Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hike #43: Kendricks Mountain Trail, Kendricks Mountain Wilderness, Kaibab National Forest

Length: 9 miles

Climbing to a height of almost 10,500 feet, the Kendrick Mountain towers over its remote flat surroundings just west of Flagstaff. Although the mountain is somewhat off the beaten path, the dirt roads leading to the trailhead are extremely well-maintained and make for easy access. (Be watchful, however, of the numerous cows if coming from the north on FR 144.)

Although there are three different trails leading to the mountain's peak, the Kendricks Mountain Trail is the most direct and easiest to follow path. Beginning at the trailhead, the trail follows what once was apparently a forest road; however, nearly all traces of a "road" have completely disappeared. Unfortunately, since this was once a road, it follows a gradual incline with practically no level segments.

After climbing along this road for a couple miles, the trail switches to a series of much more dramatic switchbacks, which continue steeply up the mountain. Fortunately, this segment of the trail does provide a great wealth of wildflowers (wild roses, columbine, Indian paintbrush, etc.) to enjoy along the way.

Eventually, after having climbed just over 4-miles, the trail opens to an open meadow which houses a historic forestry cabin built in 1912. From here, the trail continues for another ¼-miles to the current fire tower atop the actual peak. Atop the tower, one can see spectacular views of the San Francisco Peaks, Bill Williams Mountain, and the Grand Canyon. (Unfortunately, massive storm clouds blocked our views of many of the surrounding landmarks.)

After a quick break at the top, the trip downhill is a quick, easy re-tracing of the previous trail.

To view more photos of the Kendricks Mountain Trail, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait for the next hike.
    Your pictures are beautiful.
    Too bad you didn't get any of the rain....