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Humphreys Peak

Difficult
 4.5 (59) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Outstanding alpine scenery on a climb of Arizona's highest peak.


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Map Key

9.6

Miles

15.4

KM

Out and Back

12,584' 3,836 m

High

9,314' 2,839 m

Low

3,270' 997 m

Up

3,268' 996 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

22%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

No off-trail travel is permitted above treeline to protect the rare San Francisco Peaks' groundsel - a plant found nowhere else in the world.

Overview

Humphreys Peak is one of the easiest of the western state highpoints to climb and has outstanding views from its summit. This deservedly popular hike offers a chance to experience the only true alpine environment in Arizona.

Need to Know

During monsoon season, roughly July to September, Humphreys Peak is a lightning magnet. Plan to be below treeline by noon when a monsoonal pattern is active. At any time, be ready for windy and cold conditions in alpine areas.

In the winter, a backcountry permit from Coconino National Forest is needed for any travel in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness.

Description

From the trailhead in the lower parking lot of the Arizona Snowbowl, the well-signed trail up Humphreys Peak begins by crossing Hart Prairie, passing underneath a ski lift along the way. On the far side of the prairie, the trail ducks into mixed conifer and aspen forest and shortly passes the boundary of the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. A series of long switchbacks gradually ascends the west-facing mountain slope, with limited views on the trail. On a crowded day in the dry season, it can get a bit dusty and congested, but the route is straightforward and easy to follow. Eventually, the trees begin to thin as you approach treeline just below the saddle between Humphreys and Agassiz Peaks. A short push up to the saddle itself offers the first great views of the trail, including the country to the west and the Inner Basin of the now-extinct volcano that comprises the San Francisco Peaks.

At the saddle is the intersection of the Weatherford Trail, while the Humphreys Peak trail ascends the ridge to the north. It's a good idea to assess the weather before heading above the saddle, as the route is exposed and fully above treeline from here on out. The alpine walking roughly follows the main ridgeline, with a few steeper climbs and false summits adding to the difficulty. Eventually, the rounded true peak is reached, where tremendous views extend in all directions. On a clear day, the rim of the Grand Canyon stands out to the north, the Painted Desert to the northeast, the Mogollon Rim to the south. Once you've had your fill of the summit, head back down the way you came.

Contacts

Shared By:

Almonzo Wilder with improvements by Jake Fendt

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 59 votes

#133

Overall
  4.5 from 59 votes
5 Star
59%
4 Star
34%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#8

in Arizona

#133

Overall
152 Views Last Month
20,555 Since Mar 24, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
6%
12%
80%
2%

Photos

View from summit of Humphrey's Peak, towards the inner basin.
Oct 4, 2016 near Flagstaff, AZ
High above treeline on Humphreys Peak
Mar 24, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ
View from Humphrey's Peak Trail and Weatherford Trail intersection.
Jun 21, 2016 near Flagstaff, AZ
Terrific views on the upper ridge of Humphreys Peak
Mar 24, 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ
About 20ft down from the summit.
Oct 7, 2021 near Flagstaff, AZ
The view of Humphrey's from the trailhead.
Oct 7, 2021 near Flagstaff, AZ

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 3 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Oct 25, 2021
Atsuko Ohtake
Oct 2, 2021
Ryan Bowman
Hiked with Chase. Very crowded trail. A little snow in the alpine. — 6h 00m
Jun 6, 2021
Timothy Smith
May 31, 2021
MtnDanAz
2:24 to summit
May 30, 2021
Jon Blank
May 24, 2021
Luis Maldonado
Just to Mt. Humphrey's Saddle
May 24, 2021
Luis Maldonado
Just to Mt. Humphrey's Saddle — 8h 30m
Sep 13, 2020
MtnDanAz
Moving time. 10mi — 4h 22m