logo Arizona Trailblazers
Outdoor Links
Hike Arizona
Trip Planning Guide
Trip Report Index
Calendar of Events
Kendrick Peak Day Hike
August 20, 2011
by Dave French
  Trailhead Map 
Trailblazers turn out for Kendrick Peak.

17 hikers made the somewhat strenuous hike up Kendrick Peak. The elevation change is 2600 feet from approximately 7800' at the parking lot to 10,400' at the top. The hike was 9.2 miles long. The NFS has recently built a new parking lot and lengthened the trail so the elevation change and distance are greater than previously reported and included in most hiking guides.

Kendrick_TH destination
The beginning and end of our journey.
San Francisco Peaks, southeast of Kendrick.

Most hiking guides recommend turning off SR 180 onto FR 245. I recommend going 3 miles further on SR 180 to MP 233 and turn left onto FR 193. The road is in much better shape, less travelled and you will have fewer miles on unpaved roads. From FR 193 you turn right onto FR 171 and then right onto FR 191 and then immediately turn right into the parking area. There is a single hole pit toilet at the trailhead.

The trail begins with a fairly steep climb out of the parking lot and then it takes a turn to the left. In a short while the trail is on an old one lane road bed. The road was used to haul materials and supplies to the fire lookout tower. The forest service has done a good job of obliterating the old road so if you do not look carefully you do not realize it is there. They have covered over half of the roadbed with logs, brush and new growth so there is no evidence of a “two track”. You can still see the roadway prism cut out of the side slope but it is not obvious to the casual hiker.

There is plenty of evidence of the Pumpkin Fire that swept the area in 2000. There are some burned but still growing trees, some charred stumps, and some fallen trees.

The old lookout cabin.
Made it to the top!
Inside the lookout tower [photos by Ajay]

But overall the trail is in a nice forested area with mostly pines and some aspens. The ground cover has returned nicely and there were lots of wildflowers.

The trail continues in a never-ending climb and switchbacks. As you get higher there are nice views of the meadow area to the south, the San Francisco Peaks to the southeast, Bill Williams Mountain to the southwest. There was a managed burn with smoke evident to the southwest.

Redflowers yellow_blue
Wildflowers brighten our trail.
What is this? Easter Isalnd?
Rocky is a log, not a cliff.

We stopped at about the 1.5 mile point for the group photo with the meadow to the south in the background. After this point, the group spread out with those with big lungs leading the way. We could see the fire lookout tower on the top of the mountain at several points along the way. It always looked very far away but gave us determination to reach it. Near the top, there is an old one room log cabin built in 1912 for fire lookout personnel. The cabin still has some metal spring cots, sleeping bags, etc for hikers caught in bad weather.

The new fire lookout tower is located at the very top. The last push up the mountain is perhaps the steepest part with more steps rather than just an inclined trail.

The tower is occupied on the weekends. The lookout person was most friendly and showed us around. The views from the top are spectacular. Kendrick peak is the tallest mountain in Northern Arizona other than the San Francisco Peaks.

We could see the Kaibab Plateau to the north, home of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where many in the club spent 3 glorious days in mid-June. We could also see Bill Williams Mountain to the southwest where the hike on August 27 will be.

Early arrivers take a much-needed rest.
The rest of the group enjoys a picnic.
Bill Williams Mountain, off to the southwest.

After lunch and some much needed rest, the group headed down the mountain. You always see new sights and different views when traveling in the opposite direction. The total hike took about 6.5 hours.

Everyone was tired but happy and had a great sense of accomplishment. Afterwards, we drove to Flagstaff and had drinks and food at Stromboli’s.

Waiting table
Food and drinks at Stromboli’s in Flagstaff.

A special thanks to Andy Z who picked up the club pack for me, organized the car pools and volunteer to be the rear guard to make sure everyone made it up and back.

      topTop of Page
Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
Comments? Send them to the AZHC .

updated December 15, 2015