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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WATERLINE ROAD-TUNNEL TRAIL

WATERLINE ROAD-TUNNEL TRAIL Coconino National Forest   Closed to motorized vehicles except for those used by forest service workers to maintain springs on the northeast slope of San Francisco Peaks, this wide road makes for a pleasant stroll with exceptional views of northern Arizona’s cinder cone fields. The gradual ascent is a cinch to follow and can be hiked in segments using maps available on the Forest Service Web site. Although ambitious trekkers can opt to sprint the entire length in a day, a popular alternative is to make an out-and-back hike to a 25-foot-long tunnel blasted out of a rampart of volcanic rock. HIGHLIGHTS: easy route, unique lava tunnel LENGTH: 14 miles one-way or 4 miles roundtrip to the tunnel and back ELEVATION: 8,000-10,400 feet or 9,400 to the tunnel RATING: easy DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 155 miles one-way GETTING THERE: From Flagstaff, go north on US 180 to milepost 218.6 and turn right onto Schultz Pass Road (Forest Road 420). Continue 6.5 miles to Forest Road 146, turn left and go 0.7 miles to a locked gate. Park in the pullouts long the road. Roads are maintained dirt/gravel and passable by sedan, however high clearance is recommended. INFORMATION: Peaks Ranger District (928) 526-0866, http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/peaks/waterline-tr.shtml

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