My in-laws own a timeshare in Sedona, AZ which is a great town full of nice hikes and adventure. When they offered it up for the children to utilize this year my mind instantly shifted into highpoint mode. So within the week that we will be there I informed my wife, and brother and sister in-laws I would need to steal the rental car for one day. So it was set and all I had to do was map out the best weather day of the week and drive the hour north for the hike. However, my normal highpointing partner cousin heard about this trip and was none too pleased but about missing the chance to bag Humphrey’s. So he booked a flight out of NYC to arrive in Flagstaff Wednesday afternoon and we would hike Thursday, luckily that looked like a fine weather day. Unfortunately the day before hiking the forecast changed to wind, which after hearing the tales of mighty Humphrey’s great breath I was worried. Oh well we figured we’d give it a go anyways we could always try again and the timeshare is apparently in the family for the next 99 years giving me plenty of other attempts.
I woke at 5am on like 4 hours sleep and drove the hour north and grabbed my cousin from his hotel and hit the snowbowl. Humphrey's looks huge looming over Flagstaff, driving with family towards Grand Canyon 2 days prior everyone was like "your going to hike all the way up there?".
I heard Humphrey’s trailhead was tough to find but its well-marked now with a sign.
You start by crossing through a field near the ski lifts, this was incredibly windy and I realized light gloves would have been nice. Quick note I flew into Phoenix which was like 100 degrees all week, stayed in Sedona 2 hours north which was like 85, and Flagstaff one hour north of that is 70, the 3 hour drive is apparently straight up in elevation, and the trailhead is 2K feet higher than Flagstaff proper. We enter the forest and all of the trees are swaying and there are plenty of them that have already fell.
As we get moving to one side of mountain it becomes much more pleasant wind-wise and the danger of a tree falling on us is gone.
We stop for some brunch just below the tree line, I smartly had bought some antelope jerky and the power of the beast filled us with confidence.
We were passed shortly after by a father and two teenage girls who were all just wearing shorts and long sleeve t-shirts, they were laughing and moving at very quick pace. My cousin haven just flown in from NYC was feeling the altitude a bit so going slow was our modus operandi.
There are nice posts to follow through the rocky top always letting you know how to stay on trail.
When we got above the tree line the wind really was gusting but we always had the 3 troopers in view in front of us showing that it never got too bad.
Then about 200 yards from summit dark clouds came rolling in and it looked pretty dire. We sheltered behind some rocks and within 30 seconds the dark clouds were gone.
I have never seen clouds move as fast as this day, it would go from blue skies to whiteout every minute. We saw our friends at rock shelter up on the summit and I decided just to booked it for cover there, when I arrived the guy and two girls were huttling for warmth and waiting for clouds to move then running over for summit picks and then quickly sheltering, they did this for like 10 minutes, apparently they climbed the peak 3 days ago in a rainstorm and were enjoying the much nicer weather. Anyways we did the same strategy for trying to get pictures and then headed down pretty quickly.
You can really move fast down this mountain and the farther we got down the nicer the day seem to get. It seems this was one of those situations where getting on peak early wasn’t best option, the wind completely died out by the time we arrived back at car. Anyways this isn’t all that challenging a hike the only real obstacles are altitude and weather, I felt great except I was exhausted from not sleeping. We headed to Lumberyard Brewing in Flagstaff for celebratory wings and beers, I bid my cousin adieu and headed back to my vacation in Sedona. This was my 25th state highpoint and a worthy choice for the milestone.
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