Sunset Trail is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Directions from Flagstaff: Drive north on US 180 to FR 420 (Schultz Pass Road). Drive 6 miles east on FR 420 to the trailhead at a parking lot on the south side of the road. Road Condition: FR 420 is graveled and barely suitable for passenger cars. The road badly needs to be graded. Closed during winter because of snowpack.
Nice, easy trail, with a steady incline. Mostly pine trees, with some aspens. Enjoyed the peaceful scenery and the view of the peaks.
I went early this morning with my two dogs and we went up to Elden. It was absolutely beautiful! Much nicer now that's it's cooling down. Got there about 8am with only one other group on the trail. But on the way down I came across someone about every 5 minutes. So if you want to beat the crowd, go early!!!!!
Beautiful summer shady trail to beat the heat and get some amazing views
Absolutely loved this trail. Went just this past weekend, arrived at about 11:30am and made it out before the small hail storm. Fairly nice increase and probably only got a few miles in due to my pitbull mix getting tired, but overall this is a very moderate hike and is absolutely gorgeous. It is used by mountain bikers, but I did have any issues sharing the trail with them and was by myself for most of the hike, which is what I prefer. Will definitely go back to hike further in.
Can be scary if you are afraid of heights but it was a moderate hike.
This was a beautiful trail. I accessed it via I-40 and had to take gravel roads that weren't really maintained; just FYI for compact car owners. I would absolutely go again.
Driving in from the 180 gives you a much nicer Road than approaching from the I-40
I did the loop from Fatman's-->Christmas Tree-->Sandy Seep-->Heart-->Sunset-->Elden Lookout. Sunset was a welcomed easy portion that offered very different views including a grassy, windy catwalk and some shady forest. See notes on Heart Trail for the difficulty I encountered staying on the trail.
Easy trail, mostly incline heading in. It's gradual and easy to take. There were several others out there including a dozen or so bikes.
The trail map shown here is a system of which Sunset is the first leg.
LOVE this trail. Go all the way to Elden, it is worth it. You see so much on this trail. Watch out for Mountain bikers, they come out of no where! I was startled by two doe deers near the catwalk to Elden. Like most hikes, the earlier you go, the less people and the more wildlife you will encounter!
probably my favorite trail yet
great for mountain biking
4 miles up and 4 miles back
way down is awesome
The Sunset Trail is one of my favorites in Flagstaff, in part because it offers multiple options for longer out-and-back and loop hikes. While a hike just on the Sunset Trail to the catwalk on Mount Elden, where you can continue 1.8 miles further to the summit, is a great outing, the following are some other choices that don't require retracing your steps. While not all loops in this area need to include the Sunset Trail, these routes begin and end from the same parking area, where several trails converge:
Sunset Trail (moderate uphill) to the Heart Trail (downhill) to Little Elden Trail, which takes you around the base of Mt. Elden, back to the starting point (10 miles)
Little Elden Trail to Little Bear Trail (moderate, well-graded uphill) to Sunset Trail (north/right, a short up then downhill) back to the starting point (8 miles)
Little Elden Trail to Little Bear Trail to Sunset Trail (south/left, uphill) to Upper Oldham Trail (downhill, sometimes steeply) to Brookbank Trail (uphill) to Schultz Loop Trail (Brookbank Trail continues to the right, but go straight for this particular loop) to Dry Lake Hills and back down to the starting point (11.8 miles)
Schultz Loop Trail (uphill) to the Brookbank Trail (downhill) to Rocky Ridge Trail to Schultz Creek Trail back to the starting point (9.7 miles)
As you walk these trails, keep an eye out for old carvings on the aspen trees, made by Basque sheep-herders who once frequented the area.
Like the other trails in the area, the Sunset Trail is generally well-graded and rarely all that steep, making it a popular destination for trail runners and mountain bikers. So expect to make way for quite a few bikes, and you won't be surprised.