Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
O’Leary Peak Day Hike
when Trip Report : August 10, 2019
  Trip Report : September 26, 2015
where Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff
the hike     O’Leary Peak is located near Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, about 15 miles northeast of Flagstaff. Unlike its cinder cone neighbor to the south, O’Leary is a lava dome volcano that last erupted during the Pleistocene epoch (so not too much chance of another eruption during our hike). The path to the summit is actually an old jeep road closed to vehicle traffic other than for official Forest Service use. (Sorry, but that means we won’t be able to drive to the summit today.)
    For the first mile the road is relatively flat and follows beside the Bonito lava flow emanating from Sunset Crater. Then it begins a steady ascent for the next four miles, with long switchbacks leading to the peak. The road narrows and steepens on the final leg of the ascent to the peak. The summit, elevation 8,916', has a lookout tower which may or may not be publicly accessible, and affords sweeping views of nearby Sunset Crater, the San Francisco Peaks to the southwest, the Painted Desert to the north and east, and even the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on a clear day. After enjoying the views and lunch, we will return the same way we came. We may optionally stop in Flagstaff for a meal afterwards.
•  sturdy hiking boots
•  at least 3 liters of water
•  rain poncho
•  hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  lunch/snacks
•  camera
distance 9.6 miles
time 5-6 hours
EC +-2,014' elevation change
elevations 6,846' at O’Leary Peak Trailhead to 8,916' at the summit.
type round trip
starting at
FR 545A, where it is closed 35° 22.311' N,  111° 32.431' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — FR 545A (O’Leary Lookout Trail)
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
meet 6:30 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 will leave promptly at 6:45 AM.
•  Take I-17 north to Flagstaff.
Go east on I-40 to exit 201 (Route 89 North).
Turn left at the end of the exit ramp and go north on Country Club Drive about half a mile to the tee junction with Route 89.
Turn right and go north on Route 89 for approximately 12 miles to the turnoff on the right for Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument (FR 545).
Turn right onto FR 545 and follow for about 1.8 miles to the turnoff on the left for FR 545A and the O’Leary Group Campground. If you reach the Bonito Campground or the Sunset Crater NM entrance, you’ve gone too far.
Turn left onto FR 545A and follow for about a quarter mile to the point where it is closed, and park there.
All roads to the trailhead are paved and accessible by any passenger vehicle.

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updated August 19, 2019 © Copyright 2019, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.