Waterline Road Trail

EASY 9 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Waterline Road Trail is a 15.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

15.6 miles 2136 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Take US-89 about 12 miles north of city center. Turn left directly across from the turn to Sunset Crater. The left turn is on to a Forest Access Road (FR 420). Take this ½ mile to a T and turn right onto FR 522. This goes 4.6 miles on a very bumpy, some areas washboard grated, ascent. Road is narrow with areas to pull out every few 100 yards in case another car is coming the opposite direct. This was a little nerve wracking as you can’t see ahead very far. I wouldn't do this again without AWD or 4WD. After 4.6 miles of painfully slow driving you come to a pretty clearing of yellow flowers and grass = Locket Meadow. Signs take you to day parking, which is free and located near an outhouse. Very remote.

1 month ago

Great hike...most amazing Fall color experience in Arizona...way too crowded is only drawback.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful!!!!!

hiking
8 months ago

This trail takes you to the Inner Basin (which is listed on this website as a separate trail). I consider them the same since they have the same starting point; it just depends on how far you want to hike. This trail earns the same review as the one I wrote for the Inner Basin trail. A must-do!

hiking
1 year ago

Take US-89 about 12 miles north of city center. Turn left directly across from the turn to Sunset Crater. The left turn is on to a Forest Access Road (FR 420). Take this ½ mile to a T and turn right onto FR 522. This goes 4.6 miles on a very bumpy, some areas washboard grated, ascent. Road is narrow with areas to pull out every few 100 yards in case another car is coming the opposite direct. This was a little nerve wracking as you can’t see ahead very far. I wouldn't do this again without AWD or 4WD. After 4.6 miles of painfully slow driving you come to a pretty clearing of yellow flowers and grass = Locket Meadow. Signs take you to day parking, which is free and located near an outhouse.
Very remote. Saw some camps set up but only 4 people during the entire hike. No cell service.
The hike was pretty in the summer, but I'm sure dramatically beautiful during fall foliage time. There is a gradual ascent for 4.25 miles going from altitude of 8600 feet to ~10.5K feet. The first part is full of white, yellow, blue and purple wildflowers, then you see old signs of the Schultz fire with burned out trees/fields. It becomes a birch and aspen forest with several switch backs. This turns to a pine forest and the trail opens up onto a a forest road where you can turn left to Schultz Tank or continue right on Inner Basin. At 1.6 miles, you reach the old Watershed Cabins—in the center of these there is a spigot where you can get untreated spring water. More trail signs here. Staying on Inner Basin, you pass a few Flagstaff well sites and can hear water rushing beneath. It continues to be a wide forest road until reaching the inner basin clearing. There is a tiny shelter here where 2 or 3 people could hang out if a monsoon crept up. Beyond this the road narrows and the path turns to small rocks that were slippery. Clearing turns back into forest and patches of snow were on the ground even at the end of July. The final trail sign I saw pointed to a sharp left but the trail seemed to stop shortly after this at ~4.25 total miles.

hiking
1 year ago

I have never been on that side of the mountain and it was beautiful! There was recently a control burn so the bottom half of the trail was a little burnt but once you get into the aspens it's beautiful! Definitely worth it!

camping
1 year ago

My late wife and I used to hike and backpack Locket Meadow when we lived in Flagstaff in the early 90s. It is truly a beautiful work of Nature. The last time we were there was in late June of 1993 and we slept on the ground in the woods with no tent, just our bags and a ground cloth -- two weeks before her due date (that was apparently before there were camping restrictions). I hope to take her ashes back there some day.

hiking
2 years ago

A very beautiful trail, but I would also rate this as a moderate hike because of the switchbacks and elevation change. I would definitely recommended this hike.

2 years ago

I don't think this is an easy trail. I would rate it as moderate due to the elevation change. we went from Locket Meadow to Weatherford trail. was a great moderate to difficult hike, estimated 11 miles round trip & 2,444' elevation change according to GPS.

hiking
3 years ago

We navigated to the trailhead. We found a blank wood sign at the correct location but could not locate a trail anywhere.