Arizona: Hike Mount Humphreys

Hikers amid alpine tundra above timberline on Humphreys Trail in Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area, Flagstaff, Arizona

Hikers amid alpine tundra above timberline on Humphreys Trail in Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area, Flagstaff, Arizona; Photograph by Tom Bean, Alamy

 

Enjoy unfettered views from 12,633 feet after hiking to the top of the tallest peak in Arizona.

What Is It? A moderately strenuous nine-mile round-trip hike to the apex of Arizona, a peak deemed sacred by many southwestern tribes. The Mount Humphreys Trail, located just 14.5 miles outside of Flagstaff, climbs over 3,300 feet and provides the perfect contrast to the nearby Grand Canyon. The route begins at 9,300 feet in a flat, open, wildflower-filled meadow, but quickly ducks into the dense, switchback filled forest. After three miles and 2,500 feet of gain, you’ll reach a saddle where the trail gets steeper, rockier, and more difficult to follow. Pay attention and you’ll do fine, but don’t be fooled by multiple false summits along the way. The true summit sits at the end of a treeless ridge full of boulders that will test your balance and endurance.

Why Do It? To discover firsthand that Arizona isn’t all flat desert covered in cactus. Scaling Mount Humphreys reveals a different side of the Grand Canyon State–one full of trees, mountains, creeks, and even snow. And, since it’s the biggest thing for hundreds of miles, the scenes from the top are beyond compare. On a clear day you can see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, and the White Mountains.

Make It Happen: Check conditions with the Coconino National Forest and pick up 100 Classic Hikes in Arizona by Scott S. Warren. It has a helpful description and detailed topo.

Next: Arkansas

Previous: Alaska

See all the summer weekend adventures.

More: See America’s 100 Best Adventures and Long Weekends Like a Local


What’s your favorite summer weekend adventure in Arizona?

***

50 Best Summer Weekend Adventures: Great adventures are all around us—and summer is the ideal time to seek them. To give you some ideas and inspiration, every weekday we will be sharing a different U.S. summer weekend adventure, state-by-state from A to Z. We invite you to share your favorite summer weekend adventures in the comments section below when your favorite state is featured. Report back after the weekend to tell us about the outdoor adventures you had.

Comments

  1. […] 50 Best Summer Weekend Adventures: Arizona… […]