Kachina Trail

Flagstaff

A classic hike through canyons and along hillsides with spectacular views of Flagstaff.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
24 km
Ascent
833 m
Descent
833 m
Duration
6-7 hrs
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
2.9 km
Gradient
Kachina Trail Map

Considered one of the more popular trails near Flagstaff according to the USFS, the Kachina Trail tours aspen groves, dramatic cliffs, rolling meadows, and even offers impressive views of Flagstaff to the south. It's almost exclusively located within the confines of a wilderness area, making it an excellent opportunity to enjoy the wild and vast San Francisco Peaks without the crowds. While sometimes hiked as an out-and-back, this route connects Schultz Tank to the Snow Bowl, making it a perfect option for a shuttle if you have two vehicles.

Description

Touring the southern slopes of Agassive Peak, the Kachina Trail is defined by old-growth limber pine and Douglas-firs at the highest elevations, with ponderosa, aspen, and juniper defining the mountain's main slopes. Seas of bracken fern paint the hillsides green and the mountain's volcanic past is clearly visible as the trail descends a high lava cliff. According to the USFS, "a dramatic, cave-like recess in the lava marks where a bed of looser volcanic debris eroded away from denser flow layers above," and the andesite boulders near the trail's upper end found their resting site nearly 600,000 years ago.

In addition to the diversity of flora and fauna, elk, mule deer, and cougars all reside in the area, though the latter are rarely seen to their nocturnal habits. Black bears also favor wild edibles such as berries that appear during summer's peak. While best hiked from May to November, hunters sometimes utilize the trail during their respective seasons, though mechanized use, including bikes, is prohibited within the confines of the wilderness.

Source: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=55112

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area