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Inner Basin Trail #29
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mini location map2019-10-04
24 by photographer avatarkingsnake
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Inner Basin Trail #29Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2019
kingsnake
Hiking8.71 Miles 1,639 AEG
Hiking8.71 Miles   3 Hrs   35 Mns   2.43 mph
1,639 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My first stop in this year’s fall color tour.

Even though I lived in Flagstaff for five years in the 1980s, I had never been to the Inner Basin.

Driving up I-17 from Phoenix, the top of the San Francisco Peaks was obscured by clouds. Visually, it looked like someone had lopped of the peaks with a sword. 🗡

I checked out the info kiosk at the Inner Basin Trailhead, then backtracked a hundred yards to a gated, unnumbered, jeep trail. I folowed that jeep trail for 1.5 miles to the intersection of Waterline Rd., where it reconnected to Inner Basin Trail #29. The color in there was decent, but most importantly, I was away from other people.

From the Waterline Rd. intersection, I again veered off Inner Basin Trail #29, opting for a continuation of the old jeep trail I had been on. Split right to follow my route; left to stay on Inner Basin Trail #29. There was some really good fall color, cheddar-colored quaking aspen, some of which framed Doyle Peak and Fremont Peak. After ⅔ of a mile, rather than continue up Beard Canyon to Bear Paw Spring or Flagstaff Spring, I turned left / south.

There is a small two-person shelter at the Inner Basin Pumphouse. Its back faces up canyon, from where the wind was blowing hard. I saw quite a few people bundled up, but I soldiered on in only my hiking shirt. Other than my ears, body heat compensated. I took a break on the leeward side of the pumphouse.

From Inner Basin, I took Trail #29 back to Waterline Rd. The color was only okay in that ¾ mile section, but a couple of Chinese tourists were sure enjoying it. 📸

I headed east on Waterline Rd., through the cathedral of quaking aspen. (Still only key lime-colored, but beautiful nonetheless.) There were quite a few bits of broken ceramic pipe along the road.

There is a gate just before Waterline Rd. changes from quaking aspen to grassland. I turned left, heading down the unnumbered jeep trail towards FR 553. The jeep trail had great views southeast towards Flagstaff’s outskirts, and east towards O’Leary Peak and Sunset Crater. The ridge top was only 100 ft. up. Though the ridge did not have the panoramic fall color view I had hoped for, it did have a great view north to SP Crater, Colton Crater and other volcanic formations on the Babbitt Ranch.

There were some small lupine along the jeep trail, nearly the only flowers I saw all day. (I saw one closed up Arizona Thistle and one purple daisy-like bloom: That’s it!) The top of the ridge had some dry grassy plant with a seed-filled pod that rattled when I brushed against it. I jumped a few times, before figuring out it was not snakes. 😏

At FR 553, I turned west returning to Lockett Meadow. There was some final good fall color in that short stretch between Sugarloaf Mountain and the meadow.

Hiking Video: https://vimeo.com/485061832
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Better on the jeep trail that parallels Inner Basin Trail #29.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
I could count them on one hand.
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http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
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