Humphreys Peak and the San Francisco Peaks are sacred and holy mountains to Native American tribes, including the Hopi, Zuni, Havasupai, and Navajo. High-pointing each state is a goal for some adventurers, and if you’re interested in doing so in Arizona- Humphrey’s Peak will be your challenge. Depending on the shape you’re in, you might have to take it slow. Once you’ve gotten your fill of views and your picture with the sign you’ll head back down the way you came. There is a path that leads you across an open meadow and under the ski lifts to the trailhead within the forest. As soon as you come out of the treeline at around 11,300 feet, you will have a very clear view of Humphreys Peak and the direction you need to travel. Working remotely has changed my life and allowed me to experience the places I've been dreaming of. The views here are stunning as you can see the backside of the mountain into the Inner Basin. A seventh zone not described in Arizona is the Tropical Zone. Humphreys, you are standing on the state’s highest peak and are rewarded with a 360° panoramic view that is unparalleled anywhere in Arizona, taking in hundreds of square miles on a clear day. Many people will usually take day trips and be able to see The resident highest point in Arizona, Humphrey’s Peak, looms over the picturesque mountain town of Flagstaff, Arizona (which is worth a visit all on its own due to many other superb Flagstaff hikes), at an impressive elevation of 12,633 feet. The hike starts just north of 9,000ft and picks up consistent elevation until you arrive at the summit. Welcome to the tallest peak in Arizona! This is compared to the other western U.S. high points. Once you walk through the big open meadow and under the ski lifts, you will come upon a sign for the Kachina Peaks Wilderness within the forest. It definitely takes some determination and prior preparation, but this hike is one to remember. At this elevation, the risk of getting stuck in a storm and struck by lightening is high, let alone the risk of forest fires. Humphreys Peak is Arizona's highest mountain and the highest point of the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff in north-central Arizona. This is a strenuous … Humphreys Peak Hike: An Overview. Hi there! Humphreys Peak is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet and one of the most scenic viewpoints in the San Francisco Peaks. The views span for miles in each direction. The alpine forest trail is located just north of Flagstaff. Charles Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, called him "one of the loudest swearers" he ever heard and a man of "distinguished and brilliant profanity." You’ve probably read mixed reviews about what it’s like to climb Humphreys Peak. Humphreys Peak and the greater San Francisco Mountain is part of the Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area, which includes 18,960 acres. Humphreys was a Civil War General, who led Union troops at Gettysburg, Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, and others. The alpine forest trail is located just north of Flagstaff. The hike begins about 11 miles north of Flagstaff from the Arizona Snowbowl ski area. The only alpine tundra plant community in Arizona is found on two square miles on the San Francisco Peaks. Humphreys Peak Trail. Merriam's six life zones, still used today, are Lower Sonoran Zone, Upper Sonoran Zone, Transition Zone (also called Montane Zone), Canadian Zone, Hudsonian Zone, and Arctic-Alpine Zone. Catch Humphreys Peak Trail #151 from the parking lot and prepare yourself for a grueling hike up and down Arizona’s largest mountain. The mountain is located in Flagstaff which is about 2.5 hours from the Phoenix area and about an hour from Sedona as well. Continue along the windy road for about 6.5 miles and you’ll arrive at the Arizona Snow Bowl. Clinton Hart Merriam, a pioneering biologist, studied Arizona's geography and plant and animal communities, including those on the San Francisco Peaks, in 1889. There are no services available but there are 14 camping sites which are free! Humphrey’s Peak Trail begins from the Arizona Snow Bowl Ski Resort! Preparation saves lives. The trail switchbacks north and south as it makes its way east uphill. The hike along the ridgeline is considered strenuous. Starting at the Arizona Snowbowl ski base, it’s a 4.8 mile climb to the summit and elevation gain of 3,313 feet. Please see my disclosure for more info. Facts About Kilimanjaro, the Highest Mountain in Africa, Mount Whitney: Highest Mountain in California, Mount Everest: The Highest Mountain in the World, Ship Rock: Sacred Navajo Peak in