Red Mountain Trail in Flagstaff

June 24, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

It has basically been a decade between the time I hiked the Red Mountain trail and the time I'm writing this entry.  For whatever reason, I remember it like it was yesterday.  I think that is because of just how cool it is to say that I have hiked into a volcano!  An extinct one, sure, but a volcano nonetheless.

I did this hike in June of 2012 and I remember it was on whim.  I had read an article about it in Arizona Highways magazine and I am sure it was blazing hot in Phoenix, and I just had to get out.  What I also recall is that it was pretty darned hot in Flagstaff too!  In the mid 80s if I recall.  Still, it beat 115 degrees, so I did a day trip up to Flagstaff (and beyond) and hit the trail during the mid morning.

The hike was about 3 miles round trip and it was spectacular.  I was also the only one there so it was eerily quiet.  The trail starts off flat and gradually climbs up an over the rim of this small cinder cone.  You see, Red Mountain is the remnant of a volcano that erupted 740,000 years ago.  It is unique in that you can hike inside the the cone to the inner basin of the volcano.  Here you can see the violence and deformation that occurred three quarters of a million years ago!  That's why this hike stuck in my memory... I mean, how cool is that!?

By late afternoon I was back to the heat of the valley leaving only my footprints in the sand at Red Mountain and taking only photos and memories away from this beautiful and isolated place.  Check out a few photos...

The hike to Red MountainThe hike to Red Mountain Inner basin of Red MountainInner basin of Red Mountain Inner basin of Red MountainInner basin of Red Mountain

If you live in the Western US and ever feel stuck in the heat or the cold, just remember, there are warmer or cooler places nearby.  Just follow your whims and they may lead you to some awesome places and some memories that stay in your mind for decades.  Thanks for reading and as always, Happy Adventuring!


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