Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hike #48: Humphrey's Peak Trail, Kachina Wilderness, Coconino National Forest

Length: 8 miles (10 to the summit)

Towering above the city of Flagstaff, Humphrey's Peak is the highest point in Arizona and an extremely popular destination for local hikers.

The Humphrey's Peak Trail begins at the the Snowbowl Ski Resort and immediately passes into some of the thickest forest in Arizona. Although the trail isn't extremely difficult, the high altitude (the trail begins at 9,300 ft. and climbs to 12,000+) can make it seem much, much harder!

Sadly, due to the thickness of the forest, the remaining trail offers little to view besides tree trunks. The only welcome change is the occasional views of scampering squirrels.

However, after a great deal of climbing, one climbs above the treeline and views of the surrounding mountains suddenly come to light. Unfortunately, Humphrey's Peak sees an afternoon thunderstorm almost every afternoon during the summer months - and today was no exception. By the time we approached the saddle (1 mile from the actual peak), there was violent lightning on both sides, which prevented anyone from reaching the actual summit.

To view more photos of the Humphrey's Peak Trail, click here.

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