New Mexico, Mount Kenya Is Africa's Second Highest Mountain, Mount Fuji: the Most Famous Mountain in Japan, Climb Mount Rainier: Highest Mountain in Washington, All About Makalu: 5th Highest Mountain in the World, Mount Vinson: The Tallest Mountain in Antarctica, Learn How to Climb Mount Kahtadin, Maine's Highest Mountain. Humphreys Peak: Hike Overview. This is where you enter and begin your trek up to Humphrey’s Peak. His troops called him "Old Google Eyes" for his reading glasses, but he was a profane and no-nonsense soldier. Humphreys Peak is the highest mountain in Arizona and resides in Coconino County, in the northern part of the state. But since John and I came from Phoenix, which is about 1300 feet, our total elevation change in less than 12 hours was over 13,000 feet. The trail rises over 3,000 feet in elevation over approximately 4.5 miles, and takes you through alpine forest to alpine sage above treeline. Download the free Humphreys Peak topo map. The peaks, including Humphreys, lie along the outer rim of the blasted caldera. The first two miles/1,500 feet of the trail are very easy with gradual elevation gain. On clear days hikers can see the Grand Canyon from the summit. The trail leading into the heart of … Humphreys is Arizona’s premier high-altitude hiking experience. Humphrey’s Peak Hike: The Peak of Flagstaff Hikes . Overall it is super easy to find! The peaks are the home of the Katsinas or Kachinas, special beings that bring rain to the Hopi's parched fields in summer. The Humphrey’s summit is 12,633, which is only about 7000 feet lower then the Kilimanjaro summit. It rises to an elevation of 12,637 feet (3,852 meters). The Humphreys Trail, starting at 8,800 feet at the Arizona Snow Bowl ski area on the west side of the mountain, is the standard ascent route. The mountain eventually collapsed, forming the peaks we see today. Review of Humphrey's Peak Trail - San Francisco Peaks Reviewed August 28, 2018 As a regular state high pointer, I found Humphreys Peak to be a refreshingly straightforward hike. 1.0 mile to the peak on the Summit Trail. It is the 26th most prominent mountain in the lower 48 states, rising over 6,000 feet. Roughly five miles and 3,200 feet in elevation gain later and you’re at the summit of Humphreys Peak. The trail begins climbing elevation almost immediately. It does include 5,200 ft of elevation gain but the grade is almost entirely even throughout. Now I get to share them with you! Starting from Flagstaff you’ll head North on Hwy 180 and turn right onto N Snow Bowl Rd. Humphrey’s Peak is the tallest point in the state of Arizona at just over 12,000 feet (3600M). The 4.8 mile trail is generally wide and easy to follow, and although it has a significant elevation gain, 3,360 feet, much of the hike is not particularly steep, ascending via long, comparatively gentle switchbacks, though one section, up to a saddle linking Humphreys Peak with Agassiz Peak to the south, is rather more strenuous. Because you have another five miles and -3,200 feet to go. The San Francisco Peaks were named in the 17th century by Franciscan priests at a mission at the Hopi village of Oraibi. Don Pike Humphreys Peak is the highest peak in Arizona at 12,637 feet (3,852 meters) within the volcanic San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff. The life zones were described by elevation, climate, precipitation, and latitude. Hiking Cathedral Rock: All you need to know, Camping at Lockett Meadow Campground in Flagstaff, AZ, Charlie’s Bunion- Smoky Mountain National Park. Keep reading) Elevation: 12,635 feet Vertical gain: 3,500 feet Bathrooms: Port-a-johns near the trailhead Time: 8 hours, including 30 minutes at the summit Humphreys’ Reputation. October is the area’s most populated month because the Aspen’s turn a stunning yellow. But the trail is easy to follow and well maintained. If you choose to hike in the winter you can expect a lot less people but have to deal with cold temperatures, snow, ice, and wind. The 56 Ultra-Prominent U.S. peaks rise at least 4,921 feet (1,500 meters) above a nearby saddle or low point. I'm Kara and I travel the U.S. solo with my fury companion, Monty. My body may have been hurting near the end of this hike, but looking back on the experience and remembering that “oh, wow!” moment while looking out at the epic views, I’d have to say it was worth every step. Because of the elevation gain and altitude, this hike can be categorized as moderately strenuous. Folks in decent shape can do the hike in a single day. I always recommend tracking yourself or following an already made track so you can check in and be sure you’re on the right