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Fremont & Doyle Peaks, AZ

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359 32 2
Guide 32 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Flagstaff NW
Rated
4.6
4.6 of 5 by 12
 
7
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,024 feet
Elevation Gain 3,945 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,625 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 33.13
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2019-09-01
Humphreys Super Loop con Fremont Peak
DixieFlyer
5  2019-08-25
Fremont Peak via Inner Basin
LindaAnn
14  2018-08-26
Fremont - Doyle - Schultz
chumley
25  2016-08-28 chumley
8  2016-08-28 LindaAnn
82  2016-06-10
Doyle & Fremont Partial Horseshoe
AZHiker456
41  2015-09-06 GrottoGirl
42  2014-08-09 ddgrunning
Page 1,  2,  3
Author MtnGeek
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 0
Photos 118
Trips 72 map ( 489 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Denver, CO
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Apr, Jan → 7 AM
Seasons   Summer to Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:22pm
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3 Alternative
 
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Named place Nearby
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A solitude hike bagging 2 peaks
by MtnGeek

Off limits?
Senecio protection area [ map, pdf ] is off limits off-trail unless skiing or snowshoeing on covered snow to protect the San Francisco Peaks groundsel. This hike is not in the protection area. Things may change. Never cross into posted restricted areas. Check with land management before entering.

Fremont Peak: 11,969 feet
Doyle Peak: 11,460 feet

This hike takes you up Arizona's 3rd and 4th highest peaks. Doyle is Arizona's 4th highest ranked peak, but 6th highest point. Aubineau peak and Rees Peak are higher, but are both unranked since they do not ascend over 300' from the saddle. This is both an on and off trail hike. There are 3 main ways to get to these peaks. One is from the Weatherford trail. Follow it till you get to the saddle.

The second is from Locket Meadow. This is your shortest approach. From the Inner Basin Trailhead take it till you get into the Inner Basin. Stay on the trail till you get considerably close to Fremont Peak. Get off the trail and hike up the treeless rocky area till you intercept the Weatherford Trail. Take a left till you get to the Saddle.

These two peaks offer very different views of Flagstaff and the surrounding areas. Fremont gives the better view out of these two peaks. On this hike since they sit right next to each other it only makes sense to hike them both. They can also be done in conjunction with doing Humphreys Peak to make for a longer hike. From the saddle, Doyle is the easiest and probably should be done first. To do it just hike up the grassy slopes to the peak. This peak is steep, but there is not much route finding to do. The peak has a broad top with trees on top that restricts you view. Fremont takes quite a bit more effort. From the saddle the elevation gain is near 1,200 feet. Once you start heading up the ridge starts out quite broad and is easy to follow. As you start to ascend in elevation it narrows down and you have to stay on the left side of the ridge, but near the top of it. You don't want to get to far away from the ridge crest. Once you are near the peak you can get back on the ridge and follow it to the peak. The peak has wonderful views of Flagstaff, the rest of the San Francisco Peaks and Northern Arizona.

The 3rd way up is taking the Humphreys Peak trail. Take this trail till you get to the saddle. From the saddle take the Weatherford trail to the saddle between Agassiz Peak and Fremont. Hike up the southern ridge on Fremont for about 300 vertical feet. Then take the ridge across till you reach your final ascent. This 300'ascent takes you up the most difficult part of the whole hike. It's scree the whole way, and it's like walking on sand, take a step and slide. From the peak you can return the way you came or head down the northern ridge to ascend up Doyle Peak. The interesting thing about this hike is your high point is along the Weatherford Trail on Agassiz at an elevation of about 12,000 feet.

Check out the Triplogs.

Note
This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2004-03-31 MtnGeek
  • FR22 Car Camping
    area related
    FR22 Car Camping
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 17 deeper Triplog Reviews
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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Humphreys Super Loop con Fremont Peak
I have been wanting to do the Humphreys Super Loop and I have also been wanting to hike up to Fremont Peak, so I decided to both yesterday. I did not hike up to Humphreys though.

This was a true loop that I did clockwise. The hike began at the Humphreys Trailhead, and I took the Humphreys Summit Trail up to Agassiz Saddle. From there I took the Weatherford Trail to Fremont Saddle, and then went off-trail up to Fremont Peak, following the excellent route that @LindaAnn posted a week or so ago. From there I descended to the east, down to Doyle Saddle, and then picked up the Weatherford Trail again, taking it to the Kachina Trail, and finally followed the Kachina Trail back to the Kachina TH. Then I walked through a couple of parking lots back to the Humphreys TH.

