Humphreys Trail-Kachina Peaks Preparedness

Humphreys Trail-Kachina Peaks Preparedness

Page Type Page Type: Article
Activities Activities: Hiking

It's Lonely at the Top...

This is an informational page regarding the Humphreys Trail, created by the Peaks Preventative Search and Rescue Team. This team is a partnership of the U.S. Forest Service and Northern Arizona University's School of Forestry. The goal of this page is to further the education of wilderness users, so that search and rescue missions will hopefully decrease on the Humphreys Trail.

The Humphreys Trail is a trail in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness that leads to the summit of the highest mountain in Arizona. The elevation gain on the trail is approximately 9,266 to 12,633 feet; it is rocky, steep and difficult. Round-trip, the trail will take six to eight hours, with a total distance of 8 to 10 miles. Because this trail is located in a wilderness area, rescue can be many hours away.

What to Bring
When preparing to hike the Humphreys Trail, hikers must be aware to bring these important essentials:
  • Sturdy, comfortable boots
  • At least one gallon of water per person
  • Warm clothing/rain gear
  • Map/Compass/GPS
  • Backcountry Essentials: light, matches, extra food, first aid kit, pocket knife, whistle, space blanket
  • Common sense
  • A friend; tell someone about your plans! ¬†
If the weather turns, turn around!
The weather on the Humphreys Trail can have dramatic temperature shifts and change rapidly. Hikers should always expect high winds and cool temperatures above the saddle. Snow is possible year-round; so is hypothermia. During the summmer, late afternoon monsoons are very common, which frequently occur with lightning storms; when such storms occur, head down the trail!

Daily NOAA weather forecasts and climate reports of the Peaks can be found at the external link below.

Wilderness Considerations
The Kachina Peaks Wilderness is a special place, and deserves protection. Keep dogs on leashes while on the trail; this is for their safety and the preservation of the natural conditions. When above treeline, stay on the trail to protect the endemic San Francisco groundsel, an alpine wildflower that only exists at the tops of these mountains. Be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles when hiking in the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. These principles can be found at the external link below.

Other Nearby Hiking Options
If you are pressed for time, or would like to try an easier trail, here are some other options. Links for some of the trails are provided below.
  • Aspen Nature Loop
  • Kachina Trail
  • Arizona Trail (Aspen Corner)
  • Lamar Haines Trail

External Links


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