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Elden Lookout Trail is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 6.3 mi Elevation gain 2,312 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Hiking

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Waypoints (6)
Contact
Getting There
  • 1

    Trail Junction

    Fatman's Loop trailhead on Elden Lookout Trail.

    35.23221, -111.58177

  • 2

    Trail Junction

    Unknown trail trailhead on Elden Lookout Trail.

    35.23366, -111.58337

  • 3

    Trail Junction l

    Lower Oldham Trail trailhead on Elden Lookout Trail.

    35.23423, -111.58503

  • 4

    Trail Junction

    Fatman's Loop trailhead on Elden Lookout Trail.

    35.23940, -111.58501

  • 5

    Trail Junction

    Sunset Trail trailhead on Elden Lookout Trail.

    35.24294, -111.59530

  • 6

    Summit at the lookout tower

    35.24111, -111.59748

Arizona Office of Tourism, 2702 N. 3rd St., Suite 4015 , Phoenix, AZ, 85004, Phone: 888-520-3434, Fax: 602-240-5432, mfioritt@pni.com

Directions from Flagstaff: Follow Santa Fe Avenue past the entrance to the Flagstaff Mall and the Peaks Ranger District Office to a trailhead parking lot just off the north side of the street.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (736)
Photos (665)
Recordings (651)
Completed (1640)
sharon strothmann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Good hike, start out early due to heat. I saw many people coming down, the parking lot was full by 11:00. Good workout!

Emily Sharp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

This was my second time doing this trail. I got on the trail at around 6am, made it to the summit in about 1:45, and got off the trail at around 9am. I brought 3 liters of water, made it through 2. Would definitely recommend getting on the trail early this time of year, the last hour of my hike was 90 degrees. Beautiful, challenging trail!

View Emily's Recording
steven wenzel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

Early July trip up, so hot today and the trail is exposed, not a lot of shade but nice views especially higher up when the peaks come into view. Our gps came out to 6 miles from the parking lot.

View steven's Recording
Kyle Glenn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 06 2020
Hiking

Left at 5am. Saw an incredible sunrise. Easily marked trail, good, consistent climb. Very few people on trail for a Monday morning. Doable hike before work. Up and down in 2:45. Grab a light jacket for the top...cool and windy.

Jon Brinton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
Hiking

Caught the afternoon heat, and took a longer time up and break at the top today. Beautiful views from the peak and well worth the effort. If you are not feeling only 40% to the top by the Fatman Loop trail take that one instead.

View Jon's Recording
Jessica Pendleton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingGreat!

A really fun challenging hike, with greats views all the way up. Make sure to bring your boots for this one. Parking didn't seem to be an issue.

Tymur Vidyakin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingGreat!

Wonderful hike that gets steep in some places. Lots of switchbacks so one needs to stay patient. Very well marked trail but gets muddy after rain. I'd recommend 2 liters of water mostly for the uphill. Downhill took about an hour. Check weather before going or else you might miss the wonderful views of Flagstaff like I did. Tower at the top was closed, probably because of Covid.

Maria Meacham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingRocky

Started at 5:30pm on Fatmans Loop trail and when we got to the fork we decided to hike to the lookout. It was quite windy, and the fine dirt makes the footing hard in some places, but it was worth it. The last few hundred yards of the trail are submerged in green aspens and wildflowers, we saw deer as well. We got to the summit at 7:30 with about 6 breaks along the way, and watched a beautiful sunset. We got back down the mountain by 9 or so.

Kate Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingRocky
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John Healey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingBlowdownGreat!Rocky

This is actually hard! For a five mile hike I thought this won’t be tough. Going up I had to take plenty of breaks as the altitude got me, I live in Phoenix and run/row regularly and I had to be compassionate to myself as my heart rate peaked at 150 going slowly up hill. Take it slow and steady. I thought going up people in sneakers could do this, but coming down realized my hiking boots were saving me loads as I had to step on plenty of point rocks on my descent. Amazing views, lots of shade, and chilly (60 degrees) at the top in the last week of June! I loved it. Pandemic Mask notice: No one really wears masks on this hike of the 20 people I say, only one had a cloth mask but didn’t wear it as they went past. There were some places I could get 6 feet away from people but sometimes not because of the hill. I wore my own mask when they got close and backed away as far as I could.

Andrew Charbonneau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 28 2020
HikingRocky
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Dan F.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 28 2020
HikingRocky
View Dan's Recording
Igor Karelin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingRocky

June weather: 1. Start early to avoid daytime heat, I say 5 am. It depends on month, I guess. 2. Parking could be a problem at busy days, but if you start early -fuhgetaboutit. 3. Water is needed - up to you how much. I took 2 bottles plus drunk one before. It was ok. 4. No rock climbing, which is good, but a lot of stepping on rocks. 5. Tower on the top was closed, and door was chained, but it could be open sometimes according to the notice 6. Biggest problem for me was high altitude and lack of oxygen, which made me breathing hard and often. So, pace yourself, GL 2 all.

