Trailhead: Snow Bowl
Length: 12 miles roundtrip
Wilderness Area: Kachina Peaks Wilderness
**Kid Friendly Hike (older kids)**
Directions to Trailhead:
From Flagstaff, drive north on US 180 for approximately 7 miles to the turn off to Snow Bowl. Follow the paved road 7.5 miles to entrance to Snow Bowl. Immediately after entering the Snow Bowl parking area, turn right into the first parking lot. The trailhead is at the end of the lot. This trailhead is accessible in a car.
The trail is incredibly well maintained and laid out. The trail gradually descends and climbs, loosing about 600 feet of elevation in its six mile length. From the trailhead (elevation 9325), the Kachina Trail heads off into the beautiful Coconino Forest. For the first half mile the trail heads southeast until it reaches the wilderness boundary (.6 miles). The trail then continues southeast though lush groves of aspen and spruce for another mile before turning east.
Shortly after the trail turns to the east, it drops down along a rocky cliff and then comes to a large cave. This cave provided very necessary shelter during a monsoon rainstorm. After the cave, the trail continues through varying areas of spruce and aspen. About 3 miles in, the first of the meadows appears and views of Flagstaff abound. You can see Lowell Observatory and the NAU Skydome.
As the gentle descent continues you are likely to see wildlife. In July 2001, we saw a whitetail deer. Over the last three miles the foliage continues to vary as the trail meanders its way down hill. There are several burned areas along the trail from the Kachina Fire that occurred in June of 2001.
The Kachina Trail ends at the Weatherford trail after 6 miles (elevation 8788). The Weatherford trail is an old road that was built in the 1920's to ferry cars to the upper part of the San Francisco Peaks. Turn right at the trail junction and follow it 2 miles to Schultz Pass, the southern trailhead. Due to threatening skies, we turned around at the end of the Kachina trail.
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This site maintained by John and Heather Verley, © 2001-2010.