5 Best Flagstaff Hikes



Saaty Photography: 5 Best Flagstaff Hikes. Nestled at the Southern Edge of the Colorado Plateau, Flagstaff is one of the top destinations in the country for outdoor activities. On and around the San Francisco peaks, just north of Flagstaff, you will find some of the most picturesque hiking trails in the Southwest. People from all over the world flock to Flagstaff to immerse themselves into the beauty of our pine forests, our magnificent peaks, and our range of trails appealing to all levels of skills. There are countless trails to explore, but these are our top 5.



Flagstaff’s Fatman’s Loop is a moderate rated trail that is perfect for hiking, trail running, or a stroll with a loved one. This trail is a favorite with locals, who enjoy jogging, biking, or hiking the 2.5 miles to the scenic overlook. Parts of the trail provide shade, fantastic city views, and gorgeous wildflowers and wildlife from deer, elk, coyotes, and even the occasional black bear. This trail is 2.4 miles long, and the best time to hit it is from April until November. At the trail’s most scenic points, you can see the East side of Flagstaff, the Sunset Crater region, and the Painted Desert.

5 Best Flagstaff Hikes



The trail to Elden Lookout is a challenging rated hike that rises you up almost 2,400 feet in less than 3 miles! On your route, you will see a wide variety of foliage, ranging from a pine forest to a couple of different kinds of cactus. The best time to hit this trail is also in April until November. Once you reach the strenuous summit, views are tremendous! In the north are the San Francisco Peaks, O’Leary Peak, and Sunset Crater. To the east is the Hopi Buttes and Painted Desert. To the south is Mormon Mountain, and towards the Southwest are the Munds and Wilson mountains near Sedona. To the West are Bill Williams and Sitgreaves mountains.

5 Best Flagstaff Hikes



Flagstaff’s Inner Basin Trail is a 4-5 mile hike out and back. The Inner Basin is home to one of the impressive Aspen groves in the West. While the trail is open from April until October, it is most popular in the Fall, where people enjoy the beauty and color of the Fall foliage. The changing colors of the leaves provide a spectacular contrast to the Arizona Alpine summits. The trails are easy to moderate. On the path, you are likely to see a variety of wildlife, including elk, porcupines, and, on the rare occasion, black bears.

5 Best Flagstaff Hikes



Can you imagine the sight it would have been 700,000 years ago to see the Lava Tubes form? Caused by a mighty eruption, lava flowed down the volcano, and the outsides of the flow cooled first that allowed still molten lava to flow through. That left behind the massive lava tubes we know today. The lava caves are an easy 1.2-mile rated hike. To get into the cave, you need to climb down a little section of jagged rock, but after that, you will be okay the rest of the way. Some parts in the cave have shallow ceilings; some may even need to crawl. It is impossible to get lost in this cave because there is only one way in and out.

Northern Arizona Trails



Just outside of Flagstaff, Kendrick Peak Trail is the highest mountain outside of the San Francisco peaks. This challenging rated trail is 9 to 9.5 miles. This trail is not very steep because you only rise half a mile over 4.5 miles. Before you reach the summit of this trail, there is a meadow filled with fir and spruce trees for a perfect picnic area. At the end of the trail, you’ll find the historic Forest Service Fire Lookout. From there, grab your cameras and revel in the panoramic views of the San Francisco peaks and, on a clear day, the Grand Canyon. This trail is a little quieter than others, and you are less likely to see hikers than some of the other hikes in and around Flagstaff.

Northern Arizona Trails 5 Best Flagstaff Hikes



The hiking season in Flagstaff lasts from early Spring to late Fall. With trails available for all skill levels and sights that are unparalleled in the Southwest, Flagstaff is a paradise for anyone that loves that outdoors. One last thing to remember – when you come to Flagstaff, check the weather, wear layered clothing, bring plenty of water and snacks, and do not forget your cameras. See you on the trails.

To inquire about services, e-mail: Monica@SaatyPhotography.com

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