The Best Hikes in Kachina Peaks Wilderness

2,148 Triplog Reviews in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness
Most recent of 893 deeper Triplog Reviews
10.08 mi • 3,339 ft aeg
My favorite hike to date. Linda invited me on her annual Humphrey's hike the same time my friend Cole reached out. She laid out expectations/packing list and we took off at 1:00am from Snow Bowl. My biggest concern was being at that elevation for the first time, but Cole and I were pleasantly surprised with our fitness. I also drank two Liquid IVs in anticipation. 4 hours up, 1 hour on the summit, and 2 hours down total. I might call myself a full fledged hiker here soon. At least my mom was impressed. :)
7.51 mi • 2,670 ft aeg
B24 Crash Site
I have been wanting to do this hike for some time and since many of the other trails were closed due to fire hazard this was a good a time as any to cross this one off the list. I followed the posted guide route and had no issues finding it. The climb up to the seventh switchback was a steady uphill but that's what I expected. At least I didn't have to do the next 1500 to the top of Humphry and battle the gazilion flies. The Humphry trail is a bit rocky in places but the climb is gradual so it wasn't too bad. Once at the seventh switchback there is a faint user trail heading north. Ginny and I took a break here and enjoyed the view west.

Following the route I had on my GPS made finding it pretty easy but if you don't have a GPS the route is marked with cairns every so often. There were multiple routes cairned just pick the one that looks the easiest. The cairns aren't always there when you need them but I just kept heading north and slightly up and eventually I would see another cairn. The rock fields are the hardest part of the route, slow going. The cairns are quite easy to spot on the rock slides. At the third rock slide crossing is the crash site. I explored the rock slide area with all of the debris from the B24 but I never went down just below the rock slide, This is where the plane plowed into the ground sending debris up hill. I wish I had gone down a little further. Quite an interesting hike and maybe someday I will do it again.

The Humphry trail had a number of people hiking, some going to the peak, some to the saddle and some just taking a stroll till they got tired, but overall a light day for hikers. The weather held off for us to finish the hike, it is always exhilarating to be that high up in a lightning storm.
8.5 mi • 2,071 ft aeg
Beautiful, unburnt trail with lots of solitude (albeit midweek). Started with the Abineau side and had the eerily peaceful company of a hermit thrush on the way up. Saw only one other party the whole day and made it back to the car just as the skies opened up. Was 45 degrees cooler than Gilbert when I left. May this trail never have the same fate as Weatherford…
4.68 mi • 1,006 ft aeg
My partner had a friend passing through town who wanted to hike. Given specific mileage and elevation parameters, I found this little gem!
It’s been years since I’ve hiked Weatherford, but it felt familiar.

We started after 4:15 pm (I guess some people still have to work in the summer 🤷‍♀️) The side trail had some fun obstacles for the pups in the form of fallen trees. Obviously, it receives far less usage, but was still easy to follow. My expectations were exceeded as we made our way through the aspen groves. We got back to the main trail and quickly made it to the parking lot. After a short ride into town, we said our goodbyes and the dude and I closed out the day with Diablo Burger, as one does.
3.4 mi • 557 ft aeg
Snowbowl to the first canyon crossing on Kachina Trail. First time seeing others on the trails all week (2 groups of 2, plus dogs). A light cloud blanket made for a great sunset, best one all week. Checked out a side road on the hike back. Snowpack is getting pretty thin in the sunny spots, with hard packed snow on the trail itself. Still a foot of snow (sometimes more) in the shady areas. Finished at dark. Fun week trying something new (snowshoeing) while in Flagstaff. Nice to be able to “hike” in the snow using snowshoes, although snow free is still my preference.
3.15 mi • 990 ft aeg
Snowshoed Kachina Trail from Snowbowl to the wilderness boundary, then went straight up the mountainside along an open area among the aspens to the crest of the ridge and the Snowbowl boundary. I encountered deep snow on the ridge crest, where a big storage reservoir (for snow making?) is located. Couldn’t see much of Humphreys Peak for a sunset shot, so I started back down the way I came. Sunset color worked out perfectly looking down an aspen alley. Gliding back down through the snow, I reached Kachina trailhead at dark. Nice afternoon adventure with amazing scenery.
3.2 mi • 820 ft aeg
Veit-Kachina
Started on Veit Springs Trail but soon left the trail to follow the power lines uphill to the north, a spur route I had not done before. Snowmobile tracks paralleled the power lines for a ways. Reminiscent of a ski run on this stretch. Snow in the sunny areas was starting to get a crust on top from refreezing. Climbed the rocky ridge at the head of the ravine and continued along the power line route, and soon reached Kachina Trail where it crosses the wilderness boundary. Turned east to follow Kachina for a while. Golden hour had arrived on Kachina, made even more colorful by a smoky sky from nearby slash pile burns. Aspen groves, amazing light, and deeper, soft snow on Kachina. So beautiful, and lots of photo stops. Sunset was in full swing at the rocky ridge, and bare aspens were bathed in a rich reddish orange light. After yet more photos, I made a hasty retreat in the growing chill and waning light. This hike was a 5 out of 5 for me and will be a very memorable one.
10.25 mi • 3,330 ft aeg
Started just after sunrise, nice cool summer morning. Lots of wild flowers blooming in the meadow at Snobowl. There was some drainage work being done on the trail due to the recent rains. Nice and quiet thru most of the trail, saw a few deer meandering thru the trees eating breakfast. Up to the saddle I had not seen any other people all morning, a few were already there eating breakfast and taking a break. Bypassing the break I continued up to the summit. Traversing around the north side to the summit trail, I caught sight of a few others in front of me also. Making my way to the summit, I only spent a few minutes due to the cold and wind; but beautiful views all around from the top of Arizona. I will defiantly be back another day to climb this again.

Wildflowers
Too many to name them all
5.1 mi • 3,382 ft aeg
I finally got around to climbing Humphreys after living in Flagstaff for ten months, decided to jam it out since it was only a week or so before snow started falling.

I get why this hike is popular, people love high points, but it's a real grind. Not very exciting, not very fun, great views but only for about the last mile and a half or so. Personally, I much prefer Kendrick Peak as a hike.
10.91 mi • 3,409 ft aeg
Took my buddy Erik on his first summit of Humphrey’s. I hadn’t been myself since undergrad at NAU, so it was nice to be home again. It was a weekend and beautiful—albeit warm—weather, so traffic up the trail was insane. Last time I had summited, it was our group and maybe a couple others at the top. Definitely not the case this time.

We reached the summit late morning, and I noticed some light but visible smoke just behind Fremont peak and pointed it out to Erik. At first, I assumed it was possibly a pile burn in the Friedland prairie area, as there was some thinning work going on, but it turned out that we witnessed the very breakout of the Museum fire. On our way down, we got an evac notice on our phones, so we headed back to camp to break it down as quick as possible, in case the fire were to spread west and potentially block us in. We could see the smoke clearly from camp, as well as the air attack efforts. It sure was a strange sight seeing a low-flying jet banking over Flagstaff, and brought back memories of the Schultz fire during my time at NAU. We broke down camp and continued to watch from Mama Burger before gassing up and getting the hell out of Dodge.
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