The climb up to Fremont was not too difficult -- the terrain was good for the most part and the climb just under 600' in about 0.9 miles. The descent down the east side of Fremont was much more difficult than the climb up. You'll descend almost 1,000' in the first 0.6 miles. Part of this is very slippery, and there is a boulder field with large rocks and boulders to deal with. It would have been easier to go down the way that I came up, but then it would not have been a loop hike.

This was my first time on the Kachina Trail -- it was a diverse trail with some ups and downs; but after a long hike, there were more ups than I was really looking for.
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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Every time I'm in the San Francisco Peaks area, I wish I had more to explore. Awhile back I noticed there is a fairly tall peak to the east of Agassiz, and the contour maps and visuals made it look pretty easy to bag. My friend originally suggested we do the Kachina Loop, but I thought this sounded more fun, so I convinced our small group to shift gears.

Originally we were going to start at Lockett Meadow, but we were camped over by Kendrick Peak, and figured we could get a much earlier start (and make logistics easier) if we go from Snow Bowl.

Luckily there were no storms in the forecast, so we started out, Montuckys in hand, at around 10:30am. A mile and a half in, we stopped and chatted with a ranger (beer still in hand) about our plans to summit Fremont. He believed it to be off-limits, but I'm going by the official closure order. He didn't even seem to realize there is an actual closure order which includes a map.

The trip up Humphreys Trail was fairly unremarkable, other than an encounter with some friends at the Weatherford junction. Once down to (Fremont? Doyle? Which is it?) Saddle, we just followed what seemed like the most logical path up the ridge. Pretty straightforward, a nice flat-to-downhill stretch along the ridge, and then the final grunt up to the summit, which is mostly volcanic ash.

At the summit we encountered two hikers, one of whom is a regular on this site. Chance timing, as the log seemed to indicate this summit sees an average of one visitor or so per week during the summer.

The way down was much faster, and we skipped the small summit on the ridge, opting to just contour along the side of the ridge until we hit the clearing above the saddle.

Took a shortcut through the ski resort on the way down, which involved getting off trail a little bit before hitting a dirt road, but we still probably saved 30+ minutes by making that move.
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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Fremont Peak via Inner Basin
Zero storms forecast = another mid-summer Peaks hike.

We got started from Lockett Meadow a little after 8:00, and headed up Inner Basin Trail. Only saw a few people. As usual, the aspens were nice to walk through. When we reached Weatherford, we took a right and headed up to Doyle Saddle, where we took a break before beginning the off trail portion up to Fremont. Basically followed the ridge southeast, then east, taking the path of least resistance through the trees. I like the easy scrambling in places. Once at the top, we took another break. I swore I could hear voices, and a few moments later, three more hikers appeared. We all chatted at the summit for a while before parting ways and heading back down to Doyle Saddle. Once back on Weatherford, it was an easy hike back down through the Inner Basin back to the trailhead. Perfect weather today, nice breeze at times. A little buggy at the top, but not too bad.

Is there no hike description for just Fremont Peak? I didn’t see one, but maybe I skipped over it—I want credit for my peak!!! :lol:
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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Chumley's triplog already covers this entire hike, so I'll avoid rehashing it again, but so far this was probably my favorite AZ hike of the summer. Starting out in the aspens was great, and it was nice to have some easy hiking at the very beginning, before the hard work began. After that, I heard "This part will be steep" at least a half-dozen times throughout the day.

Climbing up Doyle wasn't too bad, and I liked the boulder field. I'm not fast making my way across the rocks, but I enjoy it as much as, if not more so, than hiking on a trail. We stopped at the top for a few minutes to sign the register, and get some pics of the amazing clouds. Hiking down Doyle was very steep, but at least the ground was soft. For every step I took, it seemed like I slid forward another half step or so; I would have hated to climb up that side.

We took a quick break at Doyle Saddle, then my favorite part of the day began. Fremont looked intimidating to me, but I really liked it. Again, climbing up the rocks was my favorite part. And the weather was constantly changing from almost sunny, to being completely enveloped by clouds, which gave plenty of opportunities for some good pictures. It was definitely steep, but the rocks made for slow going, and I thought it felt easier to climb than Doyle. Another break at the top, and even though there was no wind, it felt cool enough for an extra long sleeve shirt since I wasn't working hard anymore.

After that, it was a quick hike down to the saddle, then easy trail all the way back to the car. Finishing out the hike by walking through aspens again was the perfect way to end the day.
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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Having previously traveled the entire north side of the San Francisco horseshoe from Agassiz, Humphreys, Abineau, and Rees to the Inner Basin, I've had the south half of the horseshoe on my radar.

