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Friday, May 31, 2013

Flagstaff's Waterline Road re-opened


WATERLINE ROAD-TUNNEL TRAIL
Coconino National Forest
the famous tunnel

Closed since the June 2010 Schultz Fire, this popular non-motorized Flagstaff trail has been RE-OPENED as of May 31, 2013. Although firefighters and recreation staff have spent more than 3600 hours removing hazards like burned trees, hikers are advised to be constantly aware of their surroundings and remain on the lookout for risks while using Waterline Road.  
The wide route, which  is used by forest service workers to maintain springs on the northeast slope of San Francisco Peaks,  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.
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, www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/peaks/waterline-tr.shtml

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