At the summit of Humphreys Peak...I'm holding my hat in the 70+ MPH winds.
Tidbits: Highest mountain in Arizona.
Summitted, May 20, 2004
Time Zone: GMT -8 hours
When to go:
The best time to go is mid-May through mid-October. Weather can be treacherous...during my climb the temperatures at the peak were in the low 40's, but there were hurricane-force winds. There were sections on the trail that still had 2+ feet of snow. The sun can also be brutal. Wear plenty of sunscreen and eye protection (dark sunglasses) are a must.
The Humphreys Peak trail, which starts in the parking area of the Arizona Snowbowl, is the only route to the top. It is 9 miles roundtrip with 3,500 feet of elevation gain.
Hotel and Climb Reservation:
No guide, permit, or trail reservations are required. There are numerous hotels in the Flagstaff area, located about 15 minutes to the south.
Standard light hiking gear and water for a day hike. Cold weather gear as required. Sun protection is critical. Note: There is no water available...make sure you bring your own, and lots of it.
Take Highway 180 from Flagstaff to the Snowbowl (there are plenty of signs). Park in the first parking area to the left. The trail starts at the end of the parking lot.
A very beautiful trail that starts through switchbacks in a pine forest and quickly rises above tree-line. Once above tree-line, there are spectacular views in every direction. There is a register and USGS marker at the summit. NOTE: To the best of my knowledge,. there is no access between the summit of the ski lift and the trails. Also, the trail is not well marked in a few places when you are below tree-line...if the trail "disappears", make sure you retrace your steps and see where you made a mistake.
A view of the mountain from the parking area
A nice view of the summit from the area just above the tree-line.