Hiking Humphrey's Peak, Arizona's Highest Point

Categories: Outdoors

Nina Gruber
At 12,637 feet, Humphrey's Peak is Arizona's tallest mountain and is located within driving distance of Phoenix, just 11 miles north of Flagstaff. One of the extinct volcanoes in the San Francisco Range, Humphrey's offers a unique hike to its summit for those of us looking for a weekend getaway and challenge.

See also:
10 Favorite Hikes in the Valley
8 Tips for Summer Hiking in Arizona

Nina Gruber
From fields, to dense forest, to spectacular views

The Hike
A well-traveled path, the Humphrey's Peak trail is a perfect challenge for devoted hikers looking for a change of pace. At 4.8 miles in length and 3,313 feet in elevation, this is no easy trail and can be quite strenuous at times, especially with the altitude gain. This trail consists of long switchbacks, traversing through the Coconino Forest of ponderosa pines and epic rock slides, all the way up to Arizona's only tundra landscape, which begins above the tree line at 11,500 feet. This last portion of the hike is about a mile's worth of complete exposure accompanied by the devilish three false summits. The tough trek is indeed worth it, as the view on top is an unobstructed site of northern Arizona from its highest point.

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WreckItWalsh moderator

Nina, thanks for posting. Avid hiker here and would love to see more hiking articles posted. I love Humphreys. The cool weather and the shade coverage (at least to the saddle) is always welcome. I also checked out your author page and saw recommendations for summer water hikes. I'll try giving Seven Springs a try!

For advanced hikers, I'd also recommend the Humphreys-Weatherford-Kachina loop. Its 20-22 miles and has 3000+ elevation gain. It's an all day adventure but it had some of the most surreal scenery in AZ. 

Kelsey Hazlewood
Kelsey Hazlewood

Very important to stay in Flag before you do the hike to get acclimatized. Also, it's REALLY cold and windy above the tree line!

WreckItWalsh moderator

@Kelsey Hazlewood It might be a good idea for people who don't normally do hikes with that much elevation gain, but I wouldn't say its necessary. 

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