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Thursday, June 5, 2014



Alfa Fia Tank

Just off Passage #34 of the Arizona Trail, a tiny pool in an alpine meadow reflects images of soaring peaks.  Here, among disheveled barbed wire, knee-high forbs, wildflowers and infant conifers, an awe-inspiring panorama of see-forever-vistas tumbles seamlessly down exposed slopes. On most days at Alfa Fia Tank, cool mountain air rushes over ambient prairies with hair-whipping ferocity. These cyclonic breezes are created when warm air creeps up the mountain and collides with crispy alpine drafts churning down from Arizona's highest massif.  This windy cocktail swirls in airy eddies muddled with pine and the earthy scent of last year's deadfall.
Places near big mountains like this one are known to create their own weather systems, and in summer, that means nippy mornings followed by cloud build ups that often erupt in afternoon rainstorms. Whether hiked as an easy stroll from Aspen Corner or as a water-gathering detour while trekking the 36.1-mile segment of the Arizona Trail that passes below the San Francisco Peaks, the mile-long walk around Alfa Fia Tank is a revitalizing trip of astonishing beauty.

LENGTH:  1.1 mile
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 8730’ – 8932’
Looking west 
From Flagstaff, go north on US 180 to Snowbowl Road (FR 516) at milepost 223.  Turn right and continue 5.3 miles to the parking apron on the left at Aspen Corner. From the opening in the fence, take the wider trail heading right, veer left at the first fork and continue straight past the Arizona Trail junction and follow the trails around the tank.

Arizona Trail Association:


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