path. After that, the mountain blew itself up in a similar fashion to Mount Saint Helens in 1980 when it had a massive sideways eruption that left a gaping hole in the side of the mountain. This Humphreys Peak trail guide is a warning and an example of why you need to take this hike seriously and be prepared. It seemed like it took forever at this point because everyone was moving slower and the false peaks kept playing tricks on us! Native Americans are believed to have made the first ascent of the mountain. Humphreys Peak is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of Arizona, with an elevation of 12,637 feet (3,852 m) and is located within the Kachina Peaks Wilderness in the Coconino National Forest, about 11 miles (17.7 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona. On clear days hikers can see the Grand Canyon from the summit. This is a strenuous rocky trail with over 3,000 feet elevation gain. The best and most popular time to hike Humphrey’s Peak would be in the fall right after the summer monsoon season and right before winter hits. You can map your directions from here or follow the directions below! To continue to Humphrey’s Peak from the saddle you’ll take a left up the ridge. The distance part of the hike wasn't the hard part, the hard part was the elevation gain. Total Elevation Gain: 3369 ft / 1026 m: Round-Trip Distance: 10.9 mi / 17.5 km: Route: Humphreys Peak trail: Trailhead: Humphreys Peak TH 9264 ft / 2823 m: Quality: 9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale) Route Conditions: The popular 4.75-mile-long trail is moderate but can be strenuous for lowlanders. You’ll want to take it slow, be sure of your footing, and probably layer up! The trail gains over 3,000 vertical feet from the starting point and leads through a dramatic range of forests. Humphreys Peak Trail. Distance: 11 miles RTType: Out and BackSummit Elevation: 12,633 ft.Elevation Gain: 3,300 ft.Difficulty: DifficultLocation: Flagstaff, AZTrailhead: Humphrey’s Peak TrailDogs Allowed: Yes. It is the closest “campground” to Humphrey’s Peak. Elevation gain is 3,313 feet. If you follow GPS directions or signs to the Arizona Snowbowl it will take you to the right place! You’ll want to start very early and be extremely cautious of mid-afternoon spontaneous weather changes and thunderstorms. Elevation: 12,633 feet Elevation Gain: 3,366 feet Location: Kachina Peaks Wilderness (Arizona) Difficulty: Moderate Crowds: Busy during summer months Time: 5-10 hours Season: Summer to Fall. You can also hike to Humphrey’s Peak from here, but it is more strenuous and will total roughly 14 miles round trip. Although it is a bit of a drive to the other side of the mountain, Lockett Meadow Campground is another option for camping. The San Francisco Peaks range, also called San Francisco Mountain, was once a huge, cone-shaped stratovolcano that rose somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000 feet high and looked like Mount Rainier in Washington or Mount Fuji in Japan. This is a strenuous rocky trail with over 3,000 feet elevation gain. At 12,633 feet with an elevation gain of 3,313 feet, it’s considered a moderate to difficult climb. Eruptions built the peak between 1 million and 400,000 years ago. The San Francisco Peaks are composed of six peaks, including the four highest in Arizona: Humphreys Peak, 12,637 feet (3,851 m), Agassiz Peak, 12,356 feet (3,766 m), Fremont Peak, 11,969 feet (3,648 m), Aubineau Peak, 11,838 feet (3,608 m), Rees Peak, 11,474 feet (3,497 m), and Doyle Peak, 11,460 feet (3,493 m). There also is a sign you can take a picture next to and rock walls built up to barricade yourself from the wind and eat your lunch. Humphreys Peak (Hopi: Aaloosaktukwi, Navajo: Dookʼoʼoosłííd) is the highest natural point and the second most prominent peak after Mount Graham in the U.S. state of Arizona, with an elevation of 12,637 feet (3,852 m) and is located within the Kachina Peaks Wilderness in the Coconino National Forest, about 11 miles (17.7 km) north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Humphreys Peak is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet and one of the most scenic viewpoints in the San Francisco Peaks. Humphreys Peak was named about 1870 for Brigadier General Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, a Civil War hero and U.S. Chief of Engineers. He loved war and always led his troops into battle on his horse. The surveys, done in the 1870s, were led by Captain George Wheeler. The Katsinas live in the mountains for part of the year before taking flight during the summer monsoon season when they fly as rainclouds to nourish