We trekked up in early October after staying the night in downtown Flagstaff to adjust to the elevation. This was the highest peak I've climbed but not the most difficult. Unlike a lot of Oregon mountains, there was no scrambling up scree. The trail was clear and solid. I would suggest this hike for someone who is in shape and used to hiking and looking to start climbing higher and more challenging peaks. We made sure to schedule the hike for a clear, low-wind day, and the weather was perfect.
The hike started around 7 a.m. It was quite chilly at first, so I suggest layering, gloves and a mid-weight coat. It will quickly warm up, and I ended up doing most of the hiking in a lightweight base layer and leggings. The fall colors were beautiful and there were several viewing spots along the way.
We could even spot the Grand Canyon at the summit! The false summits are a little soul-crushing but keep pushing--- it's worth it. The trail begins in a field and transitions into the forest. The evergreen trees give way to birch trees and shrubs. The last stretch is rocky and exposed.
Bring plenty of water-- we brought 5 liters for two people and ran out in the last hour. Snacks and energy bars are a must. I kept a bag of BBQ potato chips in the car that I was practically sprinting to at the end of the hike. Trekking poles made the scrambling near the summit much more manageable. Hiking shoes probably would've been the best option, but my Pure Grit Brooks trail running shoes were fine. Start this hike early! It takes awhile. We were done by 4 p.m. and passed many people that I feared would be finishing the hike in the dark.
This trail will beat you up! I hike La Luz in Abq several times per year and this jagged rocky trail is similar but tougher thanks to the volcanic geology of Humphreys. The saddle is only 2/3rds to the summit, but at that point you're committed to several false peaks before bagging the top of Arizona. Don't make the Arizonans upset by hiking off trail into their only chunk of tundra.
The hardest hike I have done 'yet' I left at about 11am and didn't return back until 6pm. I got down right before the sunset. I packed light, I brought a DSLR camera 3 snacks and a water. Once I got to the top it was such an amazing view of the highest point in Arizona. You can see the grand canyon and much more. The time I went the winds were super intense I would say it was 50-70mph winds that I was being pushed by the winds, so I didn't stay on the top long. And there is a few false summits so don't stop until you see the sign. A few notes: Plan a weekend to get used to the climate because the elevation can kick your butt. Bring plenty of food and water. Bring a wind breaker for the top. Bring a camera/phone for memories. And eat a big meal before and after. And get an early start.
So worth it, making it to the top. I finally made it on my third try. I started late on the other one and was too late to make it to the top. So, I had to come down, and thank God for one guy who actually came down with me. By the time we got back to our car, it was dark. Must hike this mountain!
Very nice area, we got a bit lost. Maybe due to lack of situational awareness/ just letting the dog pull us down whatever path he wanted! We were easily able to tell which general direction we needed to head in and only added about half a mile to the overall trip. The parts where I know we were on the right trail weren't too difficult but not easy either. great for active dogs or bigger kids.