Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Mount Elden Loop Day Hike
when Trip Report : June 15, 2014
where Flagstaff, AZ
the hike     This exploratory hike uses portions of five different trails to form a loop and scale Mount Elden, which provides fabulous views of Flagstaff 2,300 feet below, the San Francisco Mountains, and northern AZ.  A fire watch tower at the summit is usually open in summer and offers the greatest views of all.
   The lower areas have tree cover but this disappears with altitude, revealing a staircase of petrified lava. An area near the summit was devastated by a huge wildfire in 1977, showing just how much destruction can result from a single campfire left out of control. But the same area also shows how much recovery is possible in 37 years.
   Overall, the hike will include the following trail segments:
Miles Trail
0.2 Elden Lookout
0.3 Fat Man's Loop
1.5 Christmas Tree
2.3 Heart
1.6 Sunset
2.3 Elden Lookout
8.2 Total
   This is a popular but strenuous hike. If the grade seems too loose or too steep, or if the air seems too thin, we may change our route or turn around.
    For a basic map, click here.
   After the hike we'll head into Flagstaff for some food and relaxation before driving home. If anyone wants to skip the recuperation, they should only carpool with others who want the same.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 8.8 miles
time 5-6 hours
EC 2530 feet elevation change
elevations 6874' (Elden Trailhead) to 9272' (Mt. Elden)
type Loop
starting at
Elden Trailhead 35° 13.800' N,  111° 34.753' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — Fat Man's Loop, Christmas Tree, Heart, Sunset, and Elden Lookout trails
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Flagstaff, AZ
meet 7:00 AM in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny’s, near the entrance to the Deer Valley Park & Ride.
   We can also pick up hikers at Camp Verde, Target in Flagstaff, or the trailhead.
To arrange this, please mention it when you sign up.
  1. From the meeting place behind Denny's, take I-17 north 78 miles to Camp Verde.
  2. Exit I-17 at Camp Verde (mile 287, AZ 260) and reassemble at McDonald's.
  3. Continue north 47 miles on I-17, then take exit 240B into Flagstaff.
  4. Continue north on Route 89A (Milton Rd.) about 1 mile, until you reach the Target store at University Dr.
  5. Park in the south side of Target parking lot to reassemble.
  6. Resume heading north on Route 89A.
  7. After passing below the railroad bridge, the road turns right and becomes Route 180 eastbound. Follow Route 180.
  8. Go 5 miles east on Route 180 until you reach Country Club drive. Route 180 turns right but ignore that and continue straight on Route 89.
  9. Go 1.2 miles north on Route 89, passing the Flagstaff Ranger District Office on your left. Turn right on Smokehouse Dr.
  10. Go 300 feet on Smokehouse Dr., then turn right on North Dakota St.
  11. Go 0.1 miles on Dakota St. then turn right onto Empire Ave.
  12. Go 0.1 miles on Empire Ave then turn left onto Route 89.
  13. Go 0.2 miles on Route 89, passing the Flagstaff Ranger District Office on your right.
  14. Pull into the trailhead parking lot just off the north side of the street

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