crops. For the Navajo or Diné, the San Francisco Peaks are the sacred mountains of the west, Dook'o'ooslííd. There will be large dirt parking lots on your left where you’ll park. Humphrey’s Peak is a bit further than you may think at this point. I’m just another 26 year old solo traveler here living life on her own terms. The Hopi, living east of the mountains, revere the San Francisco Peaks or Nuva'tuk-iya-ovi. Elevation Gain: 3,300 feet . Mt. Humphreys Peak trail Distance: 10.5 miles total out and back Elevation gain: 3,353 feet Difficulty: 5+ Notes: The tallest peak in all of Arizona, this trail is for our avid hikers with lots of experience, and training for the altitude. Humphreys' link to Arizona was that he directed the famous Wheeler Surveys, the United States Geographical Survey that explored the region west of the 100th Meridian, mostly in the southwestern United States. Go ahead and get your Snaps and ‘Grams at the summit sign — you’ve earned it. Trail X Factors: Elevation Chances are, if you are hiking Humphreys Peak, you might not be used to thin air at high elevation. Compare elevation… The peaks, held on Earth by a sunbeam, are of the color yellow, associated with sunset. As a regular state high pointer, I found Humphreys Peak to be a refreshingly straightforward hike. If you plan on camping in the area definitely consider Freidlein Prairie Dispersed Camping. Related: Check out Kendrick Peak, Arizona’s 2nd tallest peak! Expect the trail to be rocky, have exposed roots and the occasional fallen tree but overall in good condition. Arizona, United States, North America. Climbing Humphreys Peak . You can download my Humphrey’s Peak track and gain access to my library of all tracked hikes. On the San Francisco Peaks, there is no off-trail hiking to protect the endemic and endangered plant, the San Francisco Peaks Groundsel. I work from my laptop and travel all across the U.S. with my German Shepard, Monty. This iteration includes a chance to snag the state high point Humphreys Peak at 12,633ft. A moderately difficult, 4.8-mile trail leaves from the resort and leads to the 12,633-foot summit of Humphreys Peak. Be sure to look up their schedule and purchase tickets ahead of time! The popular 4.75-mile-long trail is moderate but can be strenuous for lowlanders. Elevation gain is 3,313 feet. Sitting at 12,633 feet above sea level, Humphrey’s is the tallest peak in Arizona, and as expected, one of the most difficult to summit. Humphreys Peak is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet and one of the most scenic viewpoints in the San Francisco Peaks. His landmark work described six distinct life zones from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the summit of Humphrey's Peak. The summit sits at 12,635 feet, so be prepared to … Together we embrace the nomad lifestyle for it has allowed us to live our life the way we want by traveling and hiking the places we’ve dreamed of! 12 BEST Phoenix Holiday events to attend this year. Summer always seems like a nice time to hike, but that doesn’t apply in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. During the fall season this area turns golden yellow and is a destination for photos, hiking, and simply getting out to walk and see some fall colors. It's about 4.5 miles long (one way) with around 3500 feet of elevation gain. The Hopi have long made pilgrimages to the peaks, leaving items at sacred sites. State High Point: Humphreys Peak Order of Visit: State #19 Date Visited: June 11, 2020 Route Taken: Humphreys Trail (No. It’s one of the easiest summits to reach among the highest peaks in the western states. Humphreys Peak lies within 18,960-acre Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area. The Humphrey’s hike starts at 9,221 and covers just over 10 miles with 5573 elevation gain and 5576 loss. 151) from the Arizona Snowball – 10.7 miles round-trip Type of Terrain: A challenging, rocky trail with more than 3,600 feet of elevation gain over 5.35 miles. The Humphreys Peak Trail is located 11.6 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona (AZ) in Coconino National Forest. Overview 3.7 miles on the Inner Basin Trail #29 to the Weatherford Trail #102.Follow the Weatherford for 2.45 miles to the Humphreys Summit Trail. It is also the 26th most prominent mountain in the lower 48 states with an elevation rise of 6,053 feet. In this post I’ve included Humphrey’s Peak directions, safety precautions, trail information, and more. To get to the very top, hikers should expect about 10 miles out and back before returning to the parking lot. The summit is above 12,000 feet, so it is a high altitude