This past weekend we had a mini adventure getaway to Flagstaff, where the elevation is higher and the breeze a bit nippy (for southern-Arizonian's anyway). It was the perfect weather for a hike to Red Mountain!
Red Mountain is the remnant of a volcanic eruption approximately 750,000 years ago, relatively not too long ago (in earth's terms) and this is evident in the landscape as foliage has not had enough time to grow over. Red Mountain is a bit unique in that it forms a 'U' shaped natural amphitheater, as opposed to a full cylindrical cone like most eruptions, allowing exposure of the internal structure of the volcano. Walking through and getting up close to this is like walking onto an epic movie set.
The hike to the Red Mountain is easy, quick and well maintained.
It gets interesting once the trail turns into the river bed.
We reached the end of the trail without realizing it and didn't know where to continue. So naturally we scrambled all over spires in the way.
Banded layers of volcanic cinder.
After exploring as far as we could, we headed back the same way we came from.
On the way back we came across this baby Great Basin Gopher Snake.
Red Mountain Trail
Coordinates: 35.53706, -111.879
Directions: Take I-17 north to Flagstaff. Follow signs for US-180 then head north to milepost 247 (about 30 miles). Turn left (west) at the milepost & follow dirt trail to trailhead parking lot.
Miles: 3.15 Miles Out & Back
Skill Level: Easy
Elevation Gain: 364
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