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Sunday, August 16, 2009

KENDRICK PEAK

KENDRICK PEAK Kaibab National Forest In summer, wild roses and high-altitude flowers perfume the cool air on Flagstaff’s second highest volcano. The Kendrick Peak Trail was moderately affected by the 2000 Pumpkin Fire, which charred 15,000 acres of wilderness and the colorful blooms stand in stark contrast to the patches of eerie black matchsticks that look, ironically, as if they had been extinguished in a volcanic holocaust. Most of the trail remains pristine and wonderfully varied, passing through pine forests, fern gullies, aspens and alpine meadows. Near the summit, a one-room cabin, erected in 1911 to accommodate fire lookout workers, still stands and makes an interesting detour before tackling the series of switchbacks that lead to the fire tower that caps the 10,418-foot-high mountain. Usually staffed with a forest service worker during the summer fire season, the tower is open to visitors. A stroll around the tower’s rickety metal catwalk provides bird's-eye views that transcend the blackened forests below and stretch into the hazy ocher deserts of Utah on the northern horizon. HIGHLIGHTS: outstanding views of the highlands surrounding Flagstaff LENGTH: 9.2 miles roundtrip RATING: moderate ELEVATION RANGE: 7,980 – 10,400 feet DRIVING DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 175 miles GETTING THERE: From Flagstaff, drive north on Highway 180 to Forest Road 245 (near milepost 230). Follow FR 245 for three miles to the junction with Forest Road 171, turn right, and follow the signs for three more miles to the trailhead. A high clearance vehicle is recommended. INFORMATION: 928-635-5600, fs.fed.us/r3/kai/recreation/trails/wil_kendrick.shtml

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