View Igor's Recording
Carlos Frias
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingRocky

First time out on this trail and it was a solid hike. I did the climb up to the lookout + Fatmans Loop. I started a little after 5pm and going up at this time of the day allowed me to be in the shade the entire time. The trail to the lookout can be rocky at points, has steps, and switchbacks galore near the top. Completed the climb up and down + Fatmans Loop in just over 3 hrs for a total of 7 miles. I live in Scottsdale so the weather was cooler (100 degrees vs high 70s/low 80s). Nonetheless I took breaks so as to keep my heart rate under control and to hydrate. I carried only a liter of water since it was the evening but had I gone out there earlier, I would definitely had taken more! I also arrived in town around 2 pm and relaxed in my hotel to get somewhat adjusted to the altitude.

Tiffany Stelling
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020

Very challenging but rewarding hike. we did the full Fatmans Loop + Eldens Lookout and clocked it at just over 7 miles total. I carried a 70oz Camelback and ran out of water at the top of the mountain. WEAR SUNSCREEN. Although reviews say this is a mostly shady trail, don't make the mistake I made and skip the sunscreen- you will regret it. Definitely recommend this hike, it was well worth it!

Daniel Winkler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020
Hiking

Trail has clearly seen lots of use lately. A couple switchbacks near the top are crumbling at the turn. Be careful coming down especially if running.

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DR Waldo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
Hiking

Great hike to 9300’ , take extra water as it’s strenuous and will deplete lots of water. Lots of rock hopping. One of my all time favorites in Flagstaff. Hiked 2x this week it’s a toughy. but fun ...

Andrew Tankel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
HikingScramble

When we parked we took the partial route of fat mans loop (turned left) and then proceeded to Elden Lookout Trail. On the way down we turned left (instead of right to where we came In) and got to experience the full portion of Fat Mans Loop. Overall it was 7.5 mile day and dull of shade, cut backs, sunny areas, major temperature changes and even saw some snow in the distance. Dress appropriately, bring sun screen, and plenty of water (100 oz or more).

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Rick Koubsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
HikingRocky

Monster hike!! Very steep for majority of hike. Can’t bring enough water.

Susan Wood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 19 2020
Hiking

Did this hike with my 15 and 13 year olds. Older son went ahead and my younger son and I did it in 4 hours total - 2 up and 2 down. We took lots of breaks though as it was warm and he overheats quickly. Every turn or so on the trail is a bit of shade which made a big difference. The trail is a steady incline almost all the way up but easy to follow and not technical. Great views from the top. Definitely bring lots of water and go early as the parking lot was crowded when we got down.

DR Waldo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
HikingRocky

Great hike not for the faint of heart- Very vertical climb and views are expansive . Extra water is advisable and if you are not going to wear good hiking shoes - don’t go . Lots of loose gravel and rock hopping . Lots of wind and be careful during summer as lightning moves in fast at 9300 feet. One of my favs in flagstaff..

holly houk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 14 2020
HikingRocky
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Carey Ramsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 14 2020
Hiking

The view the entire way up is mostly of an industrial zone at the foot of the mountain. When you get up there is a communication complex and forestry tower. in the middle where the trail is it steepest there’s a lot of loose gravel especially when people have cut short the switchbacks.

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Andrea Schoonovet
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 14 2020
HikingRocky
View Andrea's Recording
Noah Schumerth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 14 2020
Hiking

Outstanding hike - now one of my favorites in Arizona. A very difficult hike that will challenge not only your endurance but your patience - the views are worth it, but the switchbacks going up require a lot of time, and given the elevation and the direct sun that beats down on this older wildfire scar (1977 Radio Fire), even experienced hikers should take breaks and proceed carefully. Trail is extremely well maintained - for such a steep trail, it is in phenomenal condition. The middle portion of the hike is definitely the steepest, and there are some rocky sections that anyone can handle but will require good footwork and some caution. Watch out for gravel washouts from recent rain events, as these can be slick even with good hiking shoes (especially going down). The last portion of the hike was challenging, as the lookout tower looks like it is right in front of you but you have about a quarter mile left through a young aspen forest that provides some pleasant shade. Views are beyond worth it. I recommend this hike to anyone looking for a real challenge and introduction to mountain hiking.

Larry Landon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 13 2020
Hiking

Steep section, bring more water than normal. Amazing views

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Edward Conry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 09 2020
HikingRocky
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Mike D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 07 2020
Hiking

90 minutes of sustained moderate+ incline on the way up (about 10 minutes of breaks included) and about 70 minutes of careful footed hiking on the way down as a intermediate solo hiker. Allow 30+ more minutes each way if casual or taking it easy. Views the whole way are great worrh the effort. Trails are well maintained with plenty of shade.

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