Hikes in the Flagstaff area
How difficult are these trails? Remember to HIKE SMART
Abineau to Bear Jaw Trail Loop
Distance: 6.9 miles on a loop
Elevation gain: 1,876 feet
- Notes: Heading up into the mountains, you’ll find snow and wildlife are abundant. This is a challenging climb but with so much to see along the way. This hike is best in the summer time, when you’re looking to escape the heat. Bring the snow shoes if you plan to hike this trail before June (yes, there’s often 3+ feet of snow in May still). We recommend hiking this loop counterclockwise, and be prepared for the change in elevation (right around 10K feet at the top!).
Aspen Corner Loop Trail
Distance: 2.5 miles on a loop
Elevation gain: 656 feet
- Notes: Aspen and Pine trees and alpine meadows make up this beautiful trail. From this trail you will see the volcanic field from the early formation of the San Francisco Peaks, as well as a view to the Grand Canyon (on a clear day). You’ll see countless birds and wildflowers, and countless other bits of nature to appreciate along the way. Park in the lower lot of Snowbowl to start this high-altitude hike.
Buffalo Park Trail
Distance: 2.2 miles on a loop
Elevation gain: 98 feet
- Notes: This trail is easy, has nice views, and is a simple way to get some fresh air without working too hard. Enjoy a relaxing stroll along well maintained paths. This trail is packed with runners and other hikers, so go early to beat the crowds.
Campbell Mesa Loop Trail
Distance: 5.5 miles on a loop
Elevation gain: 314 feet
- Notes: This is a great trail system with so many options to extend or shorten your hike. With little variation this is great for beginners and it’s family and pet friendly. Another busy trail, but you’ll find more mountain bikers in this area. Plenty of wildlife to enjoy too, so keep your eyes and ears open!
Distance: 2.4 miles on a loop
Elevation gain: 561 feet
- Notes: This is one of the most popular trails in Flagstaff, and for good reason. It’s short enough to get it done and still have time for other activities. It’s challenging enough with some rocky climbs, there are great views here and there, plenty of shade, and options for side hikes/extensions. Bring your pup along on a leash, and enjoy a nice morning adventure.
Humphreys Peak trail
Distance: 10.5 miles total out and back
Elevation gain: 3,353 feet
- Notes: The tallest peak in all of Arizona, this trail is for our avid hikers with lots of experience, and training for the altitude. The summit sits at 12,635 feet, so be prepared to have difficulty breathing up this absolute burner. It takes most hikers 6-8 hours, so pack lunch and lots of water. DO NOT get caught above treeline in the afternoon. These peaks are known to generate their own weather, and a random storm will pop up catching you in torrential rain, sleet/snow/hail, thunder and lightning. Additionally, this peak is covered in snow most of the year. The best time to go will be late August and September before the snow comes again.
Distance: 10.2 miles total out and back
Elevation gain: 1,528 feet
- Notes: This burner is a great challenge for the intermediate/advanced hikers. During winter this trail is covered in snow and ice, so pack the snow shoes. Fall is the best time to do this hike, with the changing colors on the trees. Not to mention the abundant wildlife, you’ll be sure to enjoy a true wilderness experience with not too many other visitors.
Kendrick Peak Trail
Distance: 9.8 miles total out and back
Elevation gain: 2,693 feet
- Notes: Kendrick Peak is outside Flagstaff, and is the highest peak in Arizona outside the San Francisco Peaks. This mountain is an absolute calf burner, with a steady incline all the way up, and tons of switch backs. The view at the top gives you perfect line of sight to the San Francisco Peaks, the Grand Canyon, and all around. Bring lots of water, and a layer for the top. You’ll be in the trees most of time so enjoy the shade! Expect snow at the top from October to June.
Lava’s Edge Trail – Sunset Crater
Distance: 3.4 miles total out and back
- Notes: Walk under ponderosa pines, explore loose cinders and rough basalt, and enjoy everything the Bonito Lava Flow has to offer. There is a fee to enter this area, but so much to explore once you’re inside! Please stay on trail here, the environment is fragile.
Lockett Meadow Inner Basin trail
Distance: 3.4 miles on a loop
Elevation gain: 839 feet
- Notes: This busy hike is often over-crowded with other hikers, but once you go you’ll see why. The aspens are beautiful, and the views in the inner basin area are breath-taking. You definitely need to get to the parking area prior to 8:30am if you want a spot. Be sure to pack the camera and enjoy the views every step of the way. Also, the road to this parking area is narrow, bumpy, and typically closed in winter due to snow.
Mount Elden Lookout Trail
Distance: 5.3 miles total out and back
Elevation gain: 2,312 feet
- Notes: Get ready to become a stair master! This trail is steep, but the view from the top allows you to see all the way out to the Mogollon Rim and as far as the Grand Canyon (on a clear day). It will be windy at the top, but a breeze is nice after that strenuous climb.
Old Caves Crater Trail
Distance: 4.2 miles on a loop
Elevation gain: 656 feet
- Notes: This trail is a great step up for the beginners, and a fun day for our more intermediate hikers. The climb up to the top is a good heart pump, but the trail is well maintained and easy to follow. The view at the top is a breath-taking 270-degree view. Coming back down you’ll loop around on a rather flat section, but it’s shady and enjoyable, so bring your pups or older kids and don’t forget to check out the caves!
Picture Canyon Trail
Distance: 2.8-3.93 miles on a loop
Elevation gain: 312 feet
- Notes: This trail is beginner friendly and has options for how far to go. The trail is well marked, but if you’re ever unsure which way to go, there’s service the whole time, so pull up the website! This is a great option for hikers with families and pets. Enjoy the waterfall and petroglyphs, lots of shade, and cool history. It gets crowded, so we recommend going early and during the week.
Sandy’s Canyon Trail
Distance: 3.1 miles total out and back
Elevation gain: 305 feet
- Notes: This popular trail offers great views, and wide open spaces to breath in the fresh air. The elevation gain is almost exclusively at the beginning/end when you drop into the canyon, and then subsequently hike out at the end. Otherwise super mellow and perfect for any hiker. Bring the pups and check out Fisher Point!
Sandy Seep Trail
Distance: 2.7 miles
Elevation gain: 370 feet
- Notes: This trail is relatively flat and takes you into a large field area with great views of the peaks. The best part is how easy it is to connect with other trails like Little Elden Trail and the Christmas Tree loop. With such little variation, anyone up for the extra mileage should consider adding these trails to make it a fun day exploring the woods.
Schultz Creek Trail
Distance: 8 miles total out and back
Elevation gain: 816 feet
- Notes: This shady trail is a nice moderate climb, but not technical at all. Enjoy a walk through the woods and check out the Flagstaff wildlife. There are many mountain bikers on this trail, so pay attention. The uphill is pretty steady, making the hike back fun and enjoyable.
Distance: 8.3 miles total out and back
Elevation gain: 1,935 feet
- Notes: This trail has been a classic in the Flagstaff area for years. The top section was recently burned through by the Museum Fire, but it still has so much beauty and incredible views the whole way. The majority of the trail is a steady climb that is quite doable, but save some energy for the very end, where it gets much steeper to climb to the top. Enjoy the view of Flagstaff and the Painted Desert.
Walnut Canyon Hike (In Walnut Canyon National Monument)
Distance: 1 mile round trip
Elevation gain: 185 feet
- Notes: This trail is within the national monument, which does require a fee to enter. But once you’re in, enjoy all the information provided in the visitor center, as well as this incredible cultural hike around well preserved dwellings.