Elden Lookout Trail

HARD 227 reviews
#1 of 7 trails in

Elden Lookout Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Flagstaff, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2391 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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.

11 days ago

One of few more challenging hikes in the Flagstaff area, Mount Elden trail is designed in a way that makes the mountain as brutal as possible to go up. What could have been done in a mile and a half or so, takes 2.5 miles to ascend. You'll likely notice the unnecessary switchbacks and lengthened trail around the side of the mountain that makes it feel like you're expending all this energy to go nowhere. I've done this hike several times and will do it again, but every time I do it I'm frustrated with the design of the trail. not a very good trail at all, but a decent hike nonetheless.

12 days ago

Have hiked it several times, a good hike . A good time .

hiking
22 days ago

The lack of oxygen pushes you to take it easy on the way up, step by step and breathing as if you were on a treadmill. Unless you are a Flagstaff resident and are used to the less oxygen atmosphere. The views are definitely breathtaking for sure. Go light but take water and some snacks. When you reach the summit you will be ready to eat some carbs.

26 days ago

please be sure to acclimate for a day or two if you are not a resident of higher elevations. made it to the top, but felt early stages of elevation sickness and immediately descended. trail is well marked and somewhat busy even at the top, cell service 95% of the way. sunscreen recommended, even with the tree coverage i was burnt through my shirt.

hiking
1 month ago

This 2500ft incline hike will test your stamina for sure. Be careful as the trail seems to have been washed out in a few places higher up. This hike has what I call a grand staircase feature which is pretty cool. Unbelievable views at the top when you reach the towers. This hike took me just under 3 hours to complete, rests included. Passed by many other hikers on this trail as it is popular due to how close the trailhead is to Flagstaff. I recommend trekking poles for the descent, especially if you have bad ankles and knees like me.

hiking
1 month ago

Felt pretty decent until the mountain greeted us. Steep and semi technical but very enjoyable. Hard is accurate but there is plenty of area to throttle down and rest.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked it last week, we were visiting and not used to the higher elevation so we huffed and puffed a bit on this one despite being fit runners. Our dogs accompanied us on the hike and enjoyed it as well. A little snow and wind at the top but a beautiful view of the city! We went at 9am on a Wednesday and pretty much had the trial to ourselves.

2 months ago

So beautiful! Worth every step up and every time I fell down.

2 months ago

Pretty great hike. We had been told it was a good training hike and found it to be a nice Sunday morning workout. We went at 7 am to avoid a lot of foot traffic and were the only people on the trail aside from one other until the end of our hike. It took us 3 hours. Some snow and wind at the top, but well worth it.

3 months ago

was a lot of fun in the snow. :)

hiking
4 months ago

one of my favorite hikes. it's in town which makes it perfect for before/after work hikes in the summer when days are longer. definitely harder than mt. humphrys in my opinion. short and steep--it's like climbing stairs but skipping every other step. highly recommend for a good work out to take it fast, or a good slow challenge!

Fun afternoon climb. Took 3 of us almost 3 hours to do with multiple rest stops and a break at the top. Be sure to walk all the way around the top to get views from all angles!

hiking
5 months ago

Combined Fatmans loop with Elden Lookout. Took a slightly out of shape flatlander 6 hours to do it all. A lot of elevation gain on the trail up to the lookout tower makes it a workout. Trail is maintained and well established. The trail isn't particularly technical, it's just the elevation gain that makes it "hard."

5 months ago

Feels a lot longer than 5.2 mile out and back.

hiking
6 months ago

great hike to get into shape

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked the trail with my Daughter and her dog, Wilbur. We started the trail at the Fatmans loop trailhead. My wife continued Fatmans loop while my daughter and I continued with Eldons lookout.
The trail systems where very crowded mostly hiking the Fatmans loop trail. The Eldons trail is made up of loose dirt over hard packed dirt and rock, rock outcropping and just plain rock. The path was up the entire way, elevation climb is 2290 feet. My daughters dog had no issues up or down the trail. I, on the other hand, was doing the trail slow but enjoyed myself. The views where great at the top as long as your back is turned away from the antennas. Great trail.

hiking
7 months ago

It was a steep trial, & is defined tiring
But I️ had a great time

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Wish the view at the top didn’t have big satellites and buildings.. but still great!

7 months ago

Good trail for elevation training!

Nice trail.

8 months ago

Great day hike with beautiful views!

hiking
9 months ago

Unbelievable hike! Definitely the hardest single-day hike I've ever done, but well worth it. Bring plenty of water, as shade is quite minimal.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike, didn't quite summit because of the thunder above. We had an amazing view though.

hiking
9 months ago

Gorgeous, heart pumping hike. The first mile doesn't pose much incline, but if you're visiting from out of town like I was, you'll feel yourself struggling to acclimate to the elevation during that first mile. The latter half of the trail is straight up with stunning views. The top is a bit strange with the towers, but still more amazing views to the north. Not much shade, so would recommend an early start for mid-summer hikes. I started around 11am in July and it was pretty toasty. Bring plenty of water, you'll find yourself guzzling on frequent breaks as you start stair climbing. I would do this one again in a heart beat!

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike to the summit with most of the elevation gain from junction of Fatman's Loop to summit (over 2000 ft in 1.6 miles) Awesome views along the way and especially at the summit and lookout tower. 6 mile round trip including the entirety of Fatman's loop. Exhilarating!

9 months ago

Beautiful day for a hike! My hiking app says this trail is a little longer than the trail signs.... almost 3/4 mile longer???? Strange because it's almost always right on:-)

trail running
9 months ago

I loved running this trail. It requires good eye lead to avoid tripping on the many rocks and occasional root. Signage is minimal but the trail is mostly obvious as you are travelling along. Great views at the top and along the way up although appreciated most on the way down as my heart rate was lower and I was able to look around a bit. Totally worth the effort. I would run it again tomorrow!

9 months ago

Great hike...make sure to climb the tower

hiking
9 months ago

When they say it's hard, they mean it's HARD. A friend and i were mentally willing ourselves to make it to the summit

Load More