Saturday, May 7, 2011

CAMPBELL MESA TRAILS


CAMPBELL MESA TRAILS
Flagstaff
Last summer while hiking the AZ Trail on Walnut Canyon Rim, we passed a sign pointing to Campbell Mesa Trail and vowed to return to explore it. A little less than a year later, we discovered that the Campbell Mesa trail is actually a series of five interconnected loop hikes. Rubbing elbows with suburbia and a manicured golf course, this system is easy to access and-- believe it or not--actually provides some solitude and decent scenic views.
This mostly flat, mesh of wide paths meanders among massive Ponderosa pines and sunny meadows with views of Elden Mountain, the San Francisco Peaks, Mormon Mountain and Walnut Canyon. Signage at the trailhead (located 300 feet up the road from the parking area) features a detailed map of the matrix including mileage between junctions---making it easy to customize your trek.
This area is heavily fire-managed through use of prescribed burns and forest thinning in an attempt to reduce the chance of devastating hot wildfires similar to the recent Shultz Fire, which destroyed much of the Dry Lake Hills area on the northeast flanks of San Francisco Peaks. Damage from this 2010  blaze is clearly visible from the Anasazi Loop.
LENGTH: 5 loops totaling 11.3 miles
ANASAZI LOOP: 2.8 miles
CONTINENTAL LOOP: 1.9 miles
CAMPBELL MESA LOOP: 4.9 miles
WALNUT MEADOWS LOOP: 3.9 miles
SINAGUA LOOP: 1.4 miles
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 6,723 – 6,880
DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 145 miles one-way
DOGS: leashed dogs are allowed
FACILITIES: none
GETTING THERE:
From Phoenix go north on I17 to the I40 junction just before entering Flagstaff. Go east (Albuquerque) on I40 to exit 201 (Country Club Road), go 1 mile south (right) to Old Walnut Canyon Road (FR303). Turn east (left) on Old Walnut Canyon Road and continue 1 mile to the parking area. The trailhead is located roughly 300 feet beyond the gate.
INFO: Coconino National Forest, Peaks Ranger District
(928) 526-0866

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