With several inches of hail accumulating over the peaks on Friday and the season's first snowfall on Saturday morning, I was hoping Sunday would provide better weather. The forecast had called for clearing and drier weather earlier in the week, but the chances for storms on Sunday kept getting higher and higher as the day got closer. We decided not to let it deter us, opting instead to make a very early attempt in hopes of beating any severe weather.

So we set off toward the mountain at oh-denny-thirty with hopes of a pre-sunrise start. The peaks were shrouded in clouds in the early morning light and we didn't manage to start the ascent until a couple minutes past 6. We started at the base of Sugarloaf Peak at the east end of Lockett Meadow and headed up the closed 552B which swings around and parallels the ridge as it climbs steadily over 1.5 miles to the Waterline Road.

The next 4.5 miles of ridge hiking is off-trail until Fremont Saddle. The first half mile above Waterline was a pleasant grade before the slope got considerably steeper. At the 3 mile mark, some of steepest terrain of the day presents a challenge to getting to peak 11,060. There's a short ridge here before the final 400 foot climb to Doyle, but that ridge is a boulder field and travel is very slow. But the boulders provide relief from the pine canopy and amazing views over the Inner Basin and the peaks on the north side of the horseshoe.

The climb up Doyle from the east is pretty straightforward and when you reach the peak there's a cairn with the original (and correct) summit register placed in 1988. We signed in despite the lack of recent entries. As we pressed on toward Fremont, we encountered another cairn about 0.15 miles from the original. This also had a register. This register had recent entries. It also actually said that this register wasn't placed at the peak. Then why the :pk: did you build a cairn and put a register here? ](*,) Seriously. People are dumb. :bdh:

The perfect conical shape of Fremont stood directly before us, a very attainable 500 feet higher up. Unfortunately, to get there requires dropping 700 feet to Doyle Saddle. The descent might be the steepest terrain on the day. The climb in the opposite direction must be a real chore! We took a quick snack break at the saddle before beginning the 1200 foot climb to Fremont. It's only half a mile away! :o It was 9:45, and I made a goal of reaching the peak by 11:00. Yes, I was estimating 1:15 to go the next half mile!

The ascent up Fremont was awesome. The clouds came and went, sometimes leaving us with no view and other times opening dramatic glimpses at the other peaks. The lower part was forested before reaching a bouldery section that leads to a steep scramble with a large crux rock about 600 feet below the summit. We opted to go around to the left, but I think the right would have worked fine too. Left is softer and more forested, right is more bouldery.

The final stretch is steep and a continued combination of soft dirt, dwarfy pine trees, and small boulder fields. Staying just to the south side of the ridge seemed to provide the best route, but some zig-zagging was in order, if for no other reason than the views into the Inner Basin. Once up top, I was surprised I was unable to find a register. There's a nice shelter wall built though it was quite calm and not needed on this day. Another short break and a summit beer were in order before the final off-trail mile across the 11,673 ridge and the final descent to Fremont Saddle. Six miles in 5.5 hours! Off-trail ascents take their toll! : rambo :

From there, we cruised back to the IB, happy to be on trail again. Saw 3 people in the Inner Basin before passing a dozen or two in the lower aspen section of trail. Back to the car for the return to the valley after a very long and rewarding day!

The weather couldn't have been better. It was 42 at the trailhead when we started, and warmed somewhat in the early sun, but winter-like clouds shrouded the peaks from time to time, creating dramatic views and lighting. I don't think it ever got above 55 until we were back at the trailhead at the end of the day. The temperature and awesome clouds really made this hike as good as it could be! :y: (Not bad for August in Arizona!)

Glad to have now hit all the peaks around the Inner Basin horseshoe. The only non-direct section for me is the direct link between Fremont Saddle and Agassiz (I've taken the Weatherford traverse and the ridgeline to Agassiz from the Humphreys saddle). Not sure I'll ever do that line direct unless I decide to skin up Agassiz and ski down into Freidlein Prairie sometime. I'm sure it's been done before... :-k

Wildflowers
Especially in the lower elevation grassy meadows.
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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Weatherford-Doyle-Humphreys Saddle
A trip to the High country to beat the heat.
Neither of us had ever done the entire Weatherford #102 before, now we have.
I also wanted to get up Doyle and maybe Fremont.

On this day the temps were pretty nice. At times we were both hot and cold though. The sun was warm, and when exposed to them, the winds felt almost hurricane strength.

