Easy Elevation Gain on a Graded Roadbed

Peak Summited2020 O'Leary Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadO'Leary Trailhead on FSR 545A
EncounteredWildflowers blooming, Fall foliage
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Weather was clear and bright, high 50's to low 70's. Trail starts right at the trailhead parking lot. The trail is a wide access road all the way to the lookout. Trail is mostly level (going slightly downhill) for the for the first mile or so through the forest and skirting some old black lava flows. The first mile is intermittently sandy, so be prepared for that. At about the 2 mile mark, the trail starts becoming more steep as you proceed up the first major switchback. At about the 2.5 mile marker, you'll exit the first major switchback near the saddle between the main peak and a minor saddle. You'll begin a long (about 1 mile} switchback ending at a gate at about the 3.5 mile mark. Here the road becomes much more steep and gravely in spots, and it's steep all the way to the lookout. The lookout (and the restroom nearby) were closed. The views up here are outstanding and you'll get almost a 360 degree panorama. You can see Mt. Elden, the Kachina Peaks and Inner Basin, Sunset Crater and the Painted Desert. It was a little too hazy to see the Grand Canyon. The weather was PERFECT and we saw only 4 other people on the trail. No crowds here! There were still some late season yellow and purple wildflowers to color the path, and the aspen were starting to turn golden yellow on the surrounding peaks above the 9000 ft. elevation level. This trail is well-suited to high altitude trail running, so if you're a runner grab your trail running shoes and go take a super run!


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