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Summiting Humphrey's Peak


Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 10.9 miles

Hike 5 miles in, and 3,500 ft up to Arizona's highest point.  Then take a break and hike back. :)  This trail is not very technical, but is slightly strenuous.  You will need too be in decent shape, and you may have issues with the altitude, especially if you are visiting from phoenix.  If you can keep trudging, you will make it to the top.
  • Trailhead
  • Up the slopes
  • Enter the wilderness
  • Through the Woods
  • Fork in the Trail
  • Flower in the grass
  • Over a rock bridge
  • Boulder Field
  • First Views
  • Out of the shade
  • ski slopes
  • Crossing the Tree line
  • Approaching the Saddle
  • Last of the trees
  • looking up
  • Fake Summit
  • Views along the way
  • Up the Tundra
  • Another Fake summit
  • Above the wilderness
  • Sanyo 7050
  • Loose Tundra
  • The Real Top
  • My dad and me at the top
  • Looking down from the top
  • taking a break
  • Views on the way down
  • Fallen trees

Humphrey's peak was pretty cool. It had crowds like you would see in phoenix on trails like squaw peak, or camelback mountain, but it was certainly more difficult. You start at the bottom of the snow bowl ski resort, cross the slope once, and enter the woods. You stay in the woods for miles, and you don't exit it, until you rise above the tree line. The trees of the woods provide great protection from the sun, and from the wind. The ground is very solid, but gentle on your knees.

Once you cross the tree line (at around 11,500 ft) you start to get plenty of views, but you also get a lot of sun, a lot of wind, and very loose rocky ground that makes for much more difficult hiking.

Check out this video as we approach the saddle, just above the treeline:

Around every corner is another false summit, and you constantly feel like you are being tricked. As you rise higher and higher, the air starts to thin. I had a pretty decent time adjusting, but my heart rate did start to rise faster than normal, and it was no uncommon to get a little dizzy from time to time. generally a quick break would cure the symptoms.

Once you get to the top (after about 3,500 ft) you get a view for hundreds of miles. The wind are pretty wild, but there are some rock piles that provide good shelter from it.

Check out this video from the top:

Don't forget... The top is only half way through the hike :)  you still have to climb down, which is not trivial :-p

Over all it's a great hike, and If I lived in flagstaff, I would hike it frequently. (at least to the tree line)

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