Just ask Joe and he'll tell you exactly where the wrecked truck is on the way up.
Once we got to Doyle saddle, Joe took a siesta, and I made for Doyle. It was going good until I got to a spot that was loose and I was on all fours going up. I looked at my GPS and it said I was still .25 miles from the peak. I was getting dizzy from the altitude, so thought it best to go back down. When I look at my track now, I was ever so close to cresting the steep part and then walking a gentle rise to the actual high point.

I went back down, collected sleeping beauty, we cached a qt for the way down, and we were off to Fremont Saddle for lunch.

The altitude affected me more on this trip up then any before. The wind didn't help matters either. I was having trouble catching my breath. I stopped and hunkered down behind some rocks at the Humphreys Saddle to get out of the Gale force winds. Joe pushed on to the peak.

Once we were on our way back and loosing altitude again I was fine again, albeit tired.

The trip from Humphrey Saddle to Doyle Saddle passed pretty quickly. The trip from Doyle Saddle to the Schultz Tank TH went on forever. It's 7 miles, not the 6 miles they say on the sign.

We witnessed an interesting heated argument on the way down and Joe was embarrassed.

Another great day in the State of Arizona!
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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I wanted to do this after Whitney and am glad I did. Unless we get a real serious snow storm on the Peaks, I pronounce winter over. The snow was not very fun for this, and it was not as fun as I thought it would be. Think spring slop and a thin layer of sugar over hard pack. After I entered the Inner Basin I basically pushed on and summited for the elevation and to be able to say I did it. Crossing the dense trees on the north side of Fremont was like crossing a mine field with air pockets in the snow all over the place. Aside from the long approach up to Lockett, a Inner Basin trip would be nice as that was pretty, but making the peak with the current snow wasn't real fun. Still, it looks like it was probably better than the snow on the west face. Only summited Fremont.
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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Hiked Fremont Peak from Snowbowl. Walked with the crowds for two hours to the Humphrey's saddle and it felt good to branch right at the top. I ran into a few other hikers on that less traveled side - all seemed to be doing a Kachina-Weatherford loop, some dayhikers, some backpackers. It was another hour to the next saddle (between Fremont and Agassiz). From the saddle I bushwacked up the ridge to the top...the going wasn't too bad, but there was a little more up and down than I expected. It took me a little over an hour from the saddle. Nice view from the top and the recently burned area was obvious (unfortunately my camera was acting up by then). As others have noted, not many names in the register but someone deposited a new book on Sept. 6 - I was the first to sign it.

I took a different route down...pretty much down the west-north scree slope, intending to find a shortcut to the Weatherford Trail. This worked OK, but it was no shortcut: about an hour to the trail then at least 20 min. up the trail to get back to the saddle (some maps call this the Doyle saddle but it has to be the Fremont saddle, again the one between Fremont and Agassiz).

I had thought I might try to drop down to the Kachina from this saddle but I had a late start and it was already almost 4PM, so I went back the way I came. There was a friendly Ptarmigan on the trail near the saddle - first one I've seen in AZ. I had a bit of bad luck just below the Humphrey's saddle: slipped awkwardly and managed to hit my face on a rock. Today, I look like I got punched and people are unlikely to believe this was a hiking accident...sheesh!

My GPS track suffered from numerous lost signals in the trees. The GPS unit said 13.5mi, the imported track says 11.7mi...I don't know how far a hike this is but it's a good day's work.
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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Weatherford Trail 2010

Looks like we've hit critical mass with Preston Sands, Clark Norgaard, Eric Cope, and myself all committed to this backpack overnighter 8/28-8/29.

THE PLAN:

1. Clark and Eric rendezvous at Chez Schulhauser's say 6-ish in the morning on Saturday 8/28
2. Arrive at Schultz Pass parking lot sometime between 9 and 10 am and hook-up with Preston Sands (and others?) who will be arriving from Safford AZ.
3. Start up (~8000ft @ TH) the Weatherford Trail and establish camp at either Doyle Saddle (~10,900 ft, 6.5 miles from TH) or Fremont Saddle (~11,500, 8.3 miles from TH). I'm consistently told that Doyle Saddle is the place to camp => viewtopic.php?t=4280
4. Ascent of Doyle Peak or Freemont Peak are a possibility late Saturday afternoon => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=667
5. Sunday morning breakfast and break camp leaving backpacks behind for daypack only to Humphrey's Summit (12,608 ft and 10.9 miles from TH).
6. Early lunch (or snack) on the Summit and a leisurely stroll downhill to retrieve our backpacks and continue back Schultz Pass. NOTE: 5.4 miles up from Doyle Saddle plus 10.9 miles down from Summit to TH is a 16.3 mile day at altitude...
7. Dinner - tbd. Beaver Street Brewery has never let us down...
8. Drive back from Flag to the Valley Sunday evening

http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=162


http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=101983


GPS route => http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?GPS=9352




THE EXECUTION:

Remember the conversation about Mount Whitney and "Camp Misery"...

