Hiking almost goes hand in hand with living in or even visiting northern Arizona. With the agreeable climate and the incredible scenery, it’s just so hard to stay inside. In other words, exploring comes easy.
But, not every hike has to be as challenging an expedition as Humphrey’s Peak. You don’t need to invest an entire day to discover unforgettable spots and log those ever-precious steps into the ol’ fitness tracker.
The Flagstaff area is a hub of doable day hikes, outings that will satisfy adventure-seekers of all skill levels. An easy-to-navigate site, Wander Wisdom, corralled a few referrals that aren’t far from Pine Canyon.
Red Mountain Trail: This 2.6-mile roundtrip hike is a bit of a drive from Flagstaff, about 25 miles, but it leads to a natural amphitheater. So, you could have a private concert outdoors? Or, just take a photo of it. Either way, it’s a great day trip.
Slate Mountain Switchbacks: Get your camera ready for views of Kendrick Mountain, the San Francisco Peaks and the north rim of the Grand Canyon on this five-mile roundtrip hike. And, don’t be intimidated by the word “switchbacks.” They’re kind.
Old Caves Crater: Tackle this climb and walk away knowing you can freely brag about climbing a volcano. The hike starts, somewhat unexpectedly just northeast of Flagstaff Mall, and offers views of the San Francisco Peaks.
Fat Man’s Loop: This 2.5-mile loop takes hikers around the base of Mount Elden, and begins just off Highway 89 at the Elden Lookout Trailhead. It’s been classified as a trail that’s good for the glutes, so be ready to feel the burn a bit.
Lamar Haines Loop: This leisurely hike is a fun one for kids because it’s dotted with spots ripe for exploring, including a historic cabin and a well. If you don’t get to this one until winter, pick up a free backcountry permit at the Peaks Ranger Station.