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Weatherford Trail #102
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mini location map2009-07-19
6 by photographer avatarRandal_Schulhauser
photographer avatar
 
Weatherford Trail #102Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 19 2009
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking9.48 Miles 4,609 AEG
Hiking9.48 Miles   6 Hrs      1.58 mph
4,609 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Weatherford Trail

Not the rain, not the hail, not the howling wind could stop my trudge up to the rarified air of +10,000 feet...


Having completed Derek von Briesen's "Digital Darkroom" session hosted by SuzAZ Saturday afternoon/evening in Gold Canyon, and a Monday Arizona Bioindustry Association (check out http://www.azbio.org) board meeting in Flagstaff on my calendar, I was wondering if I could squeeze in a Sunday hike out of the valley heat.

Continuing my weekend quests for altitude in anticipation of Mt. Whitney, I decided to check out the Weatherford Trail for the first time. This trail was a pleasant surprise, exceeding all expectations begging the question; "What took me so long to check this trail out?"

Packed my truck early Sunday and made it up to the trail head about 11-ish, just as threatening skies began to mass overhead. With the threatening deluge, I went over to Schultz Tank via a short section of the Sunset Trail #23. Sure enough, a flash of lightning followed by the requisite sonic boom triggered a deluge. I rushed back to the trail head and the shelter of my F-150 just in time to see hail bouncing of everything in sight.

I wasn't the only one taking refuge at the Weatherford trail head parking, as about a dozen soaked hikers ran back to their vehicles. One by one, the vehicles seemed to abandon the trail head, but I stuck it out and after 30 minutes the sun started to break through.

I hopped onto the Weatherford Trail with a light drizzle still in process, and proceeded up the abandoned double-track to the Kachina Trail junction. I was totally unaware of the aspen stands in this area and started to project a mental image of an October scene of yellow aspen leaves. Yes, going to have to come back and check that out...

Continued up into the switch-backs and neared Doyle Saddle just as the skies darkened and a rumble of thunder echoed through Weatherford Canyon. I headed into a dense stand of aspen for a break, and sure enough another deluge began. More hail punctuated this time by a howling wind. A chill started to set into my body as the temperature must have plummeted 20 degrees. I needed to get moving again!

With the rain letting up somewhat, I elected to turnaround and make a bee-line for my truck. In what only seemed to be a little over an hour, I was back at the trail head. Sun out and steam rising of everything in sight.

Thinking about doing this trail over again, but as an over night back pack with an early morning assault of Mt. Humphrey's Summit...
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Randal_Schulhau's
485 Photosets

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