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Kendrick Mountain Day Hike
Flagstaff
June 28, 2003
by Sharon Strong
group
Sharon, Richard, Angie, Rochelle, Ted, Dan, and Rudy at the Kendrick Peak Trailhead
[Photo by Chuck Parsons]

After driving about three hours, we start on the trailhead around 10:00 AM. It is cool and comfortable. The trail, starting at about 8,000', is a gentle uphill trek on very well marked ground. Rocks and charred tree branches line the trail. Evidence of the 2000 Pumpkin Fire is ubiquitous. Blackened, dead ponderosa pines can be seen everywhere. Still, the ferns and desert roses and baby aspens offer some color and life. We stop for air and water frequently.

kendrick03_2
Peaceful forest setting on the way to Kendrick Peak.

Ted Tenny, wearing a new pair of hiking boots, stops to protect a new blister on his heel. Soon, this blister prevents him from continuing and he turns back.

About an hour into the hike, we hit a sign near a switchback that reads “Kendrick Peak”. From here, we leave the ponderosa pine trees to enter rockier ground with Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce, and larger stands of pristine aspen. We can see Mt. Humphreys and its last trace of snow in the distance. Now, at the end of June, the sun has melted all of the remains of winter on Kendrick Mountain.

kendrick03_3
View from near the peak.

Approximately 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the summit, we encounter the old 1912 service cabin. It still contains beds and shelter for hikers trapped by the elements. This cabin was used until the 1930s, when the new lookout was constructed on the summit. Behind the cabin is a junction with Bull Basin Trail.

Continuing on the Kendrick Peak trail, we stroll up the last fraction of a mile to reach the summit.

kendrick03_4
“Kendrick Peak” sign near one of the switchbacks.

The elevation is 10,418', and our lungs miss the oxygen. We have been hiking uphill for a little over two hours.

kendrick03_5
Rudy, Richard, Chuck, Sharon, Angie, and
Rochelle in front of the old service cabin.

Some of us climb the steps of the lookout, but the ranger is not home; so instead, we sit on what appears to be a helicopter pad and visit with numerous other people, who are escaping the smoldering heat of the Valley. There is a woman on the summit who lives on my street in an adjoining Tempe neighborhood! It is cool and cloudy on top. On a clear day, one can see the Grand Canyon, the Vermillion Cliffs, Mingus Mountain, the San Francisco Peaks, and many other awesome landmarks.

kendrick03_1
Richard and Rochelle (in back), Rudy, Angie, Sharon,
Dan, and Chuck at the Kendrick Peak Lookout.

After food and photos and rest, we leave the other hikers and descend. The lack of oxygen is not so evident when one is going down! We finally reach our vehicles after strolling downhill for an hour and a half. Overall, we hiked between 7-8 miles (the books disagree) with 2,400 feet of elevation change.

I think all of us would agree that the early awakening on a Saturday morning, the six hour roundtrip drive, and the huffing and puffing were worth the rewards on Kendrick Mountain.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated September 26, 2015