General Information: From the Abineau and Bear Jaw trails, on the north slope of the San Francisco Peaks, you can see all the way to the Grand Canyon ninety miles away. These two trails provide a scenic loop hike through forested canyons. Both lead to an old road that runs along the base of a long talus slope topped by Arizona's highest point, the summit of Humphreys Peak. The climb along either trail is steep and steady through stands of mixed conifer and aspens. The road completes the loop by providing a connecting route from the top of one trail to the top of the other. From this high perspective the Grand Canyon appears as an wide gap in a broad plateau that stretches from the foot of the mountain to the horizon.
This route passes through an area that is colorful at all seasons of the year. In late Spring, alpine wildflowers such as lupine, rocky mountain iris, penstemon and paintbrush color the trailside meadows. Sunflowers add a slash of yellow in Summer and groves of aspen paint the slopes with crimson and gold during the Fall.
There is a chance to see a black bear here-perhaps the best chance you'll have in the area around the Peaks. Seeing sign of these big shy animals along either trail is not uncommon. Mule deer and elk are also plentiful. Common birds are juncos, Steller's jays and Clark's nutcrackers. In Spring and early Summer the forest's best singer, the hermit thrush, will serenade you along your way.
NOTES: No mechanized or motorized vehicles, including bicycles, in Wilderness. No access to Humphrey's summit from this trail.
Directions: From Flagstaff, Take US 89 north for 14 miles to FR 418. Go west on FR 418 for 7 miles to FR 9123J (about one mile east of Reese Tank). Go south on FR 9123J for 1.2 miles to the trailhead.
Elevation: 8,500 feet
Ending Elevation: 10,400 feet
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Distance: 6 miles
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Coconino National Forest, Arizona
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