hike. Distance: 11 miles RT Type: Out and Back Summit Elevation: 12,633 ft. Elevation Gain: Know where you are going ahead of time and always have a way to keep yourself on trail. You’ll know you’ve reached Humphrey’s Peak because it is the very last peak along the ridgeline headed that direction. The alpine forest trail is located just north of Flagstaff. One way to do this is with a GPS system or app. Your lungs may be feeling it at the start, but once you get north of 10,000ft you will really be breathing heavy. The padres named the mission and the peaks for St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan order. The mountain had kept tricking me into what I thought was the top. This is a shuttle hike of Humphreys Peak which combines the Humphreys Peak Trail and the Humphreys via Inner Basin hike. When is the best time to hike Humphrey’s Peak? In summer conditions this trail is readily visible and well groomed. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Groups above treeline are limited to a maximum of 12 people. This is an out and back trail to Humphreys Peak in Coconino National Forest. The ski lifts are usually closed if it isn’t ski season, but for a brief time during fall Arizona Snow Bowl sells Scenic Chairlift Tickets so you can ride the lift for some amazing views of the changing trees and surrounding mountains. It is a strenuous hike and I want to be sure you are well prepared before tackling this one! There's nothing technical about it. On clear days hikers can see the Grand Canyon from the summit. As you ascend there will be clearings between the trees, providing beautiful views out into the wilderness. Hikers must follow the trail above timberline and not venture cross-country to avoid damaging the alpine tundra. You did it. There are 3 false peaks and you can’t really tell until you get past one and see the next. Stewart M. Green is a lifelong climber from Colorado who has written more than 20 books about hiking and rock climbing. *Disclaimer: the below links may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through my links I provide (at no extra cost to you). 15.8 mi RT + 4400 ft accumulated elev gain. Below is a screenshot of my track from Humphrey’s Peak! The switchbacks end at the saddle which is a nice place to take a break. The trail leading to Humphreys Peak begins in the Snowbowl parking lot and ascends 3,343 feet up to a total elevation of 12,635 feet. If you hang a right it’ll lead you towards Agassiz Peak. At only 10 miles round-trip it truly shouldn’t be as hard as it is but with the weather, wind, shale rocks near the top and maybe getting off trail here or there… it … Soak in the views, eat some snacks, reflect on how small we are in this world, etc. Deep in the Aspens, this area is an autumn lover’s dream! Humphrey’s Peak was challenging yet rewarding- exactly something you’d expect from the tallest peak of any western state. It's about 4.5 miles long (one way) with around 3500 feet of elevation gain. There is no camping or campfires allowed above 11,400 feet. The entire area once was a single stratovolcano most commonly referred to as San Francisco Mountain. You start in a flowery meadow near Arizona Snowbowl and then wind your way above the tree line. Date: October 15, 2016 Distance: 9 miles round trip via Humphreys Peak Trail (or is it longer? They are holy places that are desecrated by continuing recreation and use. Flagstaff's ski resort, the Arizona Snowbowl, lies on the western slope of Humphrey's Peak. This is not an easy hike by any standards, but if you can make it to the top of Mt. It is very steep, rocky, and windy. The weather was nice and cool, the hike is a longer one and has a lot of elevation gain, the amount of people on trail tapers as you get higher into the trees, most of the hike to the saddle is shaded and in the trees, after the saddle you meander through lava rocks and have a brief almost scramble at the end to the summit. Humphreys Peak Hiking & Trail Info This scenic San Francisco summit is the highest point in Arizona at 12, 633 ft. A strenuous 4.5 miles to the top, this hike is not for beginners. Humphrey’s Peak Stats. Start at Lockett Meadow, which is 7.1 miles to the peak, but has more gradual elevation gain. The highest point in all of Arizona, Humphreys Peak towers above the surrounding region.Millions of years ago a massive stratovolcano called San Francisco Mountain stood around 16,000 feet tall, but it eventually collapsed leaving an arc of peaks which rim the Inner Basin. Once downloaded, you can load it into your own trusty devise for ease of mind! 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