A quick check on the National Weather Service website http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ for the San Francisco Peaks weekend forecast before Clark arrives at Chez Schulhauser's. 30% chance of showers Saturday, 20% chance Saturday night, 20% chance Sunday => all looking "manageable". On the road 6-ish as planned and Clark has us pulling into Flagstaff before 9am. A text from Preston indicates he's passing Mormon Lake making his way from Safford. We set the Subway on Milton as our rendezvous spot and we're soon a two truck caravan onto Schultz Pass.

We get the obligatory TH group shots snapped off and we're on the trail at 10:15am per Clark's watch. Although it's sunny at the start, we can see some extremely fast moving clouds over by Fremont Peak. As we continue the ascent towards Doyle Saddle, temperatures begin to plummet. During one of our many photo ops, I opt to breakout the sweatshirt and GoreTex jacket. Clark is in high gear and can't handle the photo breaks so we tell him to go on ahead and setup camp in the wooden "corral" on the southwest side of Doyle Saddle. Preston and I are soon passed by the first ascending hiker we see today, a man and his dog, indicating they plan to camp at Fremont Saddle tonight.

We miss the car wreck http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=75525 near the last switchback to Doyle Saddle as we're engulfed in the clouds. We spot Clark's tent in the wooden "corral" and Preston and I amble over to dump our heavy packs. I know these are the first looks at the Inner Basin for Clark and Preston and their jaws are dropped. We take advantage of the late afternoon light to go explore before setting up camp. I make my way up Doyle Peak hoping to catch a sunset image or two, but clouds eliminate any chance for that...

Back at the wooden "corral", we get all three tents within the windbreaks and begin to assemble dinner. Mountain House Beef Stroganoff is both chosen by Preston and me, whereas Clark has Santa Fe Chicken. Extremely fast moving clouds close in on us and the wind picks up significantly. Our conversation centers on mountain camps and we talk about Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" and my "Camp Misery" http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=8725 at Mount Whitney. Preston is reading Bear Grylls' account of climbing Mount Everest and adds to the conversation. Clark brews some warming tea and we all decide to retire to get an early start on our Sunday morning assault of Mount Humphreys...

As the winds begin to sound 747-like and then comes the rain! Camp Misery Redux!

Sunday morning light arrives with howling winds, rain falling at a 90 degree angle and temperatures just above freezing. We're stunned as you see clouds whip by below you at race car speeds. We're socked in by dense clouds. A fog horn seems appropriate at this time. The call is easy. Break camp and head back to the trail head and grab a hot breakfast back in Flagstaff. Mount Humphrey's will have to wait for another day...
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
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I didn't want to drive to Lockett Meadow, so I went to Schultz Tank instead and hiked my traditional on trail and off trail hike up Fremont from the south. I skipped Doyle. I haven't done this route since late September of 2007, and it isn't as satisfying as it once was. This was also the first time I have done it during summer. It was hot on the way up and very, very humid. Still, I think I made very good time, ascending in 2 and 3/4 of an hour. Unless you like getting grass in your boots and having your legs irritated by the very tall grass that grows on this route, I don't recommend it.

A large part of me doing this today was so that I could finally get some pictures of the senecio in flower. I got a few shots. I found senecio growing right on the summit of Fremont, so be careful if you summit it. I only saw one other person the entire time I was out today. It was a nice day on the Peaks.

Permit $$
None


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Weatherford Trail Approach: From Flagstaff take Fort Valley Road (HWY 180) to Schultz Pass Road. Take it all the way back to Schultz tank on the right hand side. The trail is on the other side.

Inner Basin Trail Approach: From Flagstaff take HWY 89 north to Sunset Crater Rd. Turn left here across from Sunset Crater Rd. Take this road back and turn right at a fork. Take another right further down the road to Locket Meadow.

Humphreys Trail Approach: From Flagstaff take Fort Valley Road (HWY 180) to the Snowbowl Rd. Turn left and head up 7 miles to the Humphreys trail parking lot.
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