By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Humphreys was a Civil War General, who led Union troops at Gettysburg, Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, and others. The Humphrey’s summit is 12,633, which is only about 7000 feet lower then the Kilimanjaro summit. You did it. When is the best time to hike Humphrey’s Peak? Flagstaff's ski resort, the Arizona Snowbowl, lies on the western slope of Humphrey's Peak. The trail gains over 3,000 vertical feet from the starting point and leads through a dramatic range of forests. 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. The Humphrey’s hike starts at 9,221 and covers just over 10 miles with 5573 elevation gain and 5576 loss. You can also hike to Humphrey’s Peak from here, but it is more strenuous and will total roughly 14 miles round trip. Humphreys Peak: Hike Overview. The first two miles/1,500 feet of the trail are very easy with gradual elevation gain. If you follow GPS directions or signs to the Arizona Snowbowl it will take you to the right place! 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 life zones were described by elevation, climate, precipitation, and latitude. On clear days hikers can see the Grand Canyon from the summit. The Hopi have long made pilgrimages to the peaks, leaving items at sacred sites. The summit sits at 12,635 feet, so be prepared to … It's about 4.5 miles long (one way) with around 3500 feet of elevation gain. In summer conditions this trail is readily visible and well groomed. I’m just another 26 year old solo traveler here living life on her own terms. 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. 15.8 mi RT + 4400 ft accumulated elev gain. This is a strenuous … Although it is a bit of a drive to the other side of the mountain, Lockett Meadow Campground is another option for camping. 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. You can map your directions from here or follow the directions below! 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. *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). The alpine forest trail is located just north of Flagstaff. It’s one of the easiest summits to reach among the highest peaks in the western states. Humphreys Peak is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet and one of the most scenic viewpoints in the San Francisco Peaks. Humphrey’s Peak Hike: The Peak of Flagstaff Hikes . Clinton Hart Merriam, a pioneering biologist, studied Arizona's geography and plant and animal communities, including those on the San Francisco Peaks, in 1889. Starting from Flagstaff you’ll head North on Hwy 180 and turn right onto N Snow Bowl Rd. Related: Check out Kendrick Peak, Arizona’s 2nd tallest peak! Download the free Humphreys Peak topo map. Hi there! Eruptions built the peak between 1 million and 400,000 years ago. This is an out and back trail to Humphreys Peak in Coconino National Forest. This is a strenuous rocky trail with over 3,000 feet elevation gain. You’ve probably read mixed reviews about what it’s like to climb Humphreys Peak. Starting at the Arizona Snowbowl ski base, it’s a 4.8 mile climb to the summit and elevation gain of 3,313 feet. Humphreys Peak is Arizona's highest mountain and the highest point of the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff in north-central Arizona. Stewart M. Green is a lifelong climber from Colorado who has written more than 20 books about hiking and rock climbing. This Humphreys Peak trail guide is a warning and an example of why you need to take this hike seriously and be prepared. Trail X Factors: Elevation Chances are, if you are hiking Humphreys Peak, you might not be used to thin air at high elevation. Go ahead and get your Snaps and ‘Grams at the summit sign — you’ve earned it. It rises to an elevation of 12,637 feet (3,852 meters). The peaks are the home of the Katsinas or Kachinas, special beings that bring rain to the Hopi's parched fields in summer. The hike starts just north of 9,000ft and picks up consistent elevation until you arrive at the summit. 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. Elevation gain is 3,313 feet. This is where you enter and begin your trek up to Humphrey’s Peak. The mountain had kept tricking me into what I thought was the top. Native Americans are believed to have made the first ascent of the mountain. The alpine forest trail is located just north of Flagstaff. 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. 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. Humphreys Peak lies within 18,960-acre Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area. 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. Summer always seems like a nice time to hike, but that doesn’t apply in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. Know where you are going ahead of time and always have a way to keep yourself on trail. The only alpine tundra plant community in Arizona is found on two square miles on the San Francisco Peaks. Expect the trail to be rocky, have exposed roots and the occasional fallen tree but overall in good condition. Please see my disclosure for more info. At this elevation, the risk of getting stuck in a storm and struck by lightening is high, let alone the risk of forest fires. The popular 4.75-mile-long trail is moderate but can be strenuous for lowlanders. Because you have another five miles and -3,200 feet to go. Groups above treeline are limited to a maximum of 12 people. Humphrey’s Peak is the tallest point in the state of Arizona at just over 12,000 feet (3600M). I work from my laptop and travel all across the U.S. with my German Shepard, Monty. This is a strenuous rocky trail with over 3,000 feet elevation gain. Roughly five miles and 3,200 feet in elevation gain later and you’re at the summit of Humphreys Peak. The padres named the mission and the peaks for St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan order. The San Francisco Peaks were named in the 17th century by Franciscan priests at a mission at the Hopi village of Oraibi. 