This Hike Has Everything!

Peak Summited2020 Humphreys Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadSnow Bowl Parking Lot
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 ConditionsObstacles on trail

I've done Mt. Humphreys 4 times, but I don't take this one lightly! You will be presented with many known and possible challenges. First, the known ones: there are many exposed tree roots low on the trail (for about the first 3 miles), and cobblestones and low ledges for the entire 4 miles up to the saddle at 11,800 feet. From this point, the one mile path to the summit at 12,633 feet is a rough one requiring a lot of scrambling over and around ledges and navigating loose pebbles and rocks on steep slopes. On top of this, the trail goes over rocky stretches and can be difficult to follow even on a good day (keep looking for the tall white trail marker poles). The possible challenges are windy conditions, precipitation (we got caught in a brief snow and hail storm coming down from the summit this time) and lightning. This is a high mountain. Don't get caught up there in a rainstorm. Aside from the possibility of being fried by lightning, the wet conditions will make descending the difficult terrain from the summit to the saddle a nightmare. So be prepared for the known and possible obstacles. Dress in layers and bring a windbreaker or rain shell. Take plenty of water. This is the PERFECT route for hiking poles. Wear shoes that have good ankle support, otherwise the ankles will be banged about from constantly articulating over the uneven terrain. Don't expect to go fast, the altitude will slow you down a bit. A slow and steady pace with frequent brief rests is the best plan. You can pat yourself on the back if you've survived one of the most challenging hikes in Arizona!


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