Location :Snow Bowl Parking Lot near to NOBO Mile Marker 603
Weather: Light clouds, starting temperature 65 degrees and the turn about 75 degrees.
Total Mileage Completed : Zero mile on the AZT
Hike Description: So not officially on the Arizona Trail, doing the Summit on Humphrey’s Peak is so darn close to AZT mile marker 603 and it’s really a must do. Overshadowing you in virtually every mile of the Flagstaff sections of the AZT, Humphrey’s Peak called us on every hike…. and to be honest, the hike up (in good weather) is really not too bad.
From the AZT, head up the Aspen Loop trail interception at mile marker 602.8. The AZT to the peak is only about a 3673 foot climb and from the Snowbowl Parking lot, it’s shorter, at about 3,300 feet up. But don’t get me wrong, this is a hard hike. After doing it, Tom and I agreed it was some of the hardest 10 miles of hiking we have ever done in Arizona.
The climb starts immediately after you cross the Snowbowl chair lifts and enter the tree line. Up up up and more up. It’s a constant up with few breaks but the tree covered terrain keeps you in amazement an delightfully shading from the sun. At about mile 4 of this steep accent, you will break through the mountain top tree-line and reach what is called the “saddle”. From there it’s an easy 🙂 little 1 mile moonscape rocky boulder scramble climb to the summit. Three false peaks of amazing views await you and on our day, the wind was so bad it blew Tom and I swiftly and constantly about. At the final summit this powerful wind coming from the northwest, was so strong the only way to reach the peak was on our hands and knees. Thank god for the rock windbreaks someone created at the top.
After a moment on the top and a couple photo’s, Tom and I crawl down the side to the safety of the moderate rocky trail below. In total it took us 2 hours 50 minutes up and 2 hours 5 minutes down, not the best time on the internet but considering the wind, I will take it with pleasure.
There are a million Youtube videos on Humphrey’s Peak hikers so if you want to see this hike in person, check them out. The only thing I can add is just be careful, especially on windy days and I would not recommend a summit on a day with any lighting in the area. Believe it or not people have died on the top from lighting strikes. Be cautious of altitude sickness also. Tom and I did start feeling a little dizzy close to the top. Not bad enough to turn around, but we did feel it.