With sweltering heat and high triple digit temperatures in Phoenix, it’s the perfect time to head to up north to get outdoors and experience Arizona’s beautiful and lush high mountain forests and wilderness areas. For a wonderful and scenic day trip and easy hike, take a journey to the top of Arizona by hiking the Kachina Trail, in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Located high up in the San Francisco peaks, sits Arizona’s tallest peak, Mt. Humphreys which rises to an elevation of 12, 643 feet which you can climb to the top of on the Mt. Humphrey’s Trail, one of the most challenging hikes in all of Arizona. However, if you’re up for more of an easier day hike instead, then I highly recommend checking out the beautiful Kachina Trail, which is also located in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness and like the Mt. Humphrey’s Trail, is also located at Arizona’s Snow Bowl Ski Resort and if you’re up for the added adventure, you can take a very scenic sky ride right up to the top of Arizona at elevation, 11,500 feet, for a spectacular and amazing panoramic view of all the surrounding Flagstaff and Kachina Peaks Wilderness area, without having to climb it yourself too!
To get to the Kachina Trail from Phoenix you’ll want to head out of town on I-17 north to Flagstaff. We left Phoenix at 9am on a Saturday morning and arrived in Flagstaff at around 11:30am. The drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff is roughly about 2.5 hours and 148 miles. Once you arrive in Flagstaff, the freeway ends and you will exit onto 89A north. Follow 89A through town till you come to route 180 north Snow Bowl Ski Resort, then make a left. You’ll take route 180 for about another 30 minutes till you reach FR 516 and the turn off for Snow Bowl Ski Resort and turn right. The drive along FR 516 is really beautiful and heavily forested as you quickly wind up in elevation from 7000 feet up to 9000 feet. Be aware though that there is little bit of road construction going but it’s not too bad. You’ll want to just take it slow and be on the lookout for wildlife because we saw a couple of deer off to the right in an open meadow area about midway.
Once you reach the lodge, on your right you will see the sign for the Kachina Trail where you’ll park in the Snow Bowl parking lot. At about 9,200 feet, the trail begins a somewhat level but rocky decent, traversing across the San Francisco Peaks through beautiful Aspens forests, winding through open meadows and offering break throughs here and there for gorgeous vistas of the surrounding Flagstaff area that are absolutely magnificent. We journeyed along on this gorgeous trail, noticing only a slight drop in elevation, about 600 feet. Although the trail is rated “easy” but due to the rocky conditions and the high level of elevation, I would … Read More