent and twisted by wind and frost. This hardy tree manages to live one of the longest lives on earth in one of the planet's most inhospitable environments. Above tree line the only plants that can survive are small tundra shrubs and wildflowers that huddle for shelter among the rocks. Some are found nowhere else in the world. Overhead, above Arizona's highest ridge, white-throated swifts dive and flash like miniature fighter planes as they feed on nearly invisible insects borne on the wind.

Humphreys Trail is steep and long and extremely rocky in its higher reaches. Above treeline it exposes you completely to the whims of nature. Here it may snow during any month of the year. In late summer monsoon storms can set the high country snapping with lightning. Be prepared to turn around and head for lower ground if a thunderstorm is brewing!

Once you do reach the summit ridge you'll feel like you're standing on top of the world. Off in the distance, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the mesas that are home to the Hopi Indians the Verde Valley and Oak Creek Canyon form a 360deg. panorama. And after you've seen it you'll be able to say you've been as high as you can get in Arizona.

Click to View Map

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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 $$
Special Use

Special
If you are hiking in the winter you may need a permit. Check this thread.


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To Humphries Trailhead
From Flagstaff follow Highway 180 West 7 miles to FR516. Turn right onto FR516 (N. Snowbowl Dr) and follow 6.2 miles to the first large signed parking lot on the left.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 164 mi - about 2 hours 41 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 269 mi - about 4 hours 9 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 16.0 mi - about 31 mins
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