Why?: Cool hike along the slopes of San Francisco Mountain through aspens, firs, ferns, boulders, caves, and meadows with views of the peaks and Flagstaff and beyond.
The Kachina Trail provides access to a healthy portion of the mountain's most beautiful scenery. Its gently rolling course follows a moderate gradient through stands of white-barked aspen and groves of tall mixed conifers separated by broad, wildflower carpeted meadows. Hikers have an excellent chance of seeing some of the area's more spectacular wildlife residents, including hat-rack antlered elk and mule deer, as well as smaller but easier to see gray squirrels, Clark's nutcrackers, and Steller's jays.
At a number of points, the trail breaks free of the trees to offer good views both of the rocky upper slopes of the mountain and of the forests surrounding its base. Portions of the city of Flagstaff and its suburbs are visible as well.
Our hikes are generally at a pace conducive to social banter of interest to heathens, although your host is also interested in the local geology and wildlife. Expect this hike to last 3-4 hours.
See photos from our previous hike here 7/17/11:
Distance : 4-6 miles TBD (out & back)
Time : determined by our group of hikers …3-4 hours
Difficulty : easy- moderate… remember altitude
Trail : packed forest floor dirt
Elevation: [masked] ft.
change : [masked] ft.
Parking : dirt lot
Entry fees : NO
Dogs : OK
Always carry and drink plenty of water!
Sunscreen and insect repellant is advised.
Supportive footwear is also advisable.
Have light rain gear available.
(Scattered afternoon thunderstorms are common at high altitudes July – September.)
SAFETY FIRST… we have no medical provisions
To get there: Take I-17 into Flagstaff and continue on Milton about a mile and a half to turn left on Humphrey St. (US 180) and drive about 1/2 mile and turn left at Columbus and continue north on US 180 about 6 miles to milepost 223 and turn north (right) on the Snowbowl Road (FR 516). Follow this paved road about 6.5 miles to the Snowbowl Ski Area. Turn right, into the first parking lot on the right (south). The Kachina trailhead is located at the far end (south) of the parking lot.
Google says it takes about 2 1/2 hours to get there from the 101 & I-17.
Following the hike : There is a good chance we’ll enjoy lunch together at a location to be determined before returning to Phoenix.... Beaver Street?