Houston Brothers Trail is a 14.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Happy Jack, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from April until November.
Directions from Flagstaff: Drive about 55 Miles south of Flagstaff on Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road). Drive north 9 miles on AZ 87 to FR 95. Turn south (right) about 8 miles to FR 139A. Turn left on 139A to the trailhead near Pinchot Cabin. FH 3 and AZ 87 are paved. FR 95 is graveled and suitable for passenger vehicles except during winter when it is closed.
My husband and I hiked this trail this past weekend. The trail itself would have been easy enough to follow, blazes marked the way and the footpath was very distinguishable. Lucky for us, it was also marked with orange flags the entire route for an upcoming trail run event, which made the task of staying on course very easy. However, on a few occasions, without those flags I can imagine it would be difficult to follow the trail, as it creeps in and out of some very dense forestry and tall grasses.
The landscape was beautiful. You pass by Pinchot cabin and Pinchot Spring, both worth a picture or two.
We used Houston Brothers trail to connect to General Crook trail where we camped for the night. The views along General Crook are breathtaking, right on the rim! From there we continued the loop up Fred Haught.
It is also worth a note that we passed by two groups of hikers within the first 45 minutes of our hike. Both groups were returning to the trailhead. And from there we didn't encounter another human soul.