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The Two Seasons of Humphreys

Peak Summited2021 Humphreys Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadHumphreys Peak Trail
EncounteredWildflowers blooming, Fall foliage
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsIntermittent snow - not hard to cross
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Humphreys Peak was our 4th of the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge and we couldn't have picked a more perfect day! It was 50° with winds at 30 mph and a wind chill of 16°, but we had dressed appropriately with plenty of layers, including a thermal vest and down-filled coat (adding and shedding layers during our trek). I feel like we traveled through both Fall and Winter (seasons you don't really experience in Phoenix)! There were patches of snow at the peak and some small patches of ice in the canopied portion of the hike before we emerged from the treeline. The top of Humphries provided the most amazing vista: beautiful fields of yellow aspens, snowcapped peaks, and a cool contrast of red soil and volcanic rock. The bright sun brought a welcoming warmth and gave way to the clouds for a view so clear, we could see for miles!

There were a lot of tree roots to maneuver on the trail, but manageable. Near the very top the altitude impacted my motor skills a bit, but having some oxygen along helped. The trail was fairly busy but not crowded. In the later hours of our descent, the trail was muddy from the ground thaw, so we had to watch our footing. We had driven up from Phoenix and started just before 8:30 a.m., spent a good amount of time at the top and admiring the views along the way, and finished the hike around 4:30 p.m. This is my favorite summit experience to date!

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