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Tuesday, October 3, 2017


View of San Francisco Peaks from Wilson Meadow
On the western face of Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks, vast grasslands of wild roses, ferns and berries lap up against pine-studded slopes beneath an airborne tide of golden aspen leaves.
Wilson Meadow
This patchwork of wet meadows--collectively known as Hart Prairie--is home to some of the most beautiful, but often overlooked aspen glens in the state. In October, the white-barked forests
blaze in a honey-lemon canopy.  Although hikers in search of autumn foliage trails around Flagstaff usually flock to big-name places like Inner Basin or the Kachina Trail where the crowds are as thick as the woodlands, Wilson Meadow offers a smaller, quieter option.  It's signature open space is populated with clumpy shrubs and thickets of rare Bebb willows surrounded by loosely woven stands of pines, firs and aspens.  The short, simple walk offers an alternative, contemplative experience.
Bebb Willows
LENGTH: 2 miles roundtrip
RATING: easy
ELEVATION: 8,500’ – 9,000’
DOGS: This is a very sensitive area. Dogs must be on leash and owners must pack out all waste.
From Flagstaff, go 10 miles north on US180 to milepost 225, turn right onto Hart Prairie Road (south access of Forest Road 151) and continue 4.2 miles to Forest Road 9007T on the right. Hint: if you reach the Nature Conservancy entrance, you’ve gone too far. Go 0.2 mile on FR9007T to the trailhead. FR 151 is maintained dirt passable by sedan. FR 9007T requires a high clearance vehicle.