Chimney Springs Trail is a 2.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, AZ that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
cross country skiing
Chimney Springs is part of the Fort Valley Trail system at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, a popular mountain-biking area also suitable for hikers and, in the winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. Several sections of the trail were designed by a local biking organization to provide a mor
I decided to do this hike simply because I never had before. I had never heard anyone mention the Chimney Springs Trail, and, looking at the map, I could see it likely would not be big on views. But not every hike needs to be about vistas or anything more than a nice walk in the woods. And that is what Chimney Springs turned out to be.
Things are a bit confusing at the southern end, where there is a network of unmarked trails, used most often by mountain bikers and, in the winter, cross-country skiers. At least some of these trails were depicted on my map, but the lack of signage and some additional paths made me stop and go "hmm" more than once. I generally kept to the left, as my map indicated, except where an old road went left and narrower trail went straight (in which case I chose straight), and that finally brought me to the gas pipeline, which is one and the same with the trail for a while. (Another trail does continue across the pipeline, but I assumed that had been made by bikers and, being that it was not shown on my map, was not the official route.) Though I kept my eyes out, I somehow missed the point where the Chimney Springs Trail leaves the pipeline and re-enters the trees, but I did find another old road, also on the map further along, which got me back on track.
All in all, this is an easy walk. A nice trail for a sunny day and long chat with your hiking buddy. Or maybe just some time alone with your own thoughts. As I'd expected, there were no big views, but it's just as well to look at the smaller stuff. I studied trees, admired some wildflowers, and pondered a pile of twisted and rusted old metal. The actual spring for which the trail is named is labeled on the map, though it is not right along the trail, and I opted against searching for it.
With all of the hiking options around here, I can't say for sure I'll ever hike Chimney Springs again, but it was time well spent nevertheless. At least now I can look at that particular red line on my map and not wonder.