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Weatherford Trail to Humphrey Peak - Coconino National Forest

Summary: A strenuous hike to the highest point in Arizona topping out at 12,633 ft.  Do not do this hike if thunderstorms threaten.  Once above treeline you will be hiking along an exposed ridge and will be an easy target for a lightening strike.
Directions: The trail begins at the Weatherford Trailhead.  Take I-180 North out of Flagstaff.  At the Museum of Northern Arizona turn right onto Shultz Pass Road (FR 420).  Follow this well graded dirt road to the parking area for the Weatherford Trail on the right.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - well graded dirt roads
Navigation: Easy
Length: 19.8 miles
Date Hiked: July, 1998 & August, 1999
Weather Conditions: Warm at the bottom cool at the top.
Required Skills:
Hike Description: From the Weatherford Trailhead walk across Shultz Pass Rd. and begin hiking uphill.  After 1/2 mile or so you will pass through a nice grove of quaking aspen.  Another 1/2 mile will bring you to an intersection with the Katchina Trail, bear right to continue on Weatherford.   After 1.6 miles you will come to a signed boundary of the Katchina Peaks Wilderness.  Continue uphill on a well graded old jeep trail.  After an additional 8.1 miles (tired yet?) you will reach Doyle Saddle and the beginning of the best part of the hike.  From the saddle the trail continues uphill through pretty pine forested slopes with great views of the San Francisco Range to the right.  After passing through a heavily forested area the trail rises above tree line and passes over an unnamed saddle.  You then drop down to a junction with the heavily traveled Humphrey's Trail which you can follow about a  mile to the summit.  Stay right and continue up to Humphrey Peak.  After soaking in the view continue back the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
The author has done this hike twice since moving to Arizona (can you say glutton for punishment?).  The elevation gain (approximately 4,500 ft) coupled with the length and oxygen deprevation make this an extremely strenuous hike.  You will be rewarded, however, with terrific views and a great deal more solitude than if you had followed the crowds up the trail from Snow Bowl.  Another option is to park a car at the Weatherford Trail then drive around to Snow Bowl.  Hike up to the peak from the ski area, then down the other side on the Weatherford Trail (the author has also done this hike).
Maps: Earth Tracks - San Francisco Peak Recreation Map
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
Ascending through
the pines.
Above tree line.
Twisted pine en-route
to the summit.
Looking down towards Fremont 
and Doyle Peaks from the trail 
to the summit.