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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.

Inner Basin to Doyle Peak, AZ

Guide 16 Triplogs  4 Topics
  4.3 of 5 
no permit
207 16 4
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 10.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,700 feet
Elevation Gain 2,760 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,050 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 25.75
Interest Peak
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
6  2019-10-15 kyleGChiker
14  2018-10-13 caragruey
25  2016-08-28
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
8  2016-08-28
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
41  2015-09-06
Fremont & Doyle Peaks
18  2013-08-29 Stoic
26  2013-07-06 VolcanoCLMBR
38  2011-06-18 Jim_H
Page 1,  2
Author fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 387
Photos 4,001
Trips 3,138 map ( 20,383 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:34am - 7:31pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2010 Schultz Fire15.1k

To pose or not to pose
by fricknaley

Likely In-Season!
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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.

A direct summit of Doyle Peak can be pieced together from another summary on HAZ, which describes various ways to conquer Fremont and Doyle Peaks by Steven. I'm entering this as a more detailed and direct route from the Inner Basin, and also because I took a slightly different route. If you only have time to bag one of these peaks, Doyle is the easier of the two to go after, and it is wicked fun.

Doyle Peak is the 4th tallest peak in Arizona, rising 11,460 feet. It is the leftmost peak as you enter the Inner Basin. The details of the Inner Basin trail are well-described on this site, and I refer you to Steven's original description of the Inner Basin Trail. This whole hike is probably worth it just for the beginning stroll through the mighty aspen stands that line the first part of the trail. These are the biggest I have ever seen. Any time the trail reaches an intersection, it is always well marked. Just follow the signs to the Inner Basin.

When you finally reach the Inner Basin, it opens up and blows you away. In my opinion, Fremont Peak steals the show. Look all the way to your left, next to the bald-capped Fremont, and you will spot your destination...Doyle Peak. It is rather broad on top and forested, but trust me, it offers great views worth fighting for. As you proceed beyond the deepest reaches of the Inner Basin, the trail climbs straight up into a pine forest and ultimately breaks left at a small sign. This last stretch of the Inner Basin trail is amazing as it briskly switchbacks up and out of the basin. The forestry here is thick and pristine. Moss-covered tree trunks line the way, studded with all sorts of fungi. How amazing!

The last leg of the Inner Basin Trail dead-ends at the junction with the Weatherford Trail; this is at roughly 10,750 feet or so. From here, hang a left and follow the Weatherford. You will soon be able to see your first goal, Doyle Saddle, nestled neatly between Doyle and Fremont Peaks. This leg along the Weatherford is spectacular. Is this trail the crown of the Kachina Wilderness? Periodic views down into the Inner Basin are truly amazing and strongly remind one of the views down on Yosemite Valley from the upper reaches of the rims around it...Arizona has it all! The Weatherford occasionally runs through lush pines, and often the trail breaks away and far down to your left with wonderful views. Cross the scree at the mid base of Fremont, and you are getting close. When you finally arrive at Doyle Saddle after almost 1 mile, a small sign announces No Camping between Fremont and Doyle Saddles. There are nice views to the south from here. Doyle is to your left, Fremont to your right.

This is where you leave the trail; it's time to scramble up to the summit of Doyle Peak. This will take you about 30-45 minutes, depending on how you climb. There is no clear route; just pick the path of least resistance. There are always a couple of decent options to choose from. Occasionally I saw prints or tracks; far more often, I did not. If you noticed from the Basin, there is an initial peak with a short flat section, then the real summit. So, as you climb, this first level will present itself as a false peak. However, once you reach this, you can see the real summit is very close. From this initial shelf, there are great views south if you hug the right side. If you hug the left from the true summit, there are tremendous views over the Inner Basin, San Francisco Peaks, and especially of neighboring Fremont Peak. This summit is rather flat and forested but truly awesome nonetheless.

To get back head towards Fremont Peak, you will not be able to see the saddle initially. Fremont is a good locator beacon until you can lay eyes on the saddle below and head straight for it. Going down is a very quick trip. Have fun.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2006-08-12 fricknaley
  • 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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Inner Basin Trailhead
From Flagstaff take US 89 north to Sunset Crater Rd. Do not turn on Sunset Crater Rd. Turn left instead of Right. Turning left will take you on the forest service roads. There will be a sign on your left telling you different destinations and an arrow. Go straight until you reach a 'T'. Turn right (north). This road will turn west. Turn north when you come to a road with a sign that points to Locket Meadow. Follow this road all the way down, 6 miles I think into Locket Meadow. Once in Locket Meadow turn right and keep driving until you see a parking place for hikers. It is by the outhouse. Parking is on the left, the trail is on the right. A gate blocks the entrance for vehicles.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 173 mi - about 2 hours 59 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 278 mi - about 4 hours 27 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 26.9 mi - about 52 mins
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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