12 BEST Phoenix Holiday events to attend this year. On the San Francisco Peaks, there is no off-trail hiking to protect the endemic and endangered plant, the San Francisco Peaks Groundsel. It does include 5,200 ft of elevation gain but the grade is almost entirely even throughout. You can download my Humphrey’s Peak track and gain access to my library of all tracked hikes. Below is a screenshot of my track from Humphrey’s Peak! Humphrey’s Peak was challenging yet rewarding- exactly something you’d expect from the tallest peak of any western state. Welcome to the tallest peak in Arizona! 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. 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. 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. 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. Working remotely has changed my life and allowed me to experience the places I've been dreaming of. You’ll want to start very early and be extremely cautious of mid-afternoon spontaneous weather changes and thunderstorms. They are holy places that are desecrated by continuing recreation and use. 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 … Hiking Cathedral Rock: All you need to know, Camping at Lockett Meadow Campground in Flagstaff, AZ, Charlie’s Bunion- Smoky Mountain National Park. The hike along the ridgeline is considered strenuous. This is compared to the other western U.S. high points. 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. October is the area’s most populated month because the Aspen’s turn a stunning yellow. Your lungs may be feeling it at the start, but once you get north of 10,000ft you will really be breathing heavy. 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’ll know you’ve reached Humphrey’s Peak because it is the very last peak along the ridgeline headed that direction. 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. The entire area once was a single stratovolcano most commonly referred to as San Francisco Mountain. The Humphreys Peak Trail is located 11.6 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona (AZ) in Coconino National Forest. You’ll hike up a series of switchbacks, gaining elevation quickly under the tree line. Preparation saves lives. 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. 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. 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. 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 trail begins climbing elevation almost immediately. 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. 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. It's about 4.5 miles long (one way) with around 3500 feet of elevation gain. 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 trail switchbacks north and south as it makes its way east uphill. In this post I’ve included Humphrey’s Peak directions, safety precautions, trail information, and more. Depending on the shape you’re in, you might have to take it slow. It is very steep, rocky, and windy. The mountain is located in Flagstaff which is about 2.5 hours from the Phoenix area and about an hour from Sedona as well. Humphreys Peak Trail. At 12,633 feet with an elevation gain of 3,313 feet, it’s considered a moderate to difficult climb. 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. One way to do this is with a GPS system or app. His landmark work described six distinct life zones from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the summit of Humphrey's Peak. Climbing Humphreys Peak . If you hang a right it’ll lead you towards Agassiz Peak. Humphreys Peak was named about 1870 for Brigadier General Andrew Atkinson Humphreys, a Civil War hero and U.S. Chief of Engineers. 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. The switchbacks end at the saddle which is a nice place to take a break. 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. A moderately difficult, 4.8-mile trail leaves from the resort and leads to the 12,633-foot summit of Humphreys Peak. Distance: 11 miles RT Type: Out and Back Summit Elevation: 12,633 ft. Elevation Gain: You’ll want to take it slow, be sure of your footing, and probably layer up! It is the 26th most prominent mountain in the lower 48 states, rising over 6,000 feet. 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. But the trail is easy to follow and well maintained. Once you’ve gotten your fill of views and your picture with the sign you’ll head back down the way you came. 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. 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. The views here are stunning as you can see the backside of the mountain into the Inner Basin. 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. State High Point: Humphreys Peak Order of Visit: State #19 Date Visited: June 11, 2020 Route Taken: Humphreys Trail (No. Elevation gain is 3,313 feet. Soak in the views, eat some snacks, reflect on how small we are in this world, etc. The trail leading into the heart of … The surveys, done in the 1870s, were led by Captain George Wheeler. Humphreys Peak and the San Francisco Peaks are sacred and holy mountains to Native American tribes, including the Hopi, Zuni, Havasupai, and Navajo. Overall it is super easy to find! You start in a flowery meadow near Arizona Snowbowl and then wind your way above the tree line. Humphreys Peak is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet and one of the most scenic viewpoints in the San Francisco Peaks. He loved war and always led his troops into battle on his horse. Humphreys Peak and the greater San Francisco Mountain is part of the Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area, which includes 18,960 acres. 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