Past Meetup

Humphrey's Peak - GC RR Training Hike 1a and Saturday Night Camping

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Join us for a high altitude hike up Humphrey's Peak Summit trail.

Will meet at the Humphrey's Peak Summit trailhead and I plan on starting to hike at 8:00 AM from the Humprey's Peak trailhead in the parking lot off of the snowbowl road. Starting hike early to try and avoid monsoon storms above the treeline. We may have to turn back if lightning gets too close when traveling above the treeline.

For those wanting to carpool for camping Saturday night:

How about meeting at my house Saturday at 2:15 PM? I feel better about folks leaving there cars in my neighborhood than in some shopping center.

My address is near 40St and Indian School. Let me know if you can drive or want to carpool. I can drive and take 3 others in my truck. My cell is 602-791-7225.

Meetup in Flagstaff at 5:00 PM at the Lumberyard the new brewery in Flagstaff at San Frisco and the railroad tracks.

For those wanting to carpool Sunday morning: Gladys is meeting at I-17 and Bell by Denny's at 5:25 AM.

I plan on camping along the Hart prairie road FR 151 Saturday night 8/7 so that we can get an early start on the summit trail since this is peak monsoon season. You can drive up Sunday morning and meet us at the trailhead, but you will need to leave Phoenix early to make it to the trailhead by 8:00 AM. Or you can risk starting later and catch us on the trail. I will be driving up to Flagstaff late Saturday afternoon and we can meetup in Flagstaff and have dinner before driving out to Hart Prairie Road FR 151 to setup camp.

Bring on the Hike:
3L water
Rain Jacket and/or Poncho
Hat, sunscreen, snacks, lunch

Here is a write up from Hike Arizona: (

Directions to Humphries Trailhead: From Flagstaff follow Highway 180 West 7 miles to FR516. Turn right onto FR516 (N. Snowbowl Dr) and follow 6.2 miles to the first large signed parking lot on the left.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 164 mi - about 2 hours 41 mins

Difficulty: 4.5 Route Finding: 3
Distance Round Trip 10.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9320 feet
Elevation Gain 3313 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 - 6 hours
Interest: Peak

History: An extinct volocano, Humphreys Peak is the highest in Arizona. It is one of three peaks forming a rough U shaped valley known as the Inner Basin or Interior Valley. G.K. Gilbert in 1873 named the peak for his superior officer, Brig. Gen. Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, who had been with the Ives Expedition as a captain in 1851.

by joe bartels

Here is a hike to get excited about! First and foremost, be realistic, are you ready for Humphreys! Okay so this isn't Mt. Whitney or Everest, but this baby will push most desert dwellers to the edge.

Welcome to Snow Bowl. That's right! The first section of trail crosses winter wonderland. Wildflowers and warm air will keep skiing off your mind. Pass under the ski lifts on towards the forest. Soon after entering the forest you will pass Kachina Peaks Wilderness boundary. The trail is consistently uphill all the way.

After 3 miles of hiking you are near timberline, stunted bristle cone pines take over. The forest thins out and you will pass the junction with the Weatherford Trail at 3.75 miles.

From here on pay attention to the trail. There is no vegetation. It's easy to get off track as the trail is vaguely defined in areas. Weather changes in a flash up here. Summer of '98 I got pounded by a hail storm. Excitement builds as you pass a couple false peeks along the way. Soon after you will reach the summit. Wow what a feeling!
- Aug 07 1998 joe bartels

Coconino FS Reports This steep mountain trail leads to the highest point in Arizona. If you consider it merely as a means to that end, however, you'll miss much of the reason to come here. Along its 4.5 mile course, a thriving alpine forest streaked with huge rock slides and avalanche tracks hugs the mountain's slopes. Scenic Hart Prairie stretches out the base of the incline and the Grand Canyon is easily visible on the horizon.

As the elevation increases, trailside vegetation shows more and more evidence of the extreme harshness of this environment. Near tree line what's left of the forest consists entirely of bristlecone pines bent and twisted by wind and frost. This hardy tree manages to live one of the longest lives on earth in one of the planet's most inhospitable environments. Above tree line the only plants that can survive are small tundra shrubs and wildflowers that huddle for shelter among the rocks. Some are found nowhere else in the world. Overhead, above Arizona's highest ridge, white-throated swifts dive and flash like miniature fighter planes as they feed on nearly invisible insects borne on the wind.

Humphreys Trail is steep and long and extremely rocky in its higher reaches. Above treeline it exposes you completely to the whims of nature. Here it may snow during any month of the year. In late summer monsoon storms can set the high country snapping with lightning. Be prepared to turn around and head for lower ground if a thunderstorm is brewing!

Once you do reach the summit ridge you'll feel like you're standing on top of the world. Off in the distance, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the mesas that are home to the Hopi Indians the Verde Valley and Oak Creek Canyon form a 360deg. panorama. And after you've seen it you'll be able to say you've been as high as you can get in Arizona.