O'Leary Peak Trail is a 8.7 mile out and back trail located near Flagstaff, AZ that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
The view at the top is gorgeous, however the hike itself is a little mundane in visual appeal. For training/ trail running purposes, this is a great hike, though.
I see the tower from my house all the time, I always wanted to do the trail by horseback and got my opportunity about 3 1/2 years ago. I went with a buddy and we had a great time, it was an awesome trail and easy for the horses to climb. When we go to the top, we let the horses eat the grasses and the fire tower person gave us water for the horses and let us go to the top to get an even better view.. Although I didn't go to the top, my friend did and it was awesome, as he said. You can still see into the Painted desert and into Flagstaff. As well as the north rim of the canyon. It was worth the ride up and down. The horses did great and the road wasn't too rocky for them. I don't remember how long it took for us to get up and back, but it was a nice ride. I am planning on going up on 8/2/14 with another friend, I hope it doesn't rain. I will write another post for the upcoming ride
I went on this hike with a few friends and expected a bit more from the trail. It took us less than two hours to hike up to the lookout which points to the idea that this trail probably isn't as long as it says it is. The views at the top were beautiful, as you could get a great view of the San Francisco peaks basin as well as the surrounding areas including Sunset Crater and the Grand Canyon to the North. The fire lookout ranger at the top was very welcoming and nice. The drawback to this hike was the trail itself and that is why I rated it 3 stars. Myself, I am not a big fan of walking on wide trails that are often used as service roads for vehicles. The fact that the road was mainly built to drive vehicles took away from the experience of being outdoors. However, once you pass the stands of Ponderosa Trees, the vegetation becomes thicker, especially on the North side of the mountain. Overall, I would recommend this trail for its views, however if you are looking to experience the outdoors a little more, look towards Mt. Elden or Kendrick peak.
Great views, Really long trail though, it's all uphill on the way in, and downhill on the way out. Plan if you're not used to moderate or tough hikes to take a while with this one. I had my 7 year old daughter along and we made it about 20 minutes from the top before we got to tired and had to turn around, definitely not a trail if you're not in shape. (was our first hike of the season). But overall, was very happy, the views were stunning!
The most amazing views, of both Lockett Meadow and the Painted Desert. And the Lookout Tower is a MUST SEE!!!
A twenty-minute drive got us to the end of the pavement at O'Leary Group Campground, where a sign and a gate informed us that the dirt road (well, cinder actually) was closed. For good, so it seemed, except for Forest Service personnel. We'd intended to drive to the base of the mountain and start from there, but now we'd have to walk another couple of miles to that point. The sign told us it was five miles from where we were to the lookout tower at the top.
But he extra hiking from the end of the pavement to the base of O'Leary Peak is well worth the effort, not only for the additional exercise, fresh air and mental health, but because the scenery is really great, including Bonita Lava Flow, which comes right to the edge of the road you're walking. You can just imagine the flow when it was alive, creeping forward, hissing and popping and ... well, I've never actually seen an active lava flow, but I imagine it would be like a big, hot, beastly blob. And this one sure was big, which you can see soon after beginning the climb.
The further you go, the wider your field of view, including impressive Sunset Crater, Merriam Crater in the distance, and Old Cave Crater, to name just a few of many former lava-spewers, as well as the San Francisco Peaks. And, once you're at the top at just over 8900 feet, you even get a glimpse of the Grand Canyon if you go partway up the lookout tower.
O'Leary Peak is a hike I highly recommend. The whole round-trip hike too just under four hours, with ten minutes spent at the top. The road enables you and a buddy to walk side-by-side, which is always nice if you like to chat as you go.