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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

KACHINA TRAIL

KACHINA TRAIL Kachina Peaks Wilderness The mountains of Flagstaff are known to create their own weather. In summer, that means it rains almost every day around the peaks--spiking the air over the Kachina Trail with an earthy-sweet dampness. Benefiting from its auspicious location on the windward side of the mountain, this trail sprouts green in rainforest proportions. Aspen clusters mimic white out conditions and hip-deep swaths of frothy ferns tumble over the slopes in vivid emerald waves. Add to this already amazing hike--a cozy lava cave, terrific views and fields of lupines growing in manic abundance and it’s easy to understand why this hike ranks as one of Arizona’s best. HIGHLIGHTS: Sun-drenched alpine meadows, musty pine forests and interesting geology LENGTH: 10 miles roundtrip ELEVATION: 8,600-9,500 feet BEST SEASONS: April - October RATING: moderate DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 155 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From Flagstaff, go 7.3 miles north on US 180 to Snow Bowl Road (Forest Road 516). Drive 6.6 miles up  FR 516 to the signed turnoff for the large parking lot and trailhead on the right. INFORMATION: Peaks Ranger District, (928) 526-0866, http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/peaks/kachina-tr.shtml

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