Saturday, May 14, 2011
Wanna have a snowball fight in May? In Arizona? That’s what we did today on Mormon Mountain. Shaded with old growth timber, this hike in Flagstaff’s plateau lakes region makes a steady but gradual climb up volcanic slopes overlooking the marshy wetlands of Mormon Lake. The forests on this hill are among the very few in Arizona that have not been logged, thus, many of the trees are ancient and massive. I saw a Douglas fir with a girth of over 6 feet! All that shade—and the elevation—preserved just enough snow for us to have a few laughs before heading back down the trail to photograph wildflowers including Woodhouse phlox, Lemmon’s stars and Rocky Mountain Pussytoes that are starting to pop up through the pine needle litter.
LENGTH: 6 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION: 7,200’ - 8,449’
From Phoenix, go north on I17 to exit 339 for Lake Mary Road (FR3) located just before the I40 interchange south of Flagstaff. Go 20 miles south on Lake Mary Road to Mormon Lake Road (FR90). Turn right and go 3.6 miles to the turnoff for Dairy Springs Campground. Turn right into the campground and follow the dirt road 0.3 miles to the signed trailhead.
FACILITIES: restrooms & water in the campground
INFO: Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff Ranger District, (928) 526-0866