On 9/10, we arrived in Flagstaff in the early afternoon and were looking for a place for an afternoon hike. We stopped in at the Elden Ranger Station and the ranger suggested Mount Elden, practically right behind the ranger building. It would give us just the type of hike were looking for.
It sounded great so off we went. The hike was only 2.7 miles one way, but the trail climbed about 2200 vertical in that distance. It was a nice afternoon for hiking and the trail was in good condition.
|Interesting tree bark. It looked like alligator skin|
It took us about an hour and a half to climb to the summit. There were great views. The one thing that disappointed me was that you could not climb into the lookout tower. It was gated at the bottom.
|The lookout tower|
At the top we met a couple who were probably in their early 50's who had been traveling around North America in an RV for the past 14 months. They just move from place to place as they are ready to explore someplace new. Sounds like something Leesa and I could try for awhile. I imagine eventually you get a longing for home. We won't know until we try it!
|The summit ridge|
|Sign on the lookout tower|
Even though we couldn't climb the lookout tower, we were afforded good views; both to the north of Humphreys Peak, and to the south of the City of Flagstaff.
|The view north to Humphreys Peak|
There were lots of flowers still in bloom in this Arizona climate. Paintbrush was common, but there were other flower types which we could not identify.
Our return to the car was via the same trail. We saw several groups on the way up as we were going down. 2.5 - 3 hours is all you need to do this hike. It's a nice one.
Hike Distance: 5.4 miles
Hike Time: 3 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 2200'
|The trail (click image to enlarge)|