This passage of the AZT is generally smooth and easy going, with modest ups and downs. The trail is well signed leaving Schultz Pass, heading west-northwest across the Fort Valley Experimental Forest toward Snowbowl Road.
The singletrack after Snowbowl Road was only recently completed, hence, it doesn't yet appear on most maps or in most guidebooks. It is inconspicuously marked by trail signs so stay altert. The trail, however, is in great condition and offers an interesting hike on the lower slopes of the San Francisco Peaks.
From Snowbowl Road, the trail winds through pines gaining elevation steadily along the way. Kudos to the trail engineers for constructing an incredibly smooth and never-too-steep trail through some pretty tough terrain! As the trail rises in elevation, it starts to get more difficult... or maybe it's just the altitude. Regardless, the forest turns to aspen and mixed conifer. It is downright beautiful.
The AZT north from Aspen Corner offers some of the finest high country walking in AZ. This easy stretch of trail rolls across high meadows with knock-out views, through towering groves of aspen, and is loomed over by the ever-present hulk of Humphreys Peak
. On a fall day when the aspen leaves are turning, this is one of the best hikes in the state. Although there are some ups-and-downs, the trail is never steep.