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Fremont Peak Loop, AZ
mini location map2019-10-10
11 by photographer avatarLJW
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Fremont Peak Loop, AZ 
Fremont Peak Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2019
Hiking19.37 Miles 4,502 AEG
Hiking19.37 Miles   10 Hrs   41 Mns   2.52 mph
4,502 ft AEG   3 Hrs    Break
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Been sitting on this hike since winter waiting for the fall to arrive. After a disappointing fall showing in the Inner Basin last week, a friend and I made a second attempt to see some color. This time we went for Fremont Peak, and to get maximum autumn-ness we looped around from the Humphrey's side with Weatherford and Kachina Trails, seeing the color from afar and up close.

Started at Snowbowl around 6:45am with temperatures in the mid/high 30s. Aspen Loop was a deep golden yellow. Saw a dozen deer in the meadows at Snowbowl and on the Humphrey's Trail. Passed some people around Humphrey's Saddle and didn't see anyone else until the end of Kachina.

Skipped Humphrey's and went straight down the Weatherford to Doyle Saddle. The wind was starting to blow the early morning haze from the Inner Basin, revealing its color. Took the ridge from Doyle Saddle to Fremont Peak. First time heading that way, and I think it's the best way up compared to the SE ridge or the loose, rocky climb from Fremont Saddle.

On the top of Fremont we were surrounded by autumn color. Fremont is right in the middle of the aspen stands of the Inner Basin, Weatherford, and Kachina. They were all showing quite nicely and were all within a week of climax. Despite biting wind and near freezing temperatures on top of Fremont, with every direction yielding amazing autumn color or more generally breathtaking views, we lingered for an hour and a half or so.

Headed down the SE ridge, which is much more enjoyable downhill than up. Caught up with Weatherford at the second big switchback. The colors on the lower sections of the trail were still pretty green, but higher up the color was perfect.

Onto Kachina and the color was best nearer the Weatherford junction than the trailhead. Was very impressed by that trail. The meadows were quite beautiful, especially at this time of year. It was especially cool to walk through the seas of yellow on Weatherford and Kachina after surveying them from the top of Fremont. The ups and downs that come by nickel and dime on Kachina were rough by the end.

There was a freeze in Flagstaff the night of this hike, and I imagine that has hastened the changing of the colors. I'd say from now for a week or so will be prime for seeing some yellow.
Autumn - Color Foliage
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Inner Basin entering climax, Weatherford is there higher up, Kachina is there around the Weatherford junction. The rest will be hitting within a week.
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