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Humphreys Peak Trail - Coconino National Forest

Summary: The easier of two ways to summit the highest peak in Arizona (see Weatherford Trail for the tougher one).
Directions: From Phoenix take I-17 north to Flagstaff.  Follow Highway 180 north out of Flag 7 miles.  Turn right at the signs for Snowbowl ski area near mile post 223.  Folow the Snow Bowl Road 6.5 miles and turn left into the signed parking area for the Humphreys Peak and Katchina Trails.
Road Conditions: Passenger car - paved all the way.
Navigation: Easy
Length: 9 miles
Date Hiked: Oct, 2000
Weather Conditions: Warm at the bottom, cool on top.
Required Skills:
Hike Description: From the signed trailhead, begin by walking across the ski slope, under the lifts into the forest beyond.  The first part of this hike winds it's way through a pine forest crowded with dead fall (a result of overzealous fire suppressionists perhaps).  Eventually the trees become more stunted and finally cease to grow as you reach the tree line at 10,500 ft.  A short steep climb brings you to Doyle Saddle (and the intersection with the right branching Weatherford Trail).  From the saddle head left up a steep section which sometimes requires the use of hands.  The trail then becomes somewhat less steep, ascending over a couple false peaks (with some nice views to the right down into Lockett Meadow) and finally to the summit at 12,633 ft.  Enjoy the view, take a few photos (peak baggers can stand next to the wooden summit sign as proof of their accomplishment), then return the way you came.  
Rating (1-5 stars):
This is another crowded hike (in the summer at least, winters you'll probably have the place to yourself, but that's a whole new ball game), but there are some nice views that make it worth it.  Bring extra clothes for the summit which will likely be quite cool even in the middle of the summer.  If performing this hike in the monsoon season, keep an eye on the clouds.  If afternoon thunderheads begin forming, it's probably better to be below tree line than waving your aluminum walking stick around on an exposed ridge line.  The author and his wife completed this hike in 6 hours.
Maps: Coconino National Forest Map
Books: The Favorite Hikes, Flagstaff & Sedona, Cosmic Ray
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
Aspen on the ascent. The view from Humphrey's Peak 
looking north into Lockett Meadow.
